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Technology And Digitization Have Emerged As Powerful Drivers For Transforming Business Processes: HP Singh, Satin CreditCare

In an exclusive interview with BW Businessworld, HP Singh MD & Chairman, Satin CreditCare spoke about the company and more.

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What led to the founding of Satin Creditcare? What gap were you looking to fill and have you been successful so far?

Satin Creditcare was founded on the principle to build a difference to impact the lives of the socially, economically weaker and less privileged population of our country. It is about that degree of difference which makes us construct a distinction across every aspect of our business value chain to impact the lives of those excluded masses while creating an ecosystem of value-led growth for each of our stakeholders. We have impacted almost 35 lakh people across India with presence in 22 states. Satin is making a meaningful, long-term and solid difference. Satin is focused on changing the way India looks at the monetary needs of the millions whose lives are inevitably linked with the future of the nation. 

Tell us a bit about the JLG model of operations that you follow. How do you execute this seamlessly and how has this model benefitted you?

Our business is based primarily on the Joint Liability Group model which enables us to offer collateral-free, microcredit facilities to economically active women in rural, semi-urban and urban areas, who otherwise have limited access to mainstream financial service providers. Our technologically advanced systems have been able to exploit the enormous opportunity of reaching out to 35 lakh low-income adult women across Indian states. 

How do you manage portfolio quality? 

To maintain a portfolio quality we have taken various measures. Psychometrics has reduced risk on customers with negative intentions and has made customers filtration process more scientific and transparent. More than 1 lakh customers tested during credit appraisal before disbursement. This results in reduced risk on customers with negative intentions.  Satin has implemented cashless disbursement across 100 per cent branches. The geo-tagging of branches, centres and customers is aimed at mitigating a huge risk of customer identification and reach.

At an industry level, do you think the worst is behind us when it comes to NBFCs? How do you see the industry shaping up over the next couple of years?

The (slowdown) impact has not reached to this segment. However, my sense is that the government and the Reserve Bank are addressing the issue and taking corrective steps to put the economy back on track. For instance, the apex bank has tweaked the norms for priority sector lending.

As per the revised rules, on-lending limit by non-bank financiers to the housing sector and micro and small enterprises has been raised to Rs 20 lakhs from the earlier Rs 10 lakhs. Also, the government is offering Rs 1 trillion partial guarantees to state-run banks buying high rated pooled assets of robust non-bank financiers.

Tell us a bit about the core values of your business. How do you ensure that these values are drilled down across the layers in your system, and are not just lip service?

At SCNL, values are the bedrock of our business culture and a key driver of our differential approach. They lend us the cutting edge to make a difference in the lives of all our stakeholders. 

Our core values steer us towards the realisation of our vision to become the ultimate leader in our business. These values are pillared on a strong focus on seeking excellence, accountability and ownership, teamwork and collaboration and integrity while inspiring us to nurture lives, in many different ways. 

How have you leveraged technology in recent times, to improve the quality of your portfolio as well as profitability? Do share an example, if possible.

At SCNL, technology and digitization have emerged as powerful drivers for transforming business processes, enabling internal/external stakeholders with insightful information at the right time in order to make informed decisions, creating competitive advantages and elevating the consumer experience. We are focused on taking robust digital technology to the last mile as a strategic initiative. The aim is to overcome the challenges of intense and growing competition, besides increasing productivity and reducing margins. This is achieved by creating a unique competitive advantage to boost profitability. Business transformation through digitization has powered a major leap in our journey to maximize our reach to the financially excluded population at the bottom of the pyramid and help them enhance their livelihood. For example, our psychometric test implementation has enabled customer tests, and made customers filtration process more scientific and transparent, without any human intervention. This results in reduced risk on customers with negative intentions.

Lastly, do tell us about some of your business goals for the next fiscal.

We are looking at 20-25 per cent growth in AUM on a consolidated basis. We are diversifying our secure lending with our Housing, Loan Dost (Digital Lending) and MSME subsidiaries.