Kerala eyes ₹30,000-cr NRI ‘chitty’ mop-up

V Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on January 09, 2018

State-owned NBFC targets non-resident Keralites in Gulf to raise funds for infrastructure development

One million NRIs and ₹30,000 crore by 2020. This is the target Kerala State Financial Enterprises has set for the Pravasi chit it proposes to launch shortly in the Gulf region.

The State-owned non-banking finance company is confident of achieving the target, going by the enthusiastic response of NRIs to a ‘chitty’ (as KSFE calls the instrument) roadshow in the Gulf. A recent amendment to the FEMA law allows NRIs to invest in chit-funds in India

“The feedback was encouraging and we could convince non-resident Keralites on the benefits of investing in the Pravasi chit fund, which is a Shariah-compliant product,” A Purushothaman, Managing Director, KSFE, told BusinessLine. He was in the UAE recently, marketing the chit, a popular saving-cum-investment product.

The Pravasi chit follows an announcement by the State government that it will tap ₹10,000 crore for Kerala’s infrastructure development.

According to Purushothaman, the chit will be fully digital, with facility to enrol, transact, and bid in auctions online. The company has also developed a mobile app for customers to remit instalments. He said schemes can be customised for NRIs.

Even as the process of appointing agents/money exchange houses as collection points in the Gulf and other marketing activities are apace, there are plans to set up a 24x7 support centre in Thiruvananthapuram exclusively for NRI customers.

Asked when the chit will go live, Purushothaman said it may be launched this year-end or early 2018 in Dubai by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The software development is almost complete and the State Finance Minister, TM Thomas Isaac, will soon visit Dubai to make a final assessment.

KSFE is synonymous with chit-funds, having been in this business for nearly five decades. It enjoys a 70 per cent share of the ₹26,000-crore chit market in Kerala. With a network of 600 branches, KSFE in 2015-16 mopped up ₹18,000 crore, and made a net profit of ₹36 crore.

Published on November 10, 2017

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