Piramal Retail Finance, a subsidiary of Piramal Capital and Housing Finance, announced on Thursday that it has entered the used-car financing and wireless unsecured lending markets. The company plans to increase the share of retail loans to around two-thirds of the book, up from 11 percent now, and will also add other loan categories like small business loans and education loans.
The lender is forming alliances with different players in the tech ecosystem. By Q4FY21, Piramal had launched two fintech partnerships: one with ZestMoney in the purchase finance room and another with CARS24 in the used-car financing space. Piramal Retail now provides seven items, including affordable housing loans, mass affluent housing loans, loans against property (LAP), secured small business loans, buy financing, unsecured loans, and used-car loans.
Piramal Retail Finance CEO Jairam Sridharan stated that the company has significantly expanded its product portfolio and is transitioning to a multi-product retail lending strategy rather than a strictly home loan-driven sector. “We want to be among the largest in the retail lending industry in India, but in a responsible and customer-centric way, not inherently motivated by balance-sheet growth intent,” he said.
During FY21, the lender increased its employee base from 500 to about 1,000, with plans to double the number again in the next 12 months. Its presence has expanded to 40 cities, up from 14 in FY21, and it plans to add another ten in the next three months. “The remainder is reliant on the result of one of the inorganic transactions we are anticipating. “We started the year with two products and have grown to seven, with plans to add four more in the next twelve months,” Sridharan explained.
The Piramal group’s total lending book is approximately Rs 45,000 crore, of which Rs 5,000 crore, or 11%, is retail. The antitrust regulator has approved the group’s acquisition of Dewan Housing Finance’s (DHFL) loan book. The book also has a significant retail component and depending on when the transaction occurs and how the accounting is handled, the retail component will expand to the mid-40s, according to Sridharan.