“We expect loan disbursements to triple by the end of this year.”

MUMBAI : Riya Bhattacharya, CEO of Navi Finserv, talks to Mint about the company’s expansion plans in the loan segment. Edited excerpts:

Q. Can you tell us a bit about Navi’s lending activity?

We believe there is a huge opportunity in financial services and there is a huge need to deliver the right kind of customer experience for digital savvy and middle income Indian aspirants. Loans are fairly poorly penetrated in India and there are many possibilities to offer technology based products with lower costs and better ability to take out loans.

Last year, we launched our fully digital personal loan offering through our loan app, and we built the entire tech stack in-house. So, from the onset of clients to underwriting, accounting, collections and communications afterwards – we have a single view of the client, and it is not broken down into pieces. As a result, our business model is highly scalable and better control of technology helps us keep the customer experience very simple. This is our front end. On the back end, we make extensive use of machine learning and data analytics capabilities that help us go beyond the traditional approach to lending and deliver what is right for clients.

We also launched home loans this year where customers can apply for in-principle approval on the mobile app with minimal steps. We continue to expand this offering geographically and plan to be in major cities in India by the end of this year.

Q. How long has it been?

We launched personal loans in May of last year and we launched home loans this year in January.

Q. What is the size of the loan portfolio now?

Our current disbursement rates are close to Rs1,500 crore. We expect this to increase three times by the end of this year. We are confident that we can get over Rs 15,000 crore in personal loans over the next 2 years which could place us in the top 2 NBFCs nationwide. We continue to experiment to determine what is good for our clients with a strong emphasis on risk and best practices at the same time.

Q. Some of the trends that have gained traction include Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) – so, is this something that all of you are ready to explore later?

All of our decisions are made based on customer needs. If our clients request an offer that presents a significant market opportunity, we seek it. Yes, we are evaluating BNPL and will explore it when the time comes.

Q. What would the average ticket size be?

A critical need that we have seen with most of our clients is for larger loans. As access to smaller sized loans has gained ground, clients need to access larger sized loans in line with their growing aspirations. Therefore, we are now focusing on larger loans. We are currently offering loans up to 5 lakh and will increase this amount up to 20 lakh by the end of the quarter.

Q. Another trend that has gained traction is P2P lending and borrowing. Are there any chances that you are looking in that direction?

As NBFC, we remain financially well funded with a healthy mix of debt to banks and financial institutions and our own substantial equity, and therefore we are very comfortable lending from our own. books. P2P lending is therefore not something that we are currently exploring.

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