Q] What was the objective behind the ‘Kholiye Khushiyon Ki Tijori’ campaign?
Gold loan has traditionally been treated as a distress product. Since 2017, our marketing objective has been to launch campaigns that are able to bring an attitudinal transformation in the minds of people who may have inhibitions about gold loan. As the category leader, we have always strived to grow the category by launching marketing communications that highlights the benefits or value propositions of Muthoot Finance Gold Loans. We have always underlined the ease with which gold loans can be availed, and the countless people who have benefited from it. As per the World Gold Council (WGC), there is more than 25000 tonnes of household gold in India, of which, less than 5% is monetized by way of gold loans. So, there is a huge market potential for the gold loan sector to grow by unlocking the true potential of their emotional asset i.e. gold.
The primary objective of our new campaign ‘Kholiye Khushiyon Ki Tijori’ has also been about growing the gold loan category, and getting first-time loan seekers to benefit from Muthoot Finance Gold Loans. One must look at it as a readily available smart credit option instead of treating it as a last resort. To do this, we have created 4 films as part of the ‘Kholiye Khushiyon Ki Tijori’ campaign, and from a creative standpoint, positioned Muthoot Finance Gold Loans as a tool to ‘Unlock Happiness.’ The campaign is anchored by actor Amitabh Bachchan, and each film talks about the unique benefits or value propositions of Muthoot Finance Gold Loans.
Q] How are you amplifying the campaign, and how much did you spend on it?
It is a 360-degree marketing campaign across ATL and BTL. The campaign is already live across TV, Print, Cable, Digital, Out of Home, and BTL. Overall, we have invested in excess of Rs. 25cr for this important Q4 marketing campaign.
Q] While Muthoot Finance already has Amitabh Bachchan, one of the most prominent celebrities in the country as its brand ambassador, why did you decide to rope in Madhuri Dixit?
Including Madhuri Dixit as our Brand Ambassador alongside Amitabh Bachchan is a major step-up in our marketing transformation journey. Madhuri Dixit has for long demonstrated a strong connection with diverse audiences through a wide array of performances. Her on-screen legacy, off-screen image, charismatic appeal, popularity across all age groups, versatility, and most importantly her image strongly resonate with our brand values, making her a natural and cultural fit for our brand. Diversity, versatility, and credibility are the three main factors between the brand and Madhuri Dixit, that have paved the way for this brand partnership. In majority of the cases, Gold is primarily owned by the lady of the house, making her the owner and custodian of household gold. Hence we felt that it is important to include a female brand Ambassador with whom our female audiences can relate to more readily.
Q] What kind of growth have you seen in the past one year?
We are glad that our marketing efforts have consistently demonstrated business impact. Our Group’s consolidated Net Profit stood at Rs. 4,031cr during FY21-22, and in the current year our Net Profit for the first three Quarters until 31st December 2022 has crossed Rs. 2,661cr. These are commendable numbers, and we are glad that our collective efforts are encouraging business impact as well. We are thankful to our 40,000+ dedicated ‘Muthootians,’ our customers, partners, shareholders and stakeholders for their continued support and patronage. Interestingly, the current financial year has seen the entry of a few new-age players, and also an increased competition from private and public sector banks and NBFCs.
Q] How are you positioning your brand against competitors? What is your strategy to stay ahead of competitors?
We always welcome healthy competition as it drives us to innovate, and leads to superior customer experience. We feel humbled for having created a formal product category that didn’t exist until a few years ago. In response to the growing competition, we have created a strong Digital Muthoot Ecosystem to deliver unparalleled customer convenience. As part of our Digital initiatives, we have so far clocked over 95 lakh Digital transactions, valued at Rs. 8,000cr. As such, we have managed to transfer 40% of our gold loan transactions online, and we will continue to strengthen our Digital strategy. We have launched a state-of-the-art CRM across 100% of our branches. We have revamped our corporate website on a design thinking approach, and we were one of the first ones to launch an AI-powered Chatbot.
Customers can now make interest and loan repayments instantly through various Digital modes including Paytm, Google Pay, PhonePe, Muthoot WhatsApp channel, Muthoot Chatbot to name a few. We have also launched the gold loan industry’s first customer loyalty rewards programme ‘Muthoot Finance Gold Milligram Rewards,’ wherein customers can earn 24 Carat gold on every transaction, and on referring successful customers to us.
Q] What are the key trends that you are seeing in the finance sector currently?
If you look at it from an overall perspective, innovation will be the key, and technology will be playing an unprecedented role in driving that innovation, and also in delivering a much superior customer experience. With innovations on the payment side, collection side and servicing side, existing business models, legacy systems across all financial institutions may undergo a complete overhaul. I believe that technology will be a key enabler in creating a differentiation between the good and the great. We are leveraging technology to deliver enhanced customer experience and our Muthoot digital ecosystem will only grow stronger as we move ahead.
Q] Do you think that generative AI tools like Chat GPT will be able to have an impact on the industry? Will it be an aid or a job killer?
Many innovations are happening in the industry. From Robotic Process Automations, the world of Metaverse, AI, to Chat GPT, the entire ecosystem is going through a major shift. I feel these are interesting developments and as human beings we must look at newer technologies with renewed optimism, rather than suspicion or fear. Having said that, we need to delve deeper to better understand these technologies. We must study and assess these technologies with an open mind and explore how they can help bring greater convenience to human lives in a constructive way.
Q] How important are non-metro and rural markets for your brand?
With the vast majority of household gold concentrated in semi-urban and rural India, gold loans have a huge role to play in the field of financial inclusion, and getting the unbanked Indian into the ambit of banking. More than 70% of Muthoot Finance branches are in rural and semi-urban locations. With a loan value starting from as low as Rs. 1500 to no maximum limit, Muthoot Finance Gold Loans have transformed the lives of crores of Indians.
Q] Going forward, what marketing strategies have you planned in order to drive growth for the business?
The core objective of the marketing function at Muthoot Finance has always been about getting new customers, and it will continue to be so. Gold in India is saved for a rainy day, and pledging gold has some sense of social stigma or social taboo attached to it. Our marketing objective is to bust all social myths, address human inhibitions, and share phenomenal success stories of transforming lives of gold loan takers.