Arvind Sonmale

Arvind Sonmale

Managing Director & CEO of SAFL


Arvind Sonmale is a career Banker having been in the industry for over 40 years. He started his banking career as a Probationary Officer in State Bank of India in 1975.

His 9 years with State Bank of India (SBI) took him through various areas of banking responsibilities including that of a Branch Manager of a SBI office in Panaji (Goa) and in SBI’s International Division at its apex Central Office in Mumbai. The latter was a stint of 4 years in the Export Finance Department.

1984 saw him joining the newly operationalised Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) and over the next 20 years, his work responsibilities took him through various areas including Trade Finance, Project Finance, Forex Operations, Corporate Finance, Regional Office Head, Overseeing of Overseas Offices, and New Initiatives which included being a point person in bringing Forfaiting to India. He was the key person coordinating the start-up of two Joint Ventures spawned by Exim Bank, one; a Consultancy Organisation called Global Procurement Consultants Ltd. in 1995 which coordinated procurement of Multilateral Funded Projects by Indian Companies and two; Global Trade Finance Ltd. (GTF) in 2001 which catered to Factoring requirements of Indian SMEs. In 2004, he was the Chief General Manager handling Corporate Finance and Recoveries in Exim Bank, Mumbai.

In December, 2004, Arvind Sonmale took over as Managing Director and CEO of Global Trade Finance Ltd. (GTF) promoted by Exim Bank with equity participation from IFC, Washington and FIM Bank, Malta. GTF was a leading finance company in India, which was actively engaged in Trade Finance aimed at the SME sector in India. His association with GTF ceased in April, 2010.

He is currently the Managing Director & CEO of Sustainable Agro-commercial Finance Ltd. (SAFL) having its Head Office at Mumbai, India. SAFL is a NBFC promoted by Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd. with equity investment from IFC, Washington, and is focussed on extending finance to small and medium sized farmers in the rural and semi-urban geographies of India.

During the last 3 years, a branch network at 70 locations in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh has been set-up besides the Head Office in Mumbai. Gradually, the operations will expand to Tamilnadu, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana and other states. The road map for ground presence envisages a pan India network of over 250 offices in about 5 years. The entire business operations are managed by a staff complement of 187 employees communicating over a high end IT customised platform ensuring efficient and quick delivery at optimal cost.

With a break even in the very first year, SAFL has done creditable work so far over the last 3 years of its operations and achieved the following: 




No. of Farmers

Amount (Rs. In Crores)


Applications received












Repayment (incl. interest)




Loan Outstanding



Arvind Sonmale has made SAFL (signifying success) a household name and the first name recall for financial assistance in the areas it operates.