The real estate sector in India is facing flat growth for quite some time. High property prices have made it difficult for middle class people to buy a house. Sales teams of finance companies are no doubt desperate. That's, perhaps, the reason behind a video of a man seen selling home loans in a manner similar to how vegetables are sold on a street. You read it right - selling home loans like a vendor sells his veggies on a street.
The WhatsApp video shows a man, apparently a staff member of finance company Indiabulls Home Loans, asking people to buy home loans while shouting like a vegetable vendor. The employee is accompanied by a colleague who is holding a big umbrella for him that displays Indiabulls Home Loans signs. The employee starts his presentation saying "no hidden charges" and begins shouting, "Now it's very easy to avail off loans. There are no hidden charges. Take the benefits of the Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana."
In high-pitched voice, the employee goes on to advertise the company's other facilities of 'loans against property', 'home loans', and 'loans on flats or properties'. "We offer the lowest market interest rate of 8.4 across the industry. There are no processing, technical, and legal fees. For more queries, please contact our stall. We offer 90 per cent of loans for property buying," says the employee.
Though his outlandish marketing trick seems to have caught enough eyeballs on social media, the act does not seem to have gone down well with the senior management of the company. According to an email circulating on the messaging app, Gagan Banga, Indiabull Housing Finance Vice Chairman and Managing Director, has criticised the act, saying 'such conduct is unacceptable'. "Our conduct has to reflect our size, maturity and overall profile. There is a video circulating on WhatsApp featuring a very enthusiastic colleague, but unfortunately it does not go well with our brand, people and management team," says Gagan.
He went on to explain that though he appreciated the enthusiasm and out-of-the-box thinking, the company's sole aim is not only to generate business but to provide services that compliment well with the brand. "Home buying, and the entire process around it is amongst the most important financial decision that our customers take in their lifetime. Team IBHFL (Indiabulls Housing Finance) has to respect and appreciate the relevance of it. Let's no reduce our sales functions to a level of selling vegetables," says Gagan.
When Business Today approached Indiabulls Home Loans, a spokesperson from the company reverted saying the company accords utmost sanctity to home buying as a very important decision in customers' life. "The said video has come to our attention over the weekend and the management has already initiated disciplinary action against relevant people. This kind of promotional activity has not been authorised by the company, and it was an isolated instance driven by the exuberance of a few enthusiastic employees," said the statement.
It added that the company "strongly believes that excitement has to respect decorum and would like to apologise to anyone who may have been hurt".