Money & Banking

UAE Exchange to expand NBFC biz under new brand name Unimoni

P Manoj Mumbai | Updated on June 20, 2018

Amit Saxena , Managing Director and CEO, Unimoni

Aims to achieve a loan book of ₹1,500 crore by the end of FY19



Remittances and money exchange firm UAE Exchange & Financial Services is expanding its portfolio by offering small business loans, affordable housing loans and consumer loans that cover the entire gamut of retail lending business.

UAE Exchange’s current loan book of ₹700 crore is largely made up of gold loans. The company, promoted by businessman BR Shetty, plans to emerge as a full-fledged non-banking financial company (NBFC) under a new brand name, ‘Unimoni’.

New holding company

The rebranding is part of a global restructuring exercise, which saw the creation of a new holding company Finablr for consolidating various retail financial services and brands under one umbrella. Finablr is rebranding the non-UAE operations of UAE Exchange as ‘Unimoni’, subject to regulatory approvals.

The diversification into a host of new products will enable Unimoni leverage its vast network of 377 branches, 12,000 agents, and a customer base of 5.2 million across the country.

To implement the expansion plans, Unimoni has hired Amit Saxena as Managing Director and CEO. Saxena is a former MD and CEO of Standard Chartered’s NBFC, and was also instrumental in building the NBFC business of Karvy Financial Services.

“It’s a matter of cross-selling as we already have a large customer base and reach,” says Saxena. “With the economy growing at 7 per cent, there is always a demand and we’ve got the reach. It’s not about the top 20 cities, we are in almost 300 locations. We will be competitive as per the market in terms of rates,” Saxena told BusinessLine.

“We have about ₹700 crore of loan book right now. By the end of the financial year, we hope to reach about ₹1,500 crore, and then in two to three years’ time, we should get to about ₹5,000 crore,” said Saxena.

The main thrust of the diversification, according to Saxena, would be on small business loans with ticket size ranging from ₹5-50 lakh, essentially to micro and small businesses where there is a genuine demand-supply gap. “Only 10 per cent of the small businesses get funding from formal financing,” he said.

Uimoni is currently awaiting approval for a permit from the Reserve Bank of India to become a universal bank.

“Other than current account and savings account (CASA), we do everything else. We’ve got loans to small businesses and middle-class borrowers, whether it is business loans against property, gold loans and consumer durables financing or affordable housing, it’s all targeted at that segment. And, we are a payments company, we do payments – forex, remittances, both inward and outward, as well as domestic money transfer,” added Saxena.

Published on June 20, 2018

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