In an era where competition is paramount in every industry the Darwinian theory of survival of the fittest is more true than ever before. Winning hearts while being successful is never easy, but, Mahindra and Mahindra Financial Services Limited has shown supreme skill in achieving this. Backed by a brand name that is well respected in the country they have managed to create their own identity in a span of two decades.
Two decades ago, Mahindra and Mahindra Financial Services Limited (MMFSL) commenced its journey in the rural non-banking finance industry. And with that was born a vision to transform rural and semi-urban India into a self-reliant, flourishing landscape. Since then, they have come a long way, empowering millions of ambitious individuals with personalised finance for a wide range of vehicles, home development requirements and many other diverse endeavours – all to help them live their dreams and Rise in life. In two decades the brand has transformed more than 25,00,000 rural and semi-urban lives by providing them loans that help them to earn more.
Most of their customers belong to low income groups, outside the ambit of formal financial systems, and over 60% of them are first time borrowers. To cater to customers spread over 5000 towns and more than 170,000 villages, MMFSL has a nationwide network of over 650 offices and a dedicated workforce of around 13,000 employees. A unique business model exists, one which is based on foundation of social inclusiveness. With a presence of over two decades in the industry, MMFSL has gathered a comprehensive understanding of the rural and semi-urban markets. This knowledge enables them to devise products and services according to the specific needs of their customers.
They partner with their customers in fulfilling their dreams and provide them dignified livelihoods. Deep market knowledge, local connect through their employees and its large customer base are the brands USP. By speedily responding to the continuously changing needs and expectations of their customers in a courteous and effective manner, the brand has won many hearts for its services and this has enabled them to garner a lot of trust amongst their customers. At MMFSL, the focus lies on quality which enables the brand to deliver value for money for their customers.
At MMFSL they market the brand and communicate with the target group using the mediums of Television, Print and Point of Sale (PoS) materials. The advertisements are in local languages of the target group which helps in easily connecting with the audience and builds recall for communication. Advertising campaigns are yet another medium for the brand to express their commitment to the values and beliefs that they hold close to their heart. In addition to the campaigns, various marketing efforts are carried out throughout the year. They also build customer engagement through local events, Direct Marketing initiatives and other Below the Line (BTL) activities. This helps in building a bond with the existing customers and attracts the target group towards Mahindra Finance.
As a brand MMFSL have been very innovative and have always thought out of the box. The seeds of innovation were sowed in their growth story with their venture into rural India at a time when other companies did not consider it conducive to enter those markets. While most of the other financial organisations assess an individual’s credit worthiness through their past records, it wasn’t possible for them to do the same for their target customers. So instead of evaluating the current credit worthiness of a prospective customer they started assessing the income that a borrower can generate through the assets financed. The organisation was innovative in the area of collections mode as well. More than 50% of their collections happen in cash. The executives go to the customer’s doorstep to collect money. There are huge risks associated with this process. So as far as such transactions are concerned, today by using Biz- Con technology (Handheld devices), MMFSL is able to transact business and collect payments even in the remotest of terrains where penetration of financial tools was negligible. This reduces risks associated with cash collections. This innovation has given them an opportunity to reach an even wider customer base. They recently launched their mobile site m.mahindrafinance.com making them one of the few NBFCs that is available on a mobile platform. The mobile site is compatible with feature phones and smart phones.
The brand believes that its values are influenced by their past, tempered by their present, and will shape their future. This creates an amalgam of what they are and what they want to be. The organisation believes in Empowering Potential and Transforming Rural Lives. Mahindra Finance ensures transparency and integrity in all transactions. The focus lies on Speed and Flexibility in product design. The products are tailored to the customers’ requirements. By filling the need gap in under-banked locations and among segments not having access to credit they have been successful in winning their customers trust in their products.