Akshit Pushkarna

Piramal Finance's maiden campaign introduces the concept of 'Neeyat' in banking

‘Hum Kagaz se zyaada neeyat dekhte hain’ encapsulates the message of the brand perfectly, says Arvind Iyer, Head- Marketing, Piramal Finance.

Piramal Capital & Housing Finance Limited, or simply Piramal Finance, the financial solutions subsidiary of The Piramal Group, recently launched its maiden ad campaign. ‘Hum Kagaz se zyaada neeyat dekhte hain’ comprises two one-minute ad films that were conceptualised by the creative agency The Womb.

The idea behind the new campaign is to reach out to the blue-collar workers of India. Arvind Iyer, head- marketing, Piramal Finance, says that everything about the company is encapsulated perfectly in the tagline for their first campaign.

Iyer says that this particular audience group, which comprises Kirana store owners, locksmiths, auto mechanics, and shop owners, among other professionals, makes up for a large chunk of people with employment in the country. "A lot of the customers of Piramal Finance are not even deemed visible or noted by other financial institutions. This sect of India is underserved by the banking sector simply because of the way in which the financial industry today demands underwriting, paperwork, etc., which may not be available with a majority of these people," Iyer claims.

The first ad addresses the woes of the target audience. It shows a Piramal executive approaching a blacksmith who initially seems dismissive of the agent, anticipating that his loan application would have been rejected again. The executive explains to the locksmith that the company has done background on his credit history without any paperwork and hence, he is eligible for a loan.

Kawal Shoor, founding partner, The Womb, says that while the storylines for both ads were fresh, they are not far from many stories of 'Bharat' that they saw while developing the ad.

"One thing that struck me during our initial conversations with Jairam Sridharan was how Piramal Finance looks at the intentions of their customers. Generally speaking, all financial lending institutions look at proofs over anything else. I would say that the job of an agency becomes easier when the business of the client is differentiated enough, which was the case here," Kawal Shoor, founding partner, The Womb says.

Further describing the process of developing the campaign, Shoor shares that conversations with existing customers of the company helped the agency in developing the campaign. The thing that stood out to him was that people in the middle to lower financial strata have a lot of honesty when it comes to finances.

"If you meet people in small shops, and chawls, lots of amazing stories come forth. In our conversations with these people, we found the qualities of character and honesty strongly reflect in their personalities. That's where the concept of 'Neeyat' came from," Shoor explains.

Piramal Finance's maiden campaign introduces the concept of 'Neeyat' in banking

The brand is looking to reach out to its target audience via a combination of traditional mass media and social media with their new campaign. Shoor says that traditional mass advertising platforms like television, OOHs, and radio, would be the key component for this campaign. The brand believes TVC would give them the greatest traction with their audience base since they are targeting people who hail from one TV household. However, both Shoor and Iyer say that they are careful not under addressing social media for the campaign.

"YouTube is very important for us since many use the platform to learn new skills that could be helpful in their livelihood. We are also cognisant of the fact that many of these people are active social media users and are largely present on Bharat first apps like Koo, MxTaktak, Sharchat, etc., which have become important mediums for us. We do have certain engagement on these platforms right now but over time our focus would be to be more present on these apps," Iyer shares.

Elaborating on how the company evaluates loan seekers, Iyer says that the base of Piramal Finance is to look beyond paperwork and figure out ways to underwrite what other qualities their customers bring to the table. On the basis of these qualities, the company gauges whether they are creditworthy or not. "We look at whatever paperwork our customers can bring in. After identifying what all documentation is missing in their applications, we try to figure out ways to replace them with our own background analysis and identify whether they are creditworthy or not," Iyer elaborates.

Moving forth, Iyer says that the priority for Piramal Finance is to build a position of its own in the financial services industry. "I think it's early days for us. We are a little over a year old as a brand. Landing our proposition with the audience is the task at the hand now for us at the moment and we will continue to focus on that for the time being," he shares.

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