The housing industry in India is expanding rapidly due to urbanisation and population growth, creating a significant untapped market for low-cost homes. However, this growth is accompanied by several challenges, such as inadequate infrastructure, high land acquisition costs, and the need for accurate risk profiling.
In this interview, Girish Kousgi, MD and CEO of PNB Housing Finance, a banking and finance professional with over 25 years of experience in the housing finance sector, shares insights on the future of the financial industry, opportunities and challenges for PNB Housing Finance in 2023, the company's digital transformation strategy, and plans for building a sustainable and resilient business.
Here are the excerpts from the interview:
How do you see your role as a leader evolving in the future, considering your extensive experience in the financial industry?
After reflecting on my 25-year career working with various organisations in the financial industry, I feel an immense sense of pride. As we continue on our growth journey, compliance and corporate governance remain crucial areas of focus, and I'm thrilled that we remain dedicated to striving towards excellence in these areas.
These efforts not only benefit our organisation but also instill a powerful sense of values and purpose across our entire team.
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How is PNB Housing Finance working to overcome the challenges of the rapidly expanding housing industry in India, such as high land acquisition costs and the need for accurate risk profiling?
With the housing industry in India rapidly growing due to factors like urbanization and population growth, there is a significant untapped market for low-cost homes. As a company, PNB Housing Finance is committed to making homeownership a reality for all, as evidenced by our affordable home loan scheme, Roshni. Additionally, the government's recent budget announcement to invest in affordable housing further underscores this focus on providing housing solutions for all.
However, there are challenges that must be addressed, including inadequate infrastructural development, high costs of land acquisition, and the need for correct risk profiling. To overcome these challenges, we are actively working on building an integrated, quantitative credit risk solution that minimises loan losses and ensures that our capital buffers reflect the risk profile. Additionally, in our people-intensive business, employee churn and job losses remain a critical challenge. Nevertheless, we remain committed to delivering affordable housing finance solutions to all Indians.
How is PNB Housing Finance driving digital transformation to enhance customer experience and improve operational efficiency in 2023?
At PNB Housing, digital transformation is at the forefront of our business. We believe in providing a seamless digital experience to our customers and leveraging cutting-edge digital tools, platforms, and fintech integrations to accelerate our business. Our digital-first strategy enables us to offer a range of services, control risks, increase efficiency, and provide superior customer service.
To achieve these goals, we have adopted various digital tools such as TALISMA and AMEYO, which are tightly integrated with our Core Banking ESS system. Our centralised operation is ISO-certified, and our team implements industry-best practices in operational activities. We are also rapidly modernising our existing landscape to build a modern enterprise technology platform and implementing various cybersecurity measures to safeguard organizational data.
What steps are you taking to ensure the sustainability and resilience of your business in the long term?
PNB Housing is one of India’s most prominent and the fourth-largest Housing Finance Company by Assets under Management as on 31st March 2022. Our success in the industry is attributed to our more than three decades of specialised experience in housing finance and our ability to balance resilience, robustness, and responsibility while never losing sight of our raison d'être.
Firstly, we are strengthening our capital position and risk management. Secondly, we are boosting credit underwriting through digital interventions. Thirdly, we are improving collections by leveraging data analytics. By analysing customer data, we can identify patterns and trends that can help us to improve our collection processes. Fourthly, we are promoting the digital drive to enhance efficiencies across verticals. Lastly, we are leveraging technology to automate and streamline our business processes, which will enable us to operate more efficiently and reduce costs.
Can you explain how you are adapting to the shift towards remote work and flexible work arrangements?
At the heart of our business lies the importance of relationships and interpersonal connections. We believe that staying in touch and building meaningful contact with others is essential to our success. Our collaborative work mindset empowers individuals to make valuable contributions that drive positive outcomes. We follow a simple formula: the right input leads to the right output. We are committed to creating an environment that nurtures our employees' well-being and professional development. We strive to foster a culture that encourages open communication, collaboration, and learning. We believe that by providing our team members with the right tools and resources
This interview is part of an exclusive series that featured CEOs and MDs of top organisations sharing their perspectives on the ever-evolving business landscape and the future of work. Browse all the interviews here!