In an interview with BUSINESS VIEWS, Neeraj Saxena, CEO of Auxilo Finserve Private Limited in Mumbai explains the pro-education NBFC’s commitment to finance students seeking higher education in foreign countries. Auxilo recently opened its first branch in Hyderabad.
“We are one of the fastest growing education financing companies with a deep-rooted understanding of the ecosystem,” claims Saxena.Excerpts …. Q. What is the education loan scenario in India? The education loan industry is poised for high growth due to rising aspirations of Indian students, new subjects and easy access to foreign shores. The Indian education industry is expected to grow to $144 billion by 2020 from the current size of $100 billion. Half of the total education industry is represented by the schooling segment which is more than $52 billion. The higher education system in India has been growing phenomenally as one of the world’s largest, with more than 70 million students enrolled in the last two decades. It also managed to create additional capacity of over 40 million students with a spending of over $7 billion. Spending of Indians on higher learning is estimated to touch $35 billion by 2025 from the $15 billion in 2016, according to government data. Higher education, one of the key segments, contributes nearly 15 percent and rest is aided by e-learning & allied services. India is emerging as the second leading nation after the US in the matter of higher education and that will catapult the industry size to $5.7 billion by 2020, from the current $2 billion. Q. What are the safeguards that Auxilo deploy while operating in this high-risk sector where default rate is very high? Auxilo is a pro-education NBFC company with a focus on supporting education finances than restricting our product offerings fearing risk. Our robust business model evaluates many factors such as student's current academics, course details, target country, secured or unsecured amount and co-borrowers amongst other criteria to give us a proper shape of a student’s profile. We have educational specialists with expertise in profile-assessments and managing risks. We understand risk is a relative term and education sector may be perceived as risky due to future uncertainties and policies, but that hardly stops our aspirants. Q. What is your marketing strategy in getting clientele? We are aiming at positioning Auxilo as one of the preferred educational financing companies that play an active role in enabling quality support to desired ones and strengthen the educational ecosystem. Our marketing strategies are focused on identifying the needs of educational support among growing students and educational institutions and engaging with them through dedicated channels across traditional, social or digital media. We are quite hopeful of building and driving relationships with students, institutions, and stakeholders through our innovative, customer-oriented and engaging approaches. Q. What is the size of your educational loan portfolio? By the end of FY 2019, we expect to disburse loans worth INR 350 crore. We are one of the fastest growing education financing companies in India with a deeper understanding of the ecosystem. Auxilo began its journey in 2017 with a single-focus on education financing for pursuing degree courses, vocational training, eLearning, executive courses. We are increasingly becoming the single largest finance provider in the country to offer students hassle-free loans and assistance in achieving their education dreams. Q. What exactly is the difference in approach between Auxilo and other banks in the matter of education loans? We are one of the few NBFC educational financing companies in India that provide 100 percent financing to students on their education fees, travel fees, living expenses, examination fees, pre-admission cost, pre-visa disbursal and any education-related cost. Moreover, no margin money is charged from the students and, there is no upper limit on the loan amount.
We also provide unsecured loan up to INR 35 lakh which can be a motivating factor for many students. Auxilo Finserve has designed customized solutions that give the borrower a scope to make flexible repayment with provision for multiple co-borrower facilities. All these unique features give us an edge to gain more market space for accelerated growth.
Q. What is the strategic importance of opening a branch in Hyderabad? What are the other upcoming branches?
Hyderabad is the world’s third highest city to send students for higher learning across the globe and ranks fifth highest city among the 200 Consulates that the US grants visas to students. The city boasts of its literacy rate of 83 percent (male 86 percent) which is more than the national average of 75 percent. Over the years, the city has seen a large influx of students opting for US degrees and seeks courses ranging from Biotechnology to Engineering to Applied Sciences to humanities.
Our main aim is to support the dreams of Indian aspirants for overseas education to major destinations including US, UK, Australia, Canada, Germany, European countries among others.
Going ahead, we will expand to Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi, and Pune. From these cities, we are getting lots of queries showing the passion for higher learning that is surging at double digits.