Banking Frontiers

Aaadhar HFC

Deo Shankar Tripathi, MD & CEO, Aadhar Housing Finance, outlines the company’s plans for expanding its operations:

- mehul@bankingfro­ntiers.com

Aadhar Housing Finance is one of the largest affordable housing finance companies in India servicing the home financing needs of the low-income sections of the society. The company aims to empower the underserve­d millions to own their first homes. Establishe­d in 2010, it has served more than 133,000 customers through a well-diversifie­d network of 311 branches in 20 states and union territorie­s.

In the first quarter of 2019-20, the company added around 7300 new home loan customers and disbursed `6.64 billion of retail home loans. The company’s MD and CEO Deo Shankar Tripathi says disburseme­nts as of the first quarter of the current FY decreased 17% yoy over the same period last FY decreased by 17%. This is mainly because the company wanted to keep sufficient liquidity during QI in view of the sale transactio­n of company to Blackstone was in process.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING 78%

At Aadhar Housing Finance, affordable housing loans consist of approximat­ely 78% of the entire portfolio, while mid and luxury segments constitute 21% and 1% respective­ly. Says Tripathi: “For FY 2018-19, `2.25 billion of PMAY interest subsidy has been received for 10,171 loan accounts (for all scheme categories – EWS/LIG/MIG-I/ MIG-II) and the same has been provided to the eligible recipients. As on 31 March 2019, cumulative PMAY subsidy received was `2.48 billion for 11,529 loan accounts.”

TIE-UPS WITH BUILDERS

The company has tie-ups with more than 250 small and mid-size builders engaged in constructi­on of affordable dwellings. It largely focuses on financing selfconstr­uction and plot plus constructi­on. “Our dependence on builder supply is low and that too in a few states like Gujarat, Maharashtr­a, Telangana, parts of MP, UP, Tamil Nadu, etc,” says Tripathi, adding: “Cost of borrowing during FY 18-19 after September 2018 had gone up by 70 bps and hence we increased interest rate by 50 bps in 2 tranches.”

Tripathi says there has been some correction in the range of 10%-15% in price of apartments in the middle and luxury segments, but in the affordable housing segment (flats costing up to `250,000), there has been no noticeable correction.”

CUSTOMER RETENTION

Aadhar Housing Finance strives to provide quality and transparen­t service to its customers. It has dedicated call center (tollfree), which contacts all new customers for feedback as well as responding to queries and complaints. The management of the company as well as the board periodical­ly reviews and enhances customer service.

Says Tripathi: “We measure customer satisfac tion t hrough parameters of c ustomer’s l oyalty to the company, resolution of customer complaints/requests within the TAT with utmost customer satisfacti­on, customer feedback received through calls/emails/branch interactio­ns and customer interactio­ns with branch officials, feedback on social media.”

The company has a dedicated customer retention team which i nteracts with customers and helps them in various areas, including loan closures. The team informs the customers about various offers available and helps the customers to continue with the company. Currently, the company’s average retention ratio is around 13-15%. The company offers general insurance and life insurance products to its customers as an option and these are protection insurance covers to help the customers and their family in case of critical illnesses or any eventualit­y. “So far, the success of customers opting for such products is quite satisfacto­ry,” says Tripathi.

NBFC CRISIS IMPACT

Aadhar Housing Finance has had some impact from the NBFC crisis post September 2018. Says Tripathi: “We slowed down our disburseme­nts during September 2018 to March 2019 to the extent of 40% of the projected disburseme­nts. We managed liquidity through sale of loan pools to banks. The National Housing Bank too supported us through refinance.”

The incrementa­l cost of borrowing during the period had gone up by over 1%, which increased the company’s overall cost of funds by 70 bps.

MARKETING, BRANDING

Aadhar Housing Finance has always believed in conducting low cost, high impact marketing activities using a mix of Above the Line (ATL), Below the Line (BTL) and digital mediums. On the ATL side, the

company has executed its integrated brand campaign ‘Ghar Banega, Toh Desh Banega’ done across India using outdoor hoardings, bus panels, bus shelters, digital and social media and PR. It also did various themebased campaigns throughout the year using print and mobile-based mediums. “We have always put emphasis on innovative and interactiv­e BTL activities, which are done with an objective of creating awareness among the low income segments at our service locations. We follow various formats of these kinds of BTL activities like Aadhar Parichay, Aadhar Paramarsh Shivir, Aadhar Awaas Mela etc,” explains Tripathi.

The company’s maiden NCD public offer in September 2018 was also promoted extensivel­y through outdoor-hoardings, bus-panels and bus shelters, print ads, television ads, digital advertisem­ents, road shows and strategic PR.

Keepi n g i n mind t h e g r o wi n g penetratio­n of internet and smart phone users, the company has significan­t digital and social media presence. Tripathi says the company mainly uses these mediums to create awareness, interact with our target segment and bond with our prospects and customers.”

IMPROVING IT INFRA

Currently, the company does not have online home loan applicatio­n facility. However, it is in the process of upgrading its technology infrastruc­ture. “We have undertaken incrementa­l improvemen­ts in IT infrastruc­ture to enhance applicatio­n performanc­e and high availabili­ty. We are envisaging transforma­tion of key business processes to improve productivi­ty with automation in the coming 12 months. Our overall approach as far as IT is concerned has been to enable the business with anytime anywhere capabiliti­es and ease of doing transactio­ns,” explains Tripathi.

RESTORING CONFIDENCE

Post September 2018, the liquidity squeeze and the NBFC issues have adversely affected the sentiments of the lenders and investors impacting the growth of the NBFCs. Tripathi believes that measures announced in the budget will restore the confidence among investors/ lenders, which will help the NBFCs/ HFCs to get liquidity for their growth. The measures will restore the confidence among the lenders/ investors for the good run NBFCs, particular­ly those which are lending to retail segment and have strong corporate governance, he adds.

The growth for the industry is expected to come back to CAGR of 18-20% over medium term. The demand in lower income segment will continue to remain robust and Tripathi says with budget measures supporting liquidity coupled with less competitio­n, Aadhar will Housing Finance will continue its sustainabl­e quality growth in double digits going forward.

REDUCING NPA

The company’s NPAs on yoy basis remained constant. It closed NPAs in 2017-18 and 2018-19 at 0.58%. Its collection team is divided into two - soft and hard bucket. Tripathi maintains that in the current FY, the company is not only targeting NPAs to be at a lower level but it is reducing overall delinquenc­y. Soft bucket comprises fresh bounce and 1 to 30 dpd (days past due). Hard bucket comprises of 31 to 60 dpd and above. Teams are divided accordingl­y to increase the focus on all the buckets.

PLANS & TARGETS

Aadhar Housing Finance does not plan to expand its branches at present. Tripathi indicates that this year it proposes to grow its AUM at 25%, considerin­g the hangover of liquidity flow problem after March 2019. He expects the liquidity position to be normal in the second half of the year.

 ??  ?? Deo Shankar Tripathi is not only targeting NPAs to be at a lower level but is also reducing overall delinquenc­y
Deo Shankar Tripathi is not only targeting NPAs to be at a lower level but is also reducing overall delinquenc­y
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India