Gold-loans startup Rupeek has plans to redefine a category that’s not new to Indians through an advertising splash. The Bengaluru-based company backed by Sequoia Capital, Accel, and Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal, wants to normalise and democratise the practice of getting credit on gold through its maiden brand ad campaign. Independent creative shop The Womb has conceptualized the campaign that features actors and reel-life couple Manoj Bajpayee and Priyamani who will television, print, outdoor, and digital ads for Rupeek. Bajpayee and Priyamani appeared together in the wildly popular series The Family Man.
The main film’s storyline is based on “real-life experiences” that consumers go through while asking about a gold-loan, says Shalabh Atray, senior vice president - marketing and Digital of Rupeek. Atray tells Storyboard the attempt is to address consumer issues both from an “emotional” and “functional” lens. “We want to narrate stories about the problems of an age-old category and talk about how our new-age product and service will bring in the much needed change in this market.” The TV spots will run in Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, and Telugu during the festive quarter. However, Atray points out that “the category doesn’t have any seasonality” and the campaign is in line with the company’s next phase of growth.
Video: Watch the ad here
Interestingly, Rupeek’s origins are based on a gold-loan rejection episode. In 2012, a large non-banking lender rejected an IIT-Bombay graduate and chartered financial analyst Sumit Maniyar’s application for a loan against property. This not only surprised Maniyar but also gave him a million-dollar startup idea. Rupeek’s ad campaign is a reflection of what its founder Maniyar and millions of Indians have gone through when trying to get a gold loan.
Why is Rupeek advertising now?
As per industry data, 95% of Indian households own some form of gold. However, only 5% of them consider using it for getting credit. Otherwise, gold possessions stay as dead assets. Rupeek through its marketing efforts want consumers to “trust” a tech-driven brand that’s “hassle-free”, says Atray.
According to a KPMG report, India’s gold-loan market that’s worth Rs 4,16,700 crore, is growing at 13.2 percent per annum. Rupeek is valued at $300 million, and disburses loans worth Rs 250 crore a month. About 18 months ago, it was just Rs 20 crore. In a previous report by Moneycontrol, Maniyar stated his target is Rs 1,000 crore a month in less than a year from now.
Sixty-five percent of Rupeek’s customers today are first-time borrowers. That’s the core target audience for the campaign too, indicates Atray. “These consumers are new to the category and are on the lookout for brands that give them convenient digital solutions,” he adds.
The single biggest challenge the category faces is lack of tech-disruption. Atray signs off by saying, “that’s the opportunity we are leveraging through our products and will be communicating through our ad campaign.”