Interview with Sanjay Gupta, MD, PNB Housing Finance Ltd
What is your outlook on interest rates?
I think they are going to remain stable. I am very worried about the oil economies. No doubt we are importers, so we benefit from the lowering of prices, but we should not forget that about 39 countries are dependant on oil export, and it can translate that we might have a CAD sort of a gap
because our exports will find it very difficult to get absorbed in these economies. They are large economies and oil-based economies. So I think
bottom-fishing has happened, so at best a correction may happen, of let’s say 15-20 bps (basis points), and that’s about it.
Do you have plans for any innovative products/funding options at the project financing levels or developer funding?
We keep doing developer funding. We are one of the vibrant players in the market, but the penetration of developer funding to our entire
portfolio lingers around 7-8 per cent. What we do and what we specialise in doing is funding projects which are of mass nature, which are not typically, I would say, luxury or bottom of the pyramid, but they are of mid-segment, where huge volumes have been seen even these times.
We will continue to have focus on that sector.
And in home loan segment, do you plan to come up with any unique or innovative product?
Let me tell you it’s a very matured market, it’s a crowded market. We keep doing innovations, tweaking here and there. What real difference PNB Housing has made is that we are very good in underwriting self-employed people, and you will be surprised that more than 70 per cent of new housing gets generated by self-employed people, and only about 20-22 per cent of self-employed people get a formal sector lending, and we specialise in it. Month-on-month about 30 per cent of our home loans are done for this category.So I think that’s a very big innovation and a very big initiative that we have done to broaden the market.So while other lenders and much respected large players are only concentrating on salaried segment, we are concentrating on both salaried and self-employed segment. Also we monitor our turnaround time, we monitor our efficiencies, and believe you me we do about 35 per cent home loans month-on-month in this segment. This is a strategy for this company, and we have built very specialised underwriting hubs, underwriters have been trained, nurtured, and they are able to deliver home loans for self- employed people in a very efficient manner.