He rests his bag on the desk and sorts his files. The room is bustling with people as it’s a busy Thursday at the Chandra layout office of Ujjivan. As I prepare myself with questions, he gulps down a glass of water. We have just returned from a borrower’s house after processing a loan request. What follows is an enchanting conversation about the evolving small-scale entrepreneur and customer support.
Dhruva: He’s a first-time applicant. So, we have to ensure all his queries are resolved.
Mradula: I understand. What are his chances of securing the loan?
Dhruva: They’re pretty high. He has repaid his previous loans, as you can see (points me to his phone screen). The previous loan was for building his house. This time it’s for his bakery. He wishes to renovate his bakery.
Mradula: I see. How long will this take?
Dhruva: We have entered the data now. Once the credit checks are done and approved, it shouldn’t be more than a week.
Mradula: That seems quick.
Dhruva: Yes, it is now. Earlier it would take at least a month to process and verify. Now, with the Artoo tool, the process is simpler and faster. It has helped us loan officers a lot.
Mradula: Can you tell me more about it?
Dhruva: Everything was manually done earlier. The error rate was high. Sometimes there were incorrect documents and insufficient data. Analysis was done manually, and we had to be extremely cautious as one mistake would cost us a lot. Solving these errors was a problem because it delayed the overall process. Now things are different. We can get everything done live. We just need to enter the relevant data. The tool does everything for us. CIBIL scores, KYC checks, lead generation, and so on.
Mradula: So you say your work has improved?
Dhruva: Yes, yes, definitely. It has improved our efficiency a lot. We can process an end-to-end loan application in less than an hour in most cases. We can do all of this at the customer’s place only. The tool is very easy to use. Very user friendly.
Mradula: How has the whole experience been for you?
Dhruva: You see, Madam, these customers have high hopes from us. They cannot approach big banks because of several reasons. Here we go to their doorsteps, approach them, and help them with all their queries. It’s essential that we give them a clear picture of everything. With the tool, I can inform and assure the customers instantly whether they’ll receive the loan or not. I couldn’t do this earlier. It would take me at least 10 days to know the application status. The customers are happy when they get to know results instantly. They are eager to grow and rely a lot on us for support. It makes me happy that we can provide such a service, which will help them a lot.
These people come from humble backgrounds. They have several problems and responsibilities. For example, this person we just visited has a small bakery. He runs an auto by the day and his wife helps him at the bakery later. They have three kids in school. A bigger bakery will help him with his expenses. He’ll be more independent. Hence, this loan matters a lot to him. Big banks don’t have facilities for these people, and very few companies provide them loans in such a short span. In such a scenario, I am happy that our company does so much for them. Using the Artoo tool has made this process further easier. We can provide more loans at a faster rate to more people. We can serve them better now. The customers feel happy that their loans get approved faster.
Mradula: You seem to understand these customers and their needs well. How long have you been a loan officer?
Dhruva: Two years now. I was at a different branch earlier and have worked with similar people. I have been working at this branch since 4 months.
Mradula: What do you like about your work the most?
Dhruva: Customer service, Madam. I like being in the field and helping these customers with their requirements. It makes me happy.
Dhruva Kumar is a loan officer at Ujjivan who takes pride in providing quality services to his customers. On our field visit, he acquainted us with the entire loan origination process, right from meeting a potential borrower to processing the loan request. He expressed his delight at working with Artoo, which has eased things for him. We admire his keen sense of duty and his commitment to his work. Furthermore, we are happy and grateful that Ujjivan agreed and arranged for this visit despite a short notice.
Field visits at Artoo are an integral part of knowing how we are faring in our quest and helping the community. It helps us understand the end customer and his needs better. Furthermore, it facilitates learning about different communities, their challenges, and their triumphs. Their stories inspire us to push ourselves towards improving conditions for those at the unserved and underserved segments.