For long, the non-banking financial sector in India has been battling dark days with the sector facing a liquidity crisis. This week, in our column ‘Deep Dive’, we spoke to Tata Capital, the financial services arm of the $100 billion Tata Group to understand how NBFC major is deploying emerging technologies to drive growth and create differentiation.
We spoke to Abonty Banerjee, Chief Marketing and Digital Officer at Tata Capital who was roped in to lead the digital transformation and put the NBFC giant into top gear. Banerjee comes with 18 years of experience with stints at ICICI Bank where she worked as Senior General Manager and Head, Digital Channels. Banerjee has been tasked with scaling the business, bringing in innovation, create differentiation and drive real value for our stakeholders. Since her appointment, the NBFC major has carried out a series of campaigns on the marketing front -- for example, unveiling a series of campaigns (TVC and social media) to expand the user base and connect with the younger generation, especially the millennials.
In a bid to pivot to a technology-led organisation, Tata Capital is now leveraging digitisation to create simpler processes, minimise documentation and strengthen the customer delivery systems. “The aim is to provide customers with an experience which is seamless, easy and quick to access our products and services,” said Banerjee. To strengthen its position in the ecosystem, the NBFC major has built partnerships with FinTech companies like Nikki.ai, Jubi and CreditVidya.
Capitalising on the chatbot wave, Tata Capital recently unveiled TIA– first-of-its-kind voice bot within the Tata Capital mobile app for personal loans. Powered by artificial intelligence, TIA is designed to voice-assist a customer’s personal loan journey, check loan eligibility and help the customer through the loan approval process.
Talking about the objective of launching a chatbot, she said, “The objective is to create a whole new conversational experience for customers using speech recognition technology, natural language understanding and text-to-speech technology.”
Over the last few years, voice assistants have seen exponential growth in India with leading banks being the first adopters. With TIA, Tata Capitals aims to drive a pioneering change in the loan approval journey by making the customer experience smarter and quicker. We are confident our new voice assisted service offering will see rapid adoption given its ease of usage and ability to simplify the loan approval journey.
Upping the game by reimagining customer engagement
At Tata Capital, the objective is to create a scale for business across its digital platforms. Keeping in line with this mandate, Banerjee is revamping several customer-facing channels like portals, web, mobile to provide a seamless user experience. “The aim is to create a truly differentiated customer journey and build more customer friendly channels,” she said. Citing an example, she shared that self-service channels at Tata Capital are those digital avenues wherein customers can generate a statement of account or know about overdue EMI’s and other such services seamlessly by logging into the customer portal. The company is also doubling down on the process of creating an information architecture through which the data required to enable such services will be made available on a real-time basis.
AI Implementation At Tata Capital
At a time when enterprises are heavily investing in AI and companies are moving beyond prototyping to productionising technology, Banerjee believes AI has come a long way and it will pave the way for massive automation in the field of marketing. “The real deal is to make AI solve real problems and bring efficiency to business,” she said.
Currently, analytics is being used for credit decisions testing risk-based models for pricing. The other areas where we analytics is used in Tata Capital are:
- Pre-approved loan offers
- Customer propensity models
- Customer acquisition and also in our collection processes
Digital channels have played a pivotal role in onboarding customers. Tata Capital has been exhibiting robust business growth across its digital platforms, for example, in January, Tata Capital on-boarded more than 40% channel finance customers through the digital platform. Talking about their other offering, Sales Invoice Discounting, post the launch of SID, around 23% of customers were on-boarded through the digital platform. SID gives out loans for a ticket size of up to ₹5 crore with an average ticket size of ₹1.5 crore.
On the agenda for 2019 is building a structure that can serve customers, vendors, shareholders, dealers of the Tata Group companies. “As of today, the Tata Group has over 100 companies with over seven lakh employees. This is a huge Tata ecosystem which brings in a huge opportunity for growth and we are working towards integrating Tata Capital within this ecosystem,” said Banerjee.
On the other end of the spectrum, the NBFC firm is re-strategising to position itself as a brand for millennials and is consciously building a strong connect via digital campaigns which have struck a chord with this demographic.
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Richa Bhatia is a seasoned journalist with six-years experience in reportage and news coverage and has had stints at Times of India and The Indian Express. She is an avid reader, mum to a feisty two-year-old and loves writing about the next-gen technology that is shaping our world.