September 07, 2013

Story of Education Loans Firm Credila

From the Business Today article:
Credila started operations in March 2008, two months after DSP Merrill Lynch invested in the company. From March 2008 until HDFC bought out DSP Merrill, Credila had disbursed only Rs 20 crore. Since then it has sanctioned more than Rs 2,000 crore and disbursed nearly half that amount. The big surprise was in 2012 when Credila received more than 90,000 online applications for a cumulative loan amount of over Rs 8,000 crore. "It was more than we could handle," says Anil Bohora, Chief Operating Officer at Credila. The company looks at applicants' credit worthiness, the repaying capacity of parents, collateral, and the institute they are applying to while scrutinising loan applications.

...In some ways, Credila mirrors HDFC's own journey. HDFC was founded by Deepak Parekh's uncle, H.T. Parekh, in 1977. It had the first-mover advantage as there was no other mortgage lender in the private sector at the time. But this was also a disadvantage because, unlike state-run banks, it had no access to low-cost public deposits. What helped HDFC survive and expand was simplicity of products and a focus on customer service. Karnad sees these attributes in Credila too.

...The Bohora brothers, who in 2003 sold their healthcare claims processing venture ClaimsBPO to WNS Global, have ambitious plans for Credila. They want to create India's first dedicated education loan company on the lines of Sallie Mae, the largest provider of study loans in the United States. It is not surprising they are taking inspiration from a US company. Both previously worked for US companies - Ajay with insurer MetLife and Anil with media company AOL Time Warner.

...it disbursed more than Rs 1,000 crore from only eight branches in a handful of cities, whereas state-run banks have hundreds of branches across the country. Although the brothers, who own nearly 11 per cent of Credila, are serial entrepreneurs, they are content working for HDFC.

Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of data and analysis on private company transactions, valuations and financials in India. Click Here to learn about Venture Intelligence products that help entrepreneurs Reach Out to Investors, Research Competition, Learn from Experienced Entrepreneurs and Interact with Peers. Includes the Free Deal Digest Weekly Newsletter: India's First & Most Exhaustive Transactions Newsletter.