Interview with Sameer Aggarwal, Founder & CEO, RevFin
There’s a huge credit shortage in the EV segment.
RevFin, a fintech company, offers loans to electric vehicle (EV) operators, as also to people who want to move houses or renovate these, for celebrations such as wedding and vacations, and for emergency purposes. It has created a gamification platform where those who take loans can earn points through referrals and timely repayments. Its products include RevLoan (revolving credit limit), Rev-a-Thon (reward scheme for repaying on time) and Rev-a-Mate (referrals). In an interaction with FE’s Vikram Chaudhary, the founder & CEO of RevFin, Sameer Aggarwal, says that EV operators are most in need of loans right now. Excerpts:
Do you cater only to the digital literate population?
Those who use a smartphone and apply for loans via the smartphone on the app are our major customers.
Do you have your own non-banking finance company (NBFC)?
There is this NBFC called the Aristo Securities that was set up in 1994 and became an NBFC in 2000; we acquired it in 2018.
Whom do you offer loans to?
In the automotive segment, we primarily offer loans to commercial EV operators, and a lot of these are people who may find it difficult to get loans from banks etc.
In fact, our current focus is EV loans because that’s an area where there is a huge shortage of supply of credit, even though it’s a booming market.
Do you also offer loans to those who want to set up EV charging stations?
So far we have offered loans to those who want to buy EV and batteries, but we are working with people who need money for conversion kits or who want to set up charging stations. I recently came across an interesting concept, i.e. setting up charging stations for just Rs 56,000 at kirana shops that can charge 4-6 EVs at a time. This is the kind of product we would like to finance.
We also offer loans for replacement batteries, and when a new EV is bought at times the battery and the vehicle are financed separately. Our average ticket size is Rs 1 lakh.
Is EV financing a big opportunity?
There are about 20 lakh EV in India. Most of these are low-speed electric rickshaws; it’s a product that has become quite popular especially in northern and eastern India. In addition, due to the pandemic, last-mile delivery has picked up in a big way. It has been proven that the total cost of ownership of a commercial EV is lower than conventional fuel vehicle. That’s why a focus on this segment makes a lot of sense.
I must add that these low-speed EVs can be charged at home on a regular three-pin socket, so charging is not a constraint for these kinds of vehicles; come to think of it, there are no charging stations in rural India and yet so many EVs run in rural India, because these get charged at home. From my perspective, there are 200 million households in India, and this means there are 200 million charging points in India.
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