‘Godrej Housing Finance is working towards evolving Zero Touch Loans’

      Comments Off on ‘Godrej Housing Finance is working towards evolving Zero Touch Loans’

Spanning leadership roles in large and diverse organizations, Pankaj Gupta, Chief Business Officer, Godrej Housing Finance, has overall 18.5 years of work experience and 15 years’ experience in Financial Services Industry across banks in both Mortgage assets, unsecured assets, liabilities divisions, insurance and non-banking financial services companies.

Pankaj Gupta, Chief Business Officer, Godrej Housing 3

Pankaj was one of the early team members in Bajaj Finance Ltd and has since spent 11 years with the group. There he launched unsecured SME loans, Salaried Home Loans, Loan against Property, Home Loans for self-employed, salaried personal loans, loans for doctors & Construction Finance. He had started his journey as Regional Manager for Delhi and grew to the position of Business Head – Loan against Property & Lease rental discounting business for Bajaj Housing Finance Ltd.

At Godrej Housing Finance, Pankaj heads the Business Verticals, Product Management, Cross sell & Digital Customer Acquisitions

Recently, in conversation with The Global Realty, Pankaj Gupta, Chief Business Officer, Godrej Housing Finance spoke on various issues including how Godrej Housing Finance is approaching to customer in this prevailing scenario:


Tell me about the prevailing scenario in the housing segment in India’s realty sector.

The primary conditions for homeownership i.e., the property prices and low interest on home loans, continue to hint at the growth prospects as top developers continue to inspire confidence in the buyers to buy and upgrade homes. Additionally, we observe the adoption of digitisation in the sector to meet the growing demands of consumers. We believe these factors have been prime for the realty sector to grow in India. As a testimony to this growth, there has been an overall reduction in the unsold inventory across the country. In the last month itself, there has been an increased number of registrations in cities such as Mumbai.

How is Godrej Housing Finance performing in the housing market?

At Godrej Housing Finance, we aim at being fair, fast and flexible through our products and services. We are working closely with top property developers in cities including Mumbai, Pune, Delhi NCR, Bangalore and Ahmedabad to provide home loans to their customers. To cater to this demand, we launched innovative products such as ‘Design Your EMI’ which allows the customer to choose the amount of EMI that can be paid by the customer. This product has had a lot of positive feedback from both, the customers and developers.

We also offer innovation and flexibility in services – allowing customers to choose as to how they wish to make their OCR payments. In short, we are continuously working towards enabling desired homeownership for our customers.

What are the trends you are foreseeing in the housing sector post the second wave of Covid-19?

The last few quarters has resulted in emergence of trends that we foresee outlasting the pandemic itself. First is as we call it the ‘rent vs. buy sentiment’. As people adapted to change (remote working) as well as job security, the need for owning own space or a larger space regained paramount importance. Now consumers want to steer away from rentals, which adds onto their sunk-cost, and prefer to build permanent assets.

This sentiment has been fuelled by the conditions of affordability in the market, the prevailing lower rate of interest and the general bounce back in the economy. The second trend we observe is the need for digitisation of the home loan process. Providers, to remain relevant to consumers, are now adopting new ways to shift all the touchpoints in the loan process, from customer on boarding to last-mile service delivery, to become completely contactless.

Today, what kind of customer experience people are getting while looking to finance their new home?

In the last few months, a key shift has been the demand for a low-touch digital process for home loans by consumers. Post the first wave, the shift from the physical world to virtual world was a bit distorted as many players in the industry were not completely ready to source, counsel and service the buyers digitally. In contrast, now most participants in this market have streamlined their processes. They are now able to offer end-to-end processing with online verifications and eSign built in for consumer convenience. In fact, Godrej Housing Finance addressed the challenges faced by consumers in the last few months and launched Zero Touch Loans for disbursing loans where no face-to-face interaction with the client is needed.

What importance does digitalization play for an organization like Godrej Housing Finance?

We are digitally-enabled organization that has adopted a digital-first approach to benefit the customer rather than to accessorize our business. We have swapped technology in the home loan journey to offer what customers want: a hassle-free home financing experience. Our business leveraged technical integration with third-party partners to enable smooth operations in acquisition, authentication, and analytics. Furthermore, our open API architecture powered end-to-end digital application, providing a better post-disbursal process. In short, each leg of the loan process was swapped with appropriate digitisation such as video discussions, online KYC, paper-less sanctions, and loan disbursals using e-signatures.

For example, our Instant Sanction digital process is a quick, contemporary, and best-in-class experience. Through this, a customer can get their eligibility and an instant sanction through a quick 5-step process. This is a departure from the traditional physical process where the customer would have to submit the requested documentation and await confirmation on loan eligibility from the lending institution. This service innovation has accelerated the process of understanding loan eligibility limits and, thereby, the home buying decision.

What are the digital innovations that Godrej Housing Finance has brought into the housing finance segment?

We at Godrej have adopted the digital-first approach and customer centricity is core of our business. In alignment to this, we launched ‘Zero Touch Home Loans’ and ‘Verified Sanction Journey’, and we would like to further enhance these to allow our top customers a final sanction within hours. We have also launched WhatsApp Bot for our Sales Team members that can help get them status updates on the go and keep the Customers and Channels informed. We have developed a live Channel Onboarding Portal, are extensively using eSign and other available digital platforms to cut down on the overall processing time and these initiatives would continue to evolve.

What are the future plans of your company in terms of enhancing the customer experience?

Pankaj Gupta: Customer Experience plays a crucial part at Godrej Housing Finance. In fact, it is a key metric driven by each function. On the services end, we are working towards evolving Zero Touch Loans which would enable home loan sanction within hours. Simultaneously, we are working on innovations that offer customers a convenient home financing experience. These innovations include digital journeys for self-employed customers, addition of features on customer portal, eKYC and eSigns, etc. For Channels and Developers we are working on an engagement portal which would provide them with updates on the cases of their customers, new product launches and ability to get back to us quickly with any feedback or requirement.