by Prajeet Nair

Muthoot Pappachan Group launches chit business powered by fintech

Jun 03, 2018

Muthoot Pappachan group earlier this month launched chit business in Karnataka towards financial inclusion, which will support features like video conferencing for bidding.n

Muthoot Pappachan Group announced the launch of Muthoot Pappachan chits business in Bengaluru to financially support the MSMEs and bottom-of–the-pyramid people.

Thomas John Muthoot is the third-generation leader of the group with 130 years of legacy in trading and retail. Soon after his graduation he got involved with his father late Muthoot Pappachan, the Founder Chairman of the group. He now holds a rich experience of more than 27 years in all aspects of retail financial services, more particularly in the micro retail lending portfolio.

On the occasion of the launch of their latest business offering in the city, IDG India spoke to Thomas John Muthoot, Chairman and Managing Director, Muthoot Pappachan Group; and Roy John, Vice President of Muthoot Pappachan Chit (India) Pvt. Ltd who shared the company’s plan and agenda of the firm. 

What are your business plans? What is your agenda? Thomas John Muthoot: We aim to reach Rs 1,000 crore of business within the year, we are looking to open more branches in and beyond Karnataka in the coming year. The agenda is to financially empower MSMEs and people at the bottom-of –the-pyramid segments who are already accustomed to the concept of chit especially in the southern region. This we will do maintaining the highest level of ethical standards, best practices, professional integrity, corporate governance and regulatory compliance for the benefit of customers.

There are multiple channels for distribution established such as Agents, Direct sales teams, Corporates, focusing on MSMEs primarily and digital channels. The efforts will be solely directed towards ensuring that the best of services reach the maximum number of consumers in the beginning and then eventually at sustaining these customers.

How is the chit market at the moment? Which sectors are you focusing more?  Thomas John Muthoot: The chits business in India is primarily unorganized. The organized players are few who are dealing with their own as well as policy challenges and changes in this space. The organized market size of Karnataka for chit business is approximately Rs 15,000 crore and Muthoot Pappachan Chits sees itself as one of the major players in the coming years.

We feel that with our experience in the financial business, our deep understanding of the financial instruments space, our lengthy association with the needs and wants of our customers and our commitment to providing them with the right financial products and services, we will deliver effectively and empower their human ambitions. We as a group are guided by our vision to provide the common man with simple and easy financial products, solutions and services, to meet the needs and fulfill their dreams towards tangible and substantial betterment in their lives.

Roy John:  Chits are a popular form of saving and borrowing in Southern India and a very strong source of financial management. With our wealth of expertise in the financial services space, we feel we will bring a lot of value and structure to a space that we currently see as driven primarily by unorganized players.    What kind of technologies are you going to use, to make it more customer friendly?  Roy John: Technology attracts the future market. That is why we used it to accelerate our business. In our online portal you will be able to purchase, pay, and complete statement will be available for the customers. It is currently available in our official website, and we are looking forward for an app launch too.

This product will be customer-friendly and lots of latest technologies are used for the benefit of our customers with proper security features.

We will focus more on online platforms to shop and buy various schemes. The platforms will provide complete details of the product with terms and conditions, and will enable to make payments, check balance and generate statements. Automated onboarding will give a surprisingly hassle-free experience to customers. This eliminates filling up of manual forms/application other than one single pager. Here customers will get auto filled agreements and auto filled forms and challans. 

What are your expansion plans in Karnataka and other states? What kind of chits? Thomas John Muthoot: This is our first office in Karnataka. We are planning to open few more in the state and subsequently we want to expand to neighbouring states and eventually to the rest of the country. Minimum chits will be offered from Rs 2500 to Rs 50,000. Now, customers can also bid from their home or wherever they are. They don’t have to travel all the way; they can bid through video conferencing.