The Hindu - 11 November, 2006

STFC plans to expand its reach for offering small truck finance

HYDERABAD: The Chennai-headquartered Shriram Transport Finance Company, one of the largest truck financiers, has announced plans to increase its assets under management to Rs. 15,000-20,000 crore in the coming three to four years.

The company, the leading player in the non-banking finance company segment in truck financing with more than Rs. 9,000 crore under asset management, is planning to introduce several innovative products.

These include financing of reconditioned trucks, truck exchange programmes, tyre finance, working capital and engine replacement finance besides schemes such as free mobile phones and credit cards for truck owners and loyalty reward programmes.

Announcing this at a press conference here on Monday, group Chairman, R. Thyagarajan, and the company's Managing Director, R. Sridhar, said the company planned to expand its reach to every nook and corner of the country for offering small truck finance. Mr. Thyagarajan and Mr. Sridhar were here in connection with a direct contact programme with the customers involving film star Dharmendra who had been roped in as the brand ambassador. The company planned to organise similar events in Mumbai and Kolkata. They stressed the need for more and more financial institutions and banks to enter the segment, as "it is a safe and profitable venture." The perception that trucks were "moving assets" was keeping the interest rates in the segment at higher end, but the situation would change once banks and financial institutions entered the segment.