VP, Head- Collection
Mahindra Finance (MMFSL), has always taken pride in being an important catalyst in the transformational journeys of millions of its customers, in semi-urban and rural parts of the country. It has done so by making finance accessible to customers who otherwise did not have access to formal sources of finance.
Another key factor that has contributed to the success of the organisation over the years is that the organisation has instilled in its employees, the 'Vision to Partner'. We don't just take care of our customers' financial requirements, but we also play the role of a close friend and an advisor in their life journey. For us the customer is not an external entity, they are our extended family. Our customers are aware of this, and given our deep reach in the rural belt, when it comes to financial requirements, Mahindra Finance becomes their default choice.
However, our outreach isn't limited to the rural belts. For example, people migrating to metros from rural India always face a challenge of finding a financier since they stay in rented accommodations. Our motto has always been, financing a customer based on his earning potential, and not just relying on documents. This strength of Mahindra Finance is one of the key reasons behind becoming the sought-after financier for Uber and Ola Taxi Drivers.
One of these days, I had the pleasure of hearing one such success story from an Uber driver while travelling in Mumbai. This driver who hailed from a remote village in India had come to Mumbai in search of livelihood and the only skill he knew was driving. Through his contacts, he came to know about Mahindra Finance, and soon enough he became a proud owner of his own car, financed by us. Since then, his earnings have increased multifold. For us, he is an unpaid brand ambassador without any doubt.
I must add here that, we are always inclined to finance those who have the right intention and genuine need. Even in case of unexpected business or family emergencies, our special product ‘Manthan’ comes to the rescue. Through this product, we give our existing customers a fresh loan based on a set criteria. This benefits them directly by taking care of their additional financial requirements, without missing their current instalments. The indirect benefit is that their CIBIL score is not impacted which secures their future loan requirements.
On the onset of the Pandemic, one of the most impacted segments of migrant customers was Ola and Uber drivers. Their income dwindled down to a bare minimum and they were forced to go back to their villages. At this juncture, we discussed the plight of the drivers with Uber and ensured that they were paid a sum of 3K monthly during the lockdown for their livelihood. Second, when the Government announced a moratorium in the month of March 2020, it helped them in the initial 5-6 months. Post-October 2020, when they started coming back to the cities, they were still facing difficulties in managing their finances due to the imposed restrictions. We, at Mahindra Finance, did not forcefully repossess their vehicles. Instead, we collaborated with Ola and Uber to take details of their capacity utilisation – whether it was, say 50% or 80%. Basically, this was done to understand their earning and accordingly provide support in managing their instalment payments and other requirements by collecting our instalments based on the aforesaid capacity utilisation.
In Pune, one of the family members of our Uber customer tested Covid positive. When it came to our executive's notice, he used his contacts and ensured that the family member received proper treatment. The customer’s family warmly appreciated this gesture.
In another situation, when our team came across an Uber car financed by us being used by a third party, they immediately repossessed the vehicle. Post this we got a call from an Uber driver, who was our actual customer, saying that he has returned to his native place in a village near Lucknow. He requested for release of the vehicle by collecting a part of the instalment amount. Our executive immediately took an approval from the seniors, advised his counterpart in Lucknow to contact the customer regarding the payment , and the vehicle was immediately released.
We, as an organisation, have always been proud of transforming the lives of our rural customers by being a partner and catering to their needs and requirements. We have always insisted that our field teams are imbibed with quality training to ensure that they show compassion and at the same time make sure that the organisation’s requirements and business needs are taken care of.