Ujjivan Financial Services, a pioneering microfinance institution, today announced that it has launched its handheld field technology to empower its employees to provide quick and appropriate loans to its customers, reduce the turnaround time, improve efficiency and productivity in disbursing loans.The project involves providing Ujjivan’s field staff with internet-enabled handheld tablets which run a lending solution developed by the technology company Artoo especially for Ujjivan. Under this initiative, the entire workflow of Ujjivan’s individual lending operations has been taken online.
The project has been launched in 282 branches across 16 states and is expected to handle 3000 crores of disbursements over the following 3 years once it is rolled out in all operating branches of Ujjivan.
Ujjivan offers individual loans to customers whose requirements are beyond the group loan limits and who aspire to take individual responsibility of their loans. Individual loans are also offered to open market customers, particularly to small businesses, and marginal and tenant farmers.
The handheld technology allows field tasks – such as customer enrollment, underwriting and monitoring – to be presented to the user as an application on a tablet. Ujjivan’s backend staff can view and act upon processed field data, real time, through a web interface. It eliminates data errors, and reduces average loan processing time considerably.
Mr Samit Ghosh, Managing director and Chief Executive Officer,Ujjivan said: “Though this solution has come at a cost, the benefits are already visible. Today, Ujjivan’s Individual Loan process is as efficient as of any new age bank. The next step would be to move to image-based processing, which is being piloted in few branches. Instead of collecting photocopies of KYC documents, images will be collected and the same will be digitalized. This will save money and time for our customers and reduce the load of document handling and management for Ujjivan.”
This solution also ensures that Ujjivan’s customers are happy as they get to choose from various loan options and are able to know their eligibility almost on the spot. The credit officers, who are responsible for underwriting the loan, need not wait for the physical papers as the collected data and the electronic loan file can travel seamlessly across the loan approval chain. This leads to better accuracy and cutting down of lag at various stages and thus better productivity of Ujjivan’s field staff.
The handheld solution has been integrated with MIS so that the users and supervisors at various levels get quick view of the business through dashboards and reports. Apart from loan processing, the handheld tablets will also be used as training platforms for e-learning, and sending important alerts and messages to the field.
Ujjivan Financial Services, a microfinance institution (MFI), started operations in Bangalore in 2005 and serves over 2 Million urban, semi-urban and rural customers in 24 states across India with over 7,000 employees at 423 branches. It has disbursed loans of over Rs.11,000 Crores with a repayment rate of over 99%.Ujjivan runs a robust financial literacy program and other initiatives in collaboration with sister non-profit organization Parinaam Foundation.