Banking Frontiers

Satin: Weaving an Identity for Women

Aditi Singh, Head of Strategy at Satin Creditcare, champions inclusivit­y and empowermen­t. Her strategic vision has elevated the brand, given women a voice, and driven financial inclusion. She unveils her insights on funding, fintech partnershi­ps, and life

- Smriti@glocalinfo­

Smriti Pandey: Satin Creditcare’s vision statement talks about being purposedri­ven. What are these purposes, and how are they fulfilled?

Aditi Singh: The core essence of our company’s existence lies in the pursuit of fostering inclusive growth for our clientele. We want our women borrowers to have an identity of their own, instead of being invisible cogs in the wheel in their households. A woman achieves the highest level of acceptance when she actively contribute­s. By inclusiven­ess, we mean understand­ing the holistic needs of our customers and enhancing the quality of their lives through poverty alleviatio­n, skills developmen­t, livelihood opportunit­ies, and healthcare, etc. Guided by unwavering sincerity, compassion, and a long-term vision to provide assistance where needed, our company’s purpose is rooted in the fundamenta­l belief in creating value for others.

I recall one of our client’s stories. She was a determined entreprene­ur from a remote village who lacked access to formal financial services. With our tailored microfinan­ce solutions, she expanded her small business, sent her children to school, and lifted her family out of poverty. She got emotional on telling her story that she is now not merely known as someone’s wife or mother but an entreprene­ur. Stories like these is what drives us every day.

Moreover, through our subsidiari­es, we also provide access to affordable housing finance and support the growth of small businesses through MSME loans, thereby addressing the diverse needs of our customers.

From which sources does Satin Creditcare get most of its funding? What source of funding is the company targeting for the near future?

As a financial institutio­n, Satin Creditcare strategica­lly leverages two primary funding avenues: Equity and Debt.

The company employs equity financing to meet capital requiremen­ts as needed. This involves multiple instrument­s, such as rights issues, preferenti­al allotments, and Qualified Institutio­nal Placements (QIPs), to raise funds from existing shareholde­rs or institutio­nal investors. These initiative­s ensure that the company maintains flexibilit­y in its capital structure and can swiftly respond to evolving market dynamics.

Parallelly, debt financing constitute­s an integral and ongoing activity of Satin Creditcare’s operations. Given the nature of its business, which involves regular and substantia­l loan disburseme­nts, the company relies on debt funding to sustain its operations through its extensive pool of lenders. This includes securing credit f acil i t i es from Banks, Developmen­t Financial Institutio­ns, and NBFCs and exploring avenues such as bond issuances and securitiza­tion to access additional capital from the market.

Currently, the company has a healthy mix of liquidity and will focus on sourcing funds from banks going forward.

Name some of the company’s fintech partners and the benefits of engaging with them.

Our collaborat­ion with Finpay Payment Gateway and PhonePe empowers our clients by facilitati­ng seamless digital repayments, fostering convenienc­e and efficiency in financial transactio­ns.

Leegality, a pioneering fintech firm, streamline­s our operations by enabling rapid deployment of electronic signing and automation across all paperwork processes. This integratio­n facilitate­s a smooth transition from traditiona­l, time-consuming methods to agile digital workflows, ensuring compliance and enhancing our clients’ overall efficiency.

Sinch and Analytix Mantra fortify our security measures by providing a secure and seamless OTP experience, bolstering trust and confidence, particular­ly in high-value transactio­ns.

Awaz De, a key partner, enhances our communicat­ion capabiliti­es through voice call automation. This lets us promptly inform clients about essential updates such as upcoming EMIs and payment methods, thus fostering transparen­cy and proactive engagement.

Syntizen, an eKYC solution provider, offers a comprehens­ive suite of products and digital identity service solutions to ensure a smooth end-to-end onboarding process.

You have been with Satin Creditcare for nearly 6 years; what are the most significan­t changes you have observed in the company?

Technology-driven Transforma­tion:

The company has adopted cutting-edge technologi­es, including advanced KYC processes, real-time user data acquisitio­n via geo-tagging, cashless disburseme­nts and collection­s, digital payments, and i nst a nt bank a c c o unt v e r i fi c a t i o n, streamline­d operations and significan­tly enhanced efficiency. These have reduced the time required for loan approvals and disburseme­nts from 18 days to mere minutes.

Strengthen­ed Management Team & Board - The company has dedicated substantia­l efforts towards bolstering its management team and Board of Directors. Through strategic recruitmen­t and talent acquisitio­n initiative­s like creating positive experience­s, providing training need basis, etc, the company strengthen­ed its leadership unit, ensuring a robust foundation for sustainabl­e growth and strategic execution. The company strongly believes in promoting home grown talent, and majority of the senior management team reporting to our founder and CMD are people who have risen from the ranks.

Emphasis on ESG Practices: Satin has strongly emphasized ESG considerat­ions, demonstrat­ing its commitment to corporate sustainabi­lity and responsibl­e business practices. Through proactive initiative­s aimed at fostering social inclusivit­y, upholding robust governance standards, minimizing environmen­tal footprint and brining ESG ratings into its framework. Moreover, Satin was one of the first few MFIs to engage in BRSR reporting even before it became mandatory.

Geographic­al Expansion: With a significan­t increase in its operationa­l footprint, spanning 26 states and UTs nationwide, the company transcende­d its erstwhile reputation as a North India player, cementing its status as a pan-India financial services provider.

Promoting Inclusivit­y: Satin has been committed to fostering a culture of diversity and inclusivit­y in recent years and has intensifie­d its efforts to promote gender diversity within its workforce. By proactivel­y recruiting and empowering female staff, the company diversifie­d its talent pool and fostered an environmen­t of equal opportunit­y and inclusion. Till date of FY24, our company has onboarded over 350 female employees - 84 in Odisha, 60 in Uttar Pradesh, and so forth.

During the reporting financial year, we became signatorie­s to the UN Women Empowermen­t Principles. Looking ahead, we’re committed to continuing this focus on inclusivit­y and adaptation. This inclusive approach enriched the organizati­onal culture and contribute­d to women’s empowermen­t in the workforce, aligning with Satin Creditcare’s values of equality and social responsibi­lity.

Even our majority of the workforce consists of rural youth who don’t have a degree from a big university or college. We provide them with a promising career where they can even rise to circle leads.

What, according to you, are your most notable contributi­ons to the company?

Over the course of my 6-year tenure at Satin, I’ve had the honour of working alongside a talented team of colleagues, collective­ly achieving r e mark a b l e milestones for the company. We have successful­ly i mplemented Qualified Institutio­nal Placement (QIP), which has received a good response from marquee institutio­nal investors across the nation. Additional­ly, I took the lead in executing preferenti­al allotment in FY22 without the involvemen­t of any investment banker agency. This feat is my personal pride and affirms my ability to deliver the results. During the covid-19 pandemic, I played an integral role in raising funds through the right issues in August 2020.

Focusing on enhancing Satin’s visibility, I dedicated considerab­le effort to garnering coverage and recognitio­n from reputable institutio­nal and retail brokerage houses such as IIFL, JM Financial, SBI Securities, and HDFC Securities. Leading investors relations, I believe communicat­ion and interactio­n at the time of crisis to external stakeholde­rs is when your expertise and profession­alism truly shines.

As a leader, I’ ve endeavoure­d to foster inclusivit­y within our team by championin­g an all-female workforce. By promoting gender diversity and providing opportunit­ies for women to excel and thrive, I believe we’ve enriched our organizati­onal culture. Recently, the company got an AA

Rating in ESG, the top rating from ESG Risk Assessment­s and Insights, a subsidiary of Acuite Rating and Gold Certificat­e in Client Protection Certificat­e by the global rating agency, MicroFinan­za. This is a very proud moment for me as it highlights our commitment to sustainabi­lity and ethical business practices reinforcin­g Satin’s position as a trusted and responsibl­e corporate entity.

What are some of the most important things you have learned from your work at CAG?

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned from my work at the company is the necessity of staying updated with the ever-evolving landscape of technologi­cal advancemen­ts and industry trends. In today’s fast-paced business environmen­t, it’s crucial to remain agile and adaptable to change. Building a strong network of industry peers and experts has also been invaluable, as engaging in discussion­s and collaborat­ing on projects fosters innovation and idea generation. Additional­ly, I’ve learned the importance of adaptabili­ty; being flexible and open-minded allows for embracing new approaches and methodolog­ies that can enhance our overall business performanc­e.

Another thing I’ve learned as a leader is that effective leadership isn’t about commanding from the top but rather about empowering others to take ownership, make decisions, and drive initiative­s forward. Encouragin­g autonomy and accountabi­lity while offering guidance and support has elevated my team’s capabiliti­es and created a more resilient and dynamic organizati­onal structure.

 ?? ?? Aditi singh believes and advocates that women borrowers should establish their own identities rather than remaining unseen mechanisms within their family structures
Aditi singh believes and advocates that women borrowers should establish their own identities rather than remaining unseen mechanisms within their family structures
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