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Home Credit India’s Ashish Tiwari: As a marketer, you need to be able to celebrate consumers' lives and achievements

Ashish Tiwari, chief marketing officer of Home Credit India on the supremacy of trust in building BFSI brands, marketing trends, Web3, finfluencers and more.

By  Kashmeera SambamurthyJan 13, 2023 10:46 AM
Home Credit India’s Ashish Tiwari: As a marketer, you need to be able to celebrate consumers' lives and achievements
Ashish Tiwari says, "The entire category of finance is based on trust. Trust and transparency is the code of the category. What is necessary is how a brand communicates the right message to the consumers at the right time which is easier to comprehend." (Image source: LinkedIn)

In August 2022, Home Credit India, a non-banking financial company (NBFC) appointed Ashish Tiwari as the chief marketing officer. Prior to his new role, Tiwari headed Future Generali Life Insurance India as the chief marketing and digital officer. In an exclusive conversation with Storyboard18, Tiwari talks about his journey so far as the CMO of Home Credit India, trends to watch for, marketing challenges of financial services brands, SEBI guidelines for finfluencers, and more.

Edited excerpts

So far, how has your journey been as the CMO of Home Credit India?

It has been an interesting stint so far. If I look at one of the reasons which attracted me to Home Credit India, it was the entire thought process behind financing. If you look at India’s economy, wealth is at the bottom of the pyramid. People at the bottom of the pyramid have the same aspiration as anybody from tier 1, metros etc. For them to realise their aspirations, somewhere, finance becomes a limiting factor. The core belief of Home Credit India is enabling them to extract most out of their lives now.

As a marketer, you need to be able to celebrate consumers' lives and their achievements. So, we came up with a brand campaign, Zindagi Hit. The philosophy behind this was, ‘What happens when you buy a new phone?’ or think about anything that you bought new. As a marketer, it is very important to be able to understand your consumers and the market. The recent ‘How It Borrows 2022’ survey is a way to figure out the understanding of our consumers and to be able to nuance that understanding over a period saying ‘How it is changing’.

Today, affinity towards digital is increasing. Home Credit India’s entire journey is digital which is safe, secure and transparent. 28 percent of our consumers are expressing their happiness of availing loans via digital medium. Home Credit India gives out at least 8-10K mobile loans everyday. Business hours are from 7am-9pm, or 6am-9pm depending on the location or the country. Sixty percent of the business happens during this time.

The only way for a brand to be able to sustain a business is to ensure that they are able to educate the customers right from how to manage finances and how to do basic budgeting for different households etc. We do this through the platform we created which is ‘Paise ki Paathshala’. This helps to create trust.

As the CMO of Home Credit India, user interface and user experience (UI/UX) remains very important for us.

What are the key current trends you are witnessing in the space of financial services marketing?

The first trend we have noticed is that consumers are adapting to the medium of digital. When we were looking at the same age group and income group who were doing online shopping, it was the females who shopped more when compared to the males.

Another interesting trend to look at is banking and lending apps increasing penetration. The penetration of financial apps in tier 1 is 63 percent and in tier 2 is 66 percent. Consumers are warming up to the idea of financial inclusion, empowering themselves, their families and their dreams. Credit market is a mirror to the trust a consumer puts in the market and the economy at that point of time.

What are the marketing challenges at present in the financial services sector and what are the strategies to offset them?

The entire category of finance is based on trust. Trust and transparency is the code of the category. What is necessary is how a brand communicates the right message to the consumers at the right time which is easier to comprehend. At times, the language of finance is jargonised. What is a marketing challenge is to be able to transform the financial language in a way which a consumer can understand, and then reach a decision.

At Home Credit India, we believe in responsible lending.

How evolved is advertising in financial services?

Communication is as evolved or rudimentary as the team wants it to be. Today, media vehicles are pretty ubiquitous. Content production is at an all time high, and it will keep rising due to multi-device scenarios, fragmented attention and personalisation happening due to technology. So, content consumption will increase, and is increasing.

At the end of the day, a brand needs to decide whether they want to create a relationship or want to accelerate a transaction. Home Credit India’s entire narrative revolves around ‘helping you celebrate your wins’. Brands which are able to create a relationship, in the long run will result in some bit of consumer loyalty, and memory hooks in their minds.

Last year, SEBI made an announcement of rolling out guidelines for finfluencers. What is your take on this?

It is a good move by SEBI which will ensure that anything being said has some weight. At the end of the day, it is about the hard earned money of a lot of people. For me, this is a very welcome move.

Are there any plans of Home Credit India tying up with finfluencers for advertising or promotional purposes?

For me, there is a content called narrative, and then there are consumers. In between, everything else is a medium. Whatever helps me to deliver this narrative to the consumers in a safe, secure, transparent, easy and simple way which is understandable to the consumers is a media vehicle to be used. The media vehicle could also include a finfluencer, and we would use such a vehicle which could add value to their decision making and help them lead a better life.

What is the impact of Web3.0 on financial services?

In one line, Web3.0 will have an impact on financial services. The most talked about use case of Web3.0 is metaverse. The entire finance industry works on identity. Here, Web3.0 will help the industry to create more customised solutions which would help consumers extract more from their lives.

First Published on Jan 13, 2023 6:41 AM