‘Q1 is a cautious phase as customers are on wait-and-watch mode’

Surabhi Mumbai | Updated on April 27, 2021

Spurt in demand after mid-May if infections come under control, says Ramesh Iyer, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, Mahindra Finance

The first quarter of the fiscal year 2021-22 will be a cautious phase with customers on a wait-and-watch mode amid localised lockdowns and surging Covid-19 cases, believes Ramesh Iyer, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, Mahindra Finance.

“Customers have money but they want to wait for a month to see how things pan out. Up to mid-May one would be on the wait-and-watch situation and if things were to come under control, there would be a sudden spurt of demand. The pent-up demand will get capitalised. Customers are not averse to buying but they want to wait for some time,” he said.

In an interaction with BusinessLine, Iyer said he expects growth in segments like vehicle sales to revive in coming quarters.

“Going forward, trend will be a growth curve but it may not be the first quarter. At least April and May will not be so. Last one week has been tough. We will have to wait till May 15,” he said, adding that the festival season, post-monsoon, would see a substantial growth potential.

In terms of disbursements, Iyer said Mahindra Finance will focus on areas which are less impacted by Covid infections.

“We have mapped across the country pockets which are least, moderately and severely impacted. So, in the severely impacted pockets, we will focus on collection efficiency and asset quality while the least and moderately impacted ones will be an opportunity for us,” he said.

The NBFC has also added about 150 branches in the last quarter and it is mapped on the basis of new economic activity and agri support in the current scenario.

“We said it even last year that when there are unknowns around, it is better to be cautious and finance people who genuinely want to use the vehicle and not use it as an opportunity. In difficult times, they can’t survive. We need experienced operators,” Iyer said.

However, in terms of collection efficiency, the fourth quarter of 2020-21 was even better than the fourth quarter of 2019-20 for Mahindra Finance. Collection efficiency was at 110 per cent.

Published on April 27, 2021

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