Aye Finance, a new-age non-banking finance company, is eyeing 50 per cent loan book growth this fiscal and is confident of returning to black, now that its business activity has returned to pre-pandemic levels, its Managing Director Sanjay Sharma has said.
This Capital G (Google parent Alphabet’s investment arm)-backed fintech, which started its journey in 2014, plans to set up 100 new physical branches in next three months, taking its overall branch network to 411, Sharma told BusinessLine here in an interview.
The new branches will be a pan India rollout and not confined to a particular zone, he added.
Focus on micro enterprises
This Gurugram-headquartered NBFC — primarily focused on supporting micro enterprises —had been making profits since 2016-17 for consecutive years, but fell into red last fiscal, largely owing to write offs resulting from Covid19 related business disruptions for some of its customers.
Sharma said that Aye Finance had closed financial year ended March 2022 with loan book of ₹1,730 crore and is looking to make disbursements of about ₹2,400 crore this fiscal.
“We are in profits in the first quarter this fiscal. We will be again back in black this fiscal. We expect strong loan demand from micro enterprises and small businesses in the upcoming festival session, which will be an inflexion point”, he said.
Asked as to why the NBFC was looking to set up physical branches in the current digital era, Sharma said “our micro enterprise customer is still not comfortable going to a digital marketplace and apply for a loan. Our loan officers at our branches will give an assisted journey to them”.
Sharma said that the main priorities for Aye Finance during this fiscal is growth, employee retention and profitability. “During Covid19 we were an employee centric organisation and we did not ask anyone to leave or cut their salary”, he said, adding that now the firm was facing lot of attrition and flight of talent.
He said that there were delinquency issues, especially among its new customers, but was still not a challenge