Now, aspirants to offbeat courses get a lending hand

K Ram Kumar Satyanarayan Iyer Mumbai | Updated on March 31, 2014

Neeraj Saxena, CEO, Avanse Financial Services

Avanse Financial has been offering loans for courses that banks don’t

Want a loan to pursue interests as varied as “image consulting”, music, photography or a short-term job-oriented software course?

While banks may balk at such requests as the courses may not be eligible under the Indian Banks’ Association’s model education loan scheme, non-banking finance company Avanse Financial Services has no qualms about offering such loans.

Besides catering to the demand for education loans from those who qualified for B-Schools and post-graduate courses (both in India and abroad) and undergraduate courses, the one-year-old company is finding takers for these offbeat courses. According to Neeraj Saxena, CEO, Avanse, “NBFCs are not subject to the kind of guidelines and regulations that banks are subject to.

“We don’t have any constraints when it comes to funding courses. Wherever we see the potential that a candidate is well placed in terms of getting a job or he will prosper in his career after completing a course, we will fund him.”

Funding offbeat courses

Given that there is lot of emphasis among corporates to groom their senior management officials, “image consulting” courses help one become a corporate coach/trainer, explained Saxena.

A senior Avanse official said: “Today, organisations, among others, expect their senior management to behave/talk in a particular way, be it in office or in social gatherings, and also have good interpersonal skills. The new breed of image consultants groom, mould and polish their personality.”

Saxena pointed out that a DJ (Disc Jockey), who was earning more than ₹1 lakh a month, approached his company for a loan to pursue a music course in the US costing ₹50 lakh. Avanse is not averse to supporting such a borrower whose career will get a boost, he added.

“We go by the potential of the college/institute in terms of enhancing the capabilities of the student to get a job. If this potential is there, then we don’t bother if the course is approved or not. That is the difference between us and banks,” said Saxena.

Avanse does not have an upper limit on the amount of education loan it can give. Saxena said his company also finances Indian students who want to pursue a four-year undergraduate programme in the US costing as much as ₹1.4 crore.

The education loan company, in which Dewan Housing Finance Ltd and IFC, Washington, hold 48.5 per cent and 20 per cent stake, respectively, expects to close the current financial year with disbursements of ₹60 crore.

Published on March 31, 2014

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