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Muthoot Gold Loan@Home, A Successful Covid Safety Initiative
Gold Loan@Home services is gaining significant traction and popularity and from being present in 100+ locations, plans are to expand the service across 5400+ branches in India
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Gold loan is an emergency fund available at low interest, which is useful in any crisis. Hence, gold is an secured asset one can have. During 2020, when it was difficult for people to go out to buy gold, or get a gold loan, Muthoot Finance, one of India's largest gold loan company brought in an initiative called 'Gold Loan@Home'.
The service of gold loan at home that was launched in 2020 during the pandemic to enable their customers who were looking to avail hassle-free gold loan of Rs 1 lakh and above from the comfort and privacy of their homes. The company had launched this fit-for purpose innovation that would help the women borrowers, working class, self-employed and HNI customers to meet their financing requirements without stepping out of their homes.
The average ticket size of loans availed under Gold Loan@Home is Rs 6.5 lakh and currently, about 60-65 per cent of these Loan@Home services are being availed by self-employed people to finance their business requirements.
The company now plans to rapidly expand
their offering of Gold Loan@Home from 100+ locations to across 5400+ pan-India branches. From being present in 100+ locations last year, Gold Loan@Home services are now being offered in all locations in South India and most of the major cities in North India. The plans are to further scale this service across all Muthoot Finance 5400+ branches.
BW Businessworld had a more detailed conversation with Sobhit Bhaskaran, COO-Loan@Home at Muthoot Finance regarding it:
How does the Muthoot Gold Loan@Home work for the consumers?
Muthoot Gold Loan@Home is a story of a Muthoot Finance branch visiting the customer’s home instead of it being the other way around. The consumer is able to avail hassle-free gold loan services available at the branch from the comfort of their homes at their convenient time. They just need to call the toll free number ‘1800 102 1212’ and a trained team of professionals from Muthoot Finance will visit them to check the purity of the gold and disburse the loan amount there and then accordingly.
As the initiative was started during the pandemic, what growth had this plan seen during that time? Was there any customer trust issue?
We launched this initiative in selected towns in the country right at the beginning of the nationwide lockdown owing to COVID-19 in 2020. We observed that there was a surge in credit demand in the country during the pandemic, however, customers had very limited options in front of them. Considering the challenges faced by the customers during the pandemic, Muthoot Finance had launched the Gold Loan@Home service that helped customers monetise their gold ornaments safely without stepping out of their homes. We received an overwhelming response and were quickly accepted by the customers. This led us to open up new serviceable locations at a faster pace than we had planned.
Also, there weren't any insecurity issues that we came across because of the trust we have been able to build over the years for our brand- Muthoot Finance. Muthoot Finance is India’s Most Trusted Financial Services Brand as per Brand Trust Report. We always ensured that the gold handed over by our customers is well-secured. In fact, we offer free insurance for our Gold Loan@Home service and in addition to that, every Muthoot Finance branch is protected by a 7-layer, state-of-the-art safety and security infrastructure to ensure that the customer’s gold is absolutely safe and secure in our insured lockers.
How did the company manage to carry out the initiative during the pandemic?
During the lockdown, the Indian Government had allowed operations for essential services. Therefore, as a financial company, we were allowed to operate both our branches and loan at home facility. We did not face any hindrance in that aspect. However, given the seriousness of the situation, we ensured that we took all precautions for our staff including regular temperature checks, gloves, masks and proper sanitising of all the equipment etc. We reached out to our existing set of customers and informed them about our services through calls/sms and mailers.
What is the estimated time period for accomplishing the plan to expand the service across 5400+ branches in India?
We plan to open up the Loan@home facility at most of the centers in the country by the end of the current financial year.