Mumbai: India’s largest bank, State Bank of India (SBI), has been a pioneer in SME lending. The bank has taken yet another giant leap by partnering with Uber, world’s largest on-demand transport aggregation company, to provide vehicle finance for driver-partners on its platform.
It is State Bank of India’s endeavor to fuel growth for micro-entrepreneurs by providing access to quick and low-cost finance. The loans will be sanctioned instantly using an inbuilt digital offering. This new product will enable thousands of skilled drivers to overcome liquidity crunch and excess documentation requirements, to become an entrepreneur.
All these loans are collateral free and carry a very competitive interest rate. All loans will also get covered under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana Scheme of Government of India.
“The on-demand transportation segment growth has created a whole new ecosystem enabling lakhs of Indians to earn livelihood by becoming micro-entrepreneurs on such platforms. In the process, it has also opened up a new world of opportunities for the banking industry, not just in the on-demand transportation loan space but also in other areas like payment wallet, consumer finance etc. It is now upon us to leverage these opportunities. Doing so requires us to think and go beyond the traditional banking products and delivery services.” SBI Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya said, after launching the product.
“With this new facility, drivers can apply for loans at the Uber Partner Centre and get loans sanctioned in one-day. This is supported by our digitally integrated backend system, thereby eliminating the long processing time. The partnership with Uber will also help us simplify the documentation requirements thereby eliminating traditional financial statements like income tax returns. The product is also in line with our focus on building a risk mitigated portfolio, which is aimed at significantly improving the customer experience.” said Rajnish Kumar, SBI MD, National Banking Group at the event.
“Access to quick and easy finance will provide necessary push to the growth of SME segment. The boom of on-demand transportation business will also provide impetus to the MSME sector. A vibrant MSME segment is very important to meet the macro-economic goals of the economy.” he added.
Founded in 2009 in the US, Uber has operations in almost 400 cities in 68 countries across the world. Uber launched its India operations in September 2013, and is currently present across 27 cities in the country, more than any other country outside the US. By seamlessly connecting riders to drivers through its app, Uber makes cities more accessible, opening up more possibilities for riders and more business for driver-partners.
“India is a global market priority for us; the robust growth we’ve seen in India in just about two years is phenomenal. In such a short span of time, we’ve got over 250,000 driver partners on our platform who have become micro-entrepreneurs today. We believe in building deep relationships with India’s leading financial services partners that help us drive growth and reach driver-partners and consumers across the country. And this unique vehicle financing program with SBI is one way of building that relationship. We’re excited to create tens of thousands of micro entrepreneurs by enabling them to start their careers on the Uber platform, by owning their cars, through this program with SBI.” said Eric Alexander, President of Business, Asia Pacific at Uber.
In January, earlier this year, SBI had launched an innovative digital loan offering for merchants on e-commerce platforms. The offering has been extended to some of the largest players in the space including Snapdeal, Flipkart, Paytm etc. The partnership with Uber is another big step in the bank’s vision to build a risk mitigated portfolio by leveraging new ecosystem opportunities.
The Bank has hired Boston Consulting Group (BCG) to facilitate new tie-ups under eco-system financing and to design innovative product offerings.
SBI has about one million MSME customers with a loan book of around Rs 1,80,000 crore.
SBI and Uber are exploring further collaboration opportunities on various other areas including a special scheme for the Faujis who intend to drive on the Uber platform. Uber India has partnered with the Army Welfare Placement Organization (AWPO) under the Ministry of Defence to help ex-servicemen transition to civilian life and to provide them with entrepreneurial opportunities once they retire or complete their term of service. The bank is looking to offer special benefits for UberFauji program.
The new partnership was announced by Smt. Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chairman, SBI and Mr. Eric Alexander, President of Business, Asia Pacific, Uber. The event was graced by the bank’s top management – MD Rajnish Kumar, MD B Sriram, MD V. G. Kannan, MD P. K. Gupta, as well as various DMDs and CGMs of the Bank. The Business development lead of Uber India Ms. Nandini Maheshwari was also present along with her Uber India team.
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