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We speak to Zee Business Icons Of India Hardayal Prasad, MD & CEO, PNB Housing Finance & Arvind Mediratta, MD & CEO, Metro Cash & Carry on innovative thinking and the essence of leadership
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Could you share some examples of innovative thinking by the brand?
The disruptions caused by the pandemic made us strive even greater to add to customer convenience. We have introduced ACE, an innovative digital customer onboarding platform that facilitates easier and safer approval and disbursal of loans with minimal physical contact. This has automated the entire end-to-end loan onboarding process, including data collection and verification, and lead generation through various digital channels. Our technology edge has also helped us in strengthening our sales. With TALISMA, our ERP-integrated customer relationship management software, our teams were able to connect with and serve the customers from the safety of their respective homes during the pandemic. Extended interaction hours, service through non-branch channels, and social media connections have ensured that we remain on the customers top of mind when it is time to service financial needs, enabling us to create a consistent brand experience for our customers.
Our most important interventions have been our efforts at aligning ourselves with the Government of India’s vision of ‘Housing for all’. We not only offer loans to individuals or groups of individuals (co-borrowers), with assured sources of income viz. the salaried, professionals, self-employed, farmers, and our own staff members under our public scheme but also to individuals belonging to the economically weaker section (EWS) and low-income group categories. In fact, we are strengthening our presence in the country’s burgeoning affordable housing segment through our dedicated product, ’Unnati Home Loans’. We are reaching out to the underserved through our network in small towns enriching local economies and community life. Our Unnati home loans have become popular and like our other products, they are backed by our distribution network, underwriting capabilities and customer service. Unnati ensures quick and simple documentation, doorstep assistance to facilitate fast approvals and disbursals.
The essence of leadership in the words of Arvind Mediratta, MD & CEO, Metro Cash & Carry
What is the noteworthy industry development you’ve seen emerge over the last 2 years?
In the last couple of years, there have been many seminal events like Demonetization, GST followed by COVID-19 that has propelled the digital economy. In the era of B2C e-commerce and quick commerce, kiranas have been extremely agile to leapfrog onto this digital bandwagon. We have witnessed smarter adoption of technology among kiranas, which is much higher vis-à-vis two years ago. Kiranas today are spoilt for choice. They have the convenience of ordering from B2B ecommerce platforms like ours and procuring everything under one roof and at competitive price. Stock management is now more efficient as they stock what they need using us as their warehouse. Apart from choosing from a wide array of goods, whether in-store or on our app, there is tremendous time and cost saving, faster fulfilment, and doorstep delivery service within 24 hours.
We are also also helping drive ‘demand’ for kiranas. METRO is empowering these neighbourhood shops with digitalizing, remodeling and modernizing their stores in order to help them improve their revenue and profitability. We are guiding them with efficient utilization of inventory, planogram, data analytics, targeted promotions, and are also facilitating B2C app for their end customers in order to help grow their demand. In addition, we are also providing easy credit facility to help them with their working capital efficiency. Also, with the evolving consumption habits, we are asking the kiranas to stock up new demand categories such as frozen snacks, frozen vegetables, ready-to-cook, organics, etc. which helps enhance their sales.
In essence, with the digital interventions in the past couple of years, we have been providing kiranas the requisite value service, both on the supply and demand side, in order to help them grow their top line, bottom line, and cash flows.
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