Only 5% of the population has access to credit and we aim to tap into the remaining 95% of the population: Shalabh Atra...
- In India, the pawning of a woman’s ornaments is often viewed as a last recourse for families that have run out of financial options.
- To change this mindset, fintech brand Rupeek recently launched its maiden TVC with
Manoj Bajpayeeand Priyamani. It aims to inspire average citizens to take pride in using their gold to access credit in a safe, personal and tension-free manner.
- With the ongoing festive season, when the demand for gold is at its all-time peak, we speak to Shalabh Atray, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Digital, Rupeek about its journey so far, larger marketing strategy and goals ahead.
According to a report by the World Gold Council, the organised gold loan sector is expected to grow to ₹4.05-lakh crore this fiscal at an annual rate of 15.7%. With the festive season, this demand for gold is expected to skyrocket. So, to ride on this uptick in demand for the yellow shiny metal and help address the stigmas associated with pawning of gold, fintech platform Rupeek has launched a new campaign.
Featuring miniature Manoj Bajpayee and Priyamani, it aims to inspire people to take pride in using their gold to access credit in a safe, personal, and tension-free manner. Gold is the most celebrated asset in our country, yet people continue to undermine its potential, especially in tiding through financial exigencies. Rupeek’s campaign compares its digital process with standard bank and portrays how people don’t have to worry about waiting in lines, feeling ‘small’ for applying for gold loans. Unlike banks, Rupeek offers gold loans at the customer's doorstep and completes the loan underwriting-to-disbursal process within 30 minutes. By cutting down on expenses with an online-only strategy, Rupeek offers gold loans at an interest starting at 0.69% per month.
Valued at $515 Million, as per media reports, Rupeek is backed by investors such as Sequoia Capital, Bertelsmann, Accel Partners, GGV Capital, Tanglin Venture Partners, Korea's KB Investments and Flipkart cofounder and former employee Binny Bansal.
We spoke to Shalabh Atray, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Digital, Rupeek to further discuss the campaign, brand’s larger marketing strategy, addressing stigmas surrounding gold loan and goals ahead.
Q. This is your maiden high-decibel advertisement. What is the thought behind launching the campaign?
Our focus with the launch of this campaign is to address the customer pain points in seeking gold loans in the country. We want to narrate stories about the problems of an age-old category and highlight Rupeek’s new-age services that will bring in the much-needed tech disruption in this market. Rupeek’s customer research highlights that borrowers are made to feel small when applying for a gold loan. Through our marketing efforts, we want our customers to become aware of Rupeek’s doorstep gold loan product that is safe, personal and tension free.
Q. Who is going to be your target audience for this campaign?
We are aiming to tap customers who are at the cusp of entering this category, as well as light users of the category looking for safe and convenient assistance. Fifty-five percent of Rupeek’s customers are first-time borrowers and that’s the core target audience for the campaign too.
Q. Why did you choose Manoj and Priyamani for your first TVC?
At the onset, Manoj and Priyamani are top notch artists. It was a natural decision for us to bring them on board as Indian families could relate to their on-screen chemistry instantaneously. Both the artists have gained audience trust with their recent collaborations. More importantly, as a purpose-led, authentic brand we also felt that Manoj and Priya’s life stories and what they epitomise as humans, and not just as actors, is aligned to Rupeek’s brand values.
Q. Can you tell me what is your marketing budget for this campaign?
We are launching our first-ever brand campaign and the marketing spends are sizable and thoughtfully distributed amongst all the mediums.
Q. How has Rupeek's journey been so far? Can you share a few key milestones? What are some of the factors that helped you drive your growth?
The world came to a standstill owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and we are hoping that life will come back to normalcy at the soonest. In India, individuals and businesses' daily routine was derailed, while many people lost their jobs. Many amongst these unfortunate ones found a way to pivot and thought of starting something of their own during the lockdown, but credit was not available to everyone. Given India’s tryst with gold as an asset at a household level, Rupeek saw a surge in people opting for gold loans as a secured way of availing credit at the right interest rates from the comfort of their home.
Q. Given the recent surge in demand for gold loans in India, have you witnessed an increase in demand too? And with the festive season upon us, the demand for gold is expected to skyrocket. How are you planning on leveraging this demand?
The festive season is around, however this category is not seasonal. Gold is respected and celebrated in our culture. Rupeek is giving its customers easy and secured credit against their gold assets. With our unique technology-led doorstep services, we have managed to build a community of 5+ lac customers spread across 30+ cities. Almost 55%* of our customers are first time gold loan borrowers, which is highest amongst our peers. Through this campaign, we plan to tap into markets that are yet unexplored in this category.
Q. What are some of the trends that you are expecting to see in the gold and loan category?
The biggest trend we are seeing is the openness of consumers, specially first time borrowers in the Gold Loan category, being open to a technology led disruptor like Rupeek. To the credit of Indian consumers, they are extremely open-minded to trying tech products which are genuinely committed to understanding their pain points.
Q. The market today is largely dominated by traditional NBFCs such as Muthoot Finance and Manappuram Finance. How are you carving your niche? What percentage of the market are you aiming for?
In India, only 5% of the population has access to credit. Gold loans have been in the market for a very long time, but now it is being offered to customers through a digital medium. Rupeek as a brand is on a mission to solve every Indian’s credit needs using disruptive technology. The aim is to be financially inclusive by creating access to credit. With the services offered by Rupeek, we aim to tap into the remaining 95% of the population. Rupeek wishes to reach all the customers that are at the cusp of taking a loan.
Q. In India, the pawning of a woman’s ornaments is often viewed as a last recourse for families who have run out of options. Is that a challenge? How are you trying to change this mindset?
Gold is a celebrated asset in our country. In addition, in our conversations with existing and potential customers, we found that the collateral documents and long process to get a gold loan approved is an emotionally draining experience for consumers. In order to change this experience, Rupeek offers hassle-free doorstep gold loans. Our services are simple, safe and transparent that are backed with disruptive technology ensuring trust amongst our customers. We have found that with the right product and experience being offered, consumers are open to the idea of using their gold in a judicious way to serve their credit needs.
Q. What will your focus areas for H2 2021 be? What is your larger vision for the brand?
Our focus is to establish a foundation for Rupeek and position it as a brand that is new age and innovative in solving the credit pain points of Indians. While we are yet in the initial stages of the brand campaign, our aim is to achieve longevity in our messaging with the support of earned media activities. Over the next six months, we plan to tap into the potential customers who are still analysing their options and introduce them to Rupeek’s hassle-free doorstep online gold loans.