Consumer loan firms find festive cheer

Online players see stronger growth this season; electronic firms too say any lull is temporary

Consumption demand during this festive season doesn’t seem to have taken a hit, according to online consumption loan providers and aggregators, who said that they had in fact witnessed stronger growth this year than last year.

Even electronics companies like LG have said that they have witnessed a stronger growth this festive season, and that any perceived lull in consumption demand is temporary.

“We were clocking about 15 million visits per quarter when Amazon led the Series C funding,” Adil Shetty, co-founder of BankBazaar told The Hindu. “In the last quarter (June to September), we scaled that up to 50 million visits.”

‘Highest-ever demand’

“Broadly, we are seeing the highest-ever demand digitally on our platform,” Mr. Shetty added. “Compared to last Diwali, we are seeing a significant upsurge in terms of what is happening digitally. This month, in October, we will breach 20 million hits per month on our website, the first time this will happen.”

This growth, however, could be driven by offline loan customers moving online for their financing needs.

“If anything, this has been a fantastic year, especially for the digital players,” Aditya Kumar, founder and CEO of Qbera.com said. “This could be a function of offline business moving online. But in terms of absolute numbers, we have been seeing loans spiking in the first 15 days of this month, despite the fact that Diwali has come extremely early this year. I don’t think there is any reason for us to believe that there is any sort of dip in customer sentiment. At least, not yet.”

Mr. Kumar said that Qbera had seen a 25-30% jump in loan applications during the festive season over the same period of the previous year. “We do see a huge spike in customers looking for home improvement, people looking to buy furniture and renovate their homes, and for travel purposes also,” he said.

This festive surge in consumer demand has not been restricted to online loan providers, either. LG Electronics India, for example, said it has witnessed a sharply higher growth rate in sales this festive season compared the last year.

“The festivities in the country begin from Onam in the south,” Amit Gujral, Marketing and Product Head for LG India said. “This Onam, we have seen a 30% increase over last year, and then Ganesh Chaturti, Durga Puja, Dusshera, we again clocked 27% growth. So we are seeing a contradictory trend to what everyone is talking about.”

The growth rate witnessed last year in the same period was in the single digits, Mr Gujral said.

There is a fundamental thing we have to appreciate,” Mr Gujral added. “GST and demonetisation were one-time events and won’t happen again and again. This dip in consumer demand that people are talking about is something that is very temporary.”

Advertisements