DHFL, when it is integrated in the group, will be part of the retail lending arm and the name of the firm would likely be changed.
“Our business will be very mortgage heavy when DHFL
comes. So we are launching the non-mortgage products now so that we can cross-sell them effectively,” said Sridharan in an interaction with the media. The DHFL
acquisition is pending clearance by the Insolvency courts.
Sridharan said news popping out about frauds in DHFL
is nothing new, and haS been flagged already by the forensic audit done by Grant Thornton.
“We have no anxieties and concerns on that front. Whatever new reports of fraud are coming out in media have actually been found and flagged already. There is no new surprise on that front,” Sridharan said.
Piramal Retail has partnered with fintech companies such as CARS24, ZestMoney and Indian Mortgage Guarantee Corporation to expand its business. It doubled its employee base from 500 to 1,000 in FY21, and will double it again in FY22. By June, it will be present in 64 locations. The firm plans Rs 3,000 cr of new loan originations organically in the next 12 months, in addition to inorganic growth.
The target group is people in mid-tier cities, which is about 1,000 cities. It will do both secured and unsecured cash flow-based lending and will bank heavily on artificial intelligence and machine learning to come to a centralized lending decision.
Sridharan said while other firms have suffered setbacks in the segments that Piramal plans to expand its business, it is the best time to enter.
“This is the rock bottom, and we sense a great opportunity now as others are vacating. From a new business perspective, entering when the the situation is bad is always better than entering when everything looks good and underwriting standards get compromised and there is intense competition,” Sridharan said.
The asset quality pressure will continue for some more time for the firm and the industry, but it is better than the third quarter. The asset quality health has not reached the pre-pandemic level but the second surge could put a spanner if it continues for one or two more months, he said.
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