Einstein once said – In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. As the world was brought to a standstill by the novel coronavirus, every man, woman, government, and organization had their own way of confronting the situation. Some people decided to see the tough times through by ceasing operations in meantime, some tried to continue business as normal while others tried a combination of both. Some were more successful as compared to others but it can safely be said that absolutely everyone was affected by this pandemic. Deep into quarantine time now and hopefully nearing the end, we have a newfound respect for delivery apps, simple walks, and, above all, our maids (may God bless them).
While so many businesses all over the world spent the majority of this time trying to adapt to the ‘new normal’, once again Home First proved itself ahead of the curve. With our tech-led approach, we found ourselves in a unique position to make life easier for not only our customers but also our employees. In Fact, in many places, we even used the situation to our advantage.
In order to take care of the Home First Family, we created a Dailycheck App to track the health status of our employees so as to be able to provide timely assistance to them. All medical expenses were funded along with reimbursement of Covid 19 tests. Our employees also found it easy to work from home since the business infrastructure anyway included our CRM, lending, and accounting applications being maintained on the cloud.
For our customers, physical and digital channels of communications were already established and waiting to step in to provide continued access to our employees and services. As a result, we registered a big boost with 58.7% of customers registering on customer mobile app. Since we already had a system of video home verification and E – KYC, the innovation of the E-signature of loan documents ensured the smooth functioning of regular business. We also took this opportunity to hold multilingual live sessions to educate our customers about various common topics and clarify certain doubts.
Our trust and efforts bore fruits as Collection Intensity per employee increased from 6 in March to 10 in June and 12 in September 2020. As against sales and collections going down in companies in other industries, we have actually achieved even more success than before.
While on one side we took care of our Home First family and facilitated a better future for our customers, on the other hand, we also made some key decisions and established some key partnerships during this time. Attracted by the housing sector and our prowess in the segment, Warburg Pincus invested ₹750 million in Home First, acquiring a 24.4% stake in the company and enhancing our growth capital. Strategic tie-ups with category contemporaries No Broker, Paytm, and Lendingkart were made for advertising and promotional activities. Another partnership with Airtel Payments Bank was made for providing home loans in the affordable category to their customers. Taking a step in providing virtual reality-based designs and turnkey construction services, a partnership with Buildnext was initiated.
As our CEO Manoj Sir said, “Our strong focus on the salaried customer segment, our investments in technology, and our deep belief in digital processes and payment mechanisms, have netted excellent dividends through multiple disruptive events.” With a vision to think ahead of the curve to make affordable housing more accessible and life easier for both our customers and our Home First family, we hope to prove ourselves, one wave at a time…
Quoting one of the favourite lines of our Big Boss,
चाँद तारों से चलना है आगे
असमानों से बढ़ना है आगे