In a journey of 35 years, IDLC has left no stones unturned to live up to the commitment it made to its esteemed clients.
IDLC began as a single product lease finance company back in 1985 with 5 staff members. Thirty-five years down the line, it emerged as the largest multi-product multi-segment Non-Banking Financial Institution in the country. As one of the most respected financial brands in the industry, IDLC Finance Limited holds a strong and diversified footing in Corporate, SME, Retail and Capital Market segments. With a marked presence in over 20 cities and 40 branches, serving over 45,000 clients, IDLC is not just in the financing business instead they strive to help people achieve their dreams. As industry leaders, IDLC Finance Limited has been at the forefront of innovation working determinedly to propel the sector to new heights amidst the raging pandemic.
COPING THROUGH THE CRISIS
Many of the non-banking financial institutions are struggling with their profitability. Not only NBFI’s, the whole economy is suffering due to this pandemic. Almost every business organization was closed for a long period of time. This hampered the whole economy. IDLC has managed to overcome this quite well because of enough liquidity and timely prudential investment strategies. Depositor’s trust has also played a vital role here. IDLC has a long reputation for good governance, compliance, and experience of thirty-five years.
THE AWARD-WINNING INTEGRITY OF IDLC INVESTMENTS
IDLC Investments is one of the key performing subsidiaries of IDLC Finance Limited. They assist their clients throughout the IPO process, along with sustained market support and enable fast and easy portfolio management for individuals to ease them into the capital market.
IDLC Investments has been awarded by Euromoney for its ability to adapt and tailor its offerings in adverse conditions, superior financial performance compared to peers, unique deals, its legacy of delivering tailored and innovative solutions to local and international clients across a range of products and services. IDLC’s strength lies in its adaptability to change and also its commitment to creating a lasting impact on the society through various business efforts. Winning this award for the third time in a row reiterates their merchant bank’s continued leadership in the investment banking landscape of the country.
IDLC has recently launched the IPO of Robi Axiata Limited, with an issue size of BDT 5,237 million which is the biggest ever IPO in Bangladesh and also launched the IPO of Mir Akhter Hossain Limited with an issue size of BDT 1,250 million.
MSME: THE ENGINE OF AN ECONOMY
Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) are put in the frontline of an economy as they carry out the connotation of “the engine of an economy”. Being an intrinsically challenging sector, it brings a chunk of unbanked people under the financial inclusion net by creating job opportunities.
Access to formal finance by MSMEs in Bangladesh is limited compared to the average for the South Asia region. Despite significant knowledge gaps, MSMEs are undoubtedly the backbone of non-farm job creation in Bangladesh. A study prepared by the World Bank Group and the Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh (PRI) showed that the Bangladesh Bank’s efforts appear to have increased MSME financing overall from a low base. However, its impact and effectiveness could be enhanced by reviewing past and present financing schemes and institutions.The Bangladesh Bank should refocus its attention on the most constrained among the MSMEs. In addition, the Bangladesh Bank’s policy emphasis on banks does not appear to be fully internalized. Indeed, the banks’ response can best be characterized as one of passive compliance.The reasons appear to be based on persistent underlying financial infrastructure weaknesses and banks’ risk perceptions.
ENSURING HEALTH AND WELLBEING
The key strengths of IDLC is its open and transparent governance, customer’s trust and empowered workforce. Their team members are some of the best in the bunch. IDLC has a very robust process in place that allows them to be faster and better. They are also introducing technology at a faster rate with the aim to provide the best service to customers.
During this unprecedented time, the primary focus of IDLC was ensuring health and wellbeing of its employees as well as its customers without hampering its business. Keeping that in mind, they introduced a digital platform for deposit collection to safeguard their liquidity to ensure organizational stability during this crisis period.
People have grown the consciousness that now is the time to consider saving up for unforeseen events. This pandemic has been a jarring wake-up call.
CASTING A WIDER FINANCIAL NET
Being a financial institution IDLC takes care of most of the financing needs of their customers, from large corporations who want to set up a large factory to small businesses requiring working capital, they finance them all. IDLC has always been keen to commit its resources not only to maximize its own profitability, but also to offer better quality of life to both its internal and external stakeholder groups.
Green Banking: IDLC promotes sustainable business practices among its stakeholder groups, especially its clients and employees. As part of sustainable business practices, IDLC is committed to contribute towards greater environmental and social sustainability by undertaking various initiatives.
Women Empowerment: IDLC has introduced a comprehensive package for women empowerment in 2008 titled ‘Women Entrepreneur Loan’. This product not only offers loan facility with lower interest rates it also facilitates the women in obtaining regulatory documents and licenses essential to conduct a business.
Corporate Social Responsibility: Community development has always been an integral part of IDLC. Their CSR initiatives are focused on reducing inequalities in the society through investing in education, health, livelihood development and environmental challenges.
Financial Inclusion of Unbanked Population: In 2019, IDLC Finance created access to finance for about 450 Kitchen Market Vegetable Retailers as part of its vision of financial inclusion. Traditionally, these kitchen market vegetable retailers do not have access to formal credit mainly due to lack of proper documents and financial records. To fulfil their financial needs, they avail loans from local lenders at a very high interest rate, which is deterrent to their business growth. The objective of this initiative is to contribute to the growth of this section by meeting their financial needs.
Affordable Home loan: Affordable housing refers to housing units that are affordable by that section of society whose income is below the median household income. IDLC’s Affordable Home Loan provides housing loans for the low and middle income (monthly income within the upper ceiling of BDT 60,000) households, a currently untapped segment in the country’s housing finance sector.
MSME: IDLC has invested 46% of its portfolio in small and medium enterprises. This is a profitable business where non-performing loans are very low at 3.13%.
A CREATIVE AND COMPREHENSIVE POLICY APPROACH
There can be multiple creative approaches that can be induced by policymakers. For example, encouraging Kiosk based (self-service or assisted self-service) Service Delivery Centers for rural/unbanked populations to expand financial inclusion, implementing a comprehensive plan to improve interoperability of technology platforms among central bank, election commission, NBR, and others. Regulators can also encourage direct connectivity among technology platform of banks and NBFI for faster and accountable online transactions.
IDLC FINANCING HAPPINESS
IDLC works with the slogan “Financing Happiness”. They believe in contributing to the grassroots for a greater change in society. To create a long-term impact on society, IDLC takes on issues related to health, the environment, and education. They feel that these three sectors have the capability to mold society’s future as they leave a long-lasting impact. One of the recent examples is the project of boat ambulance in Rangabali which was launched in January 2020. The ambulance was designed by the foundation as well. In a 26-foot long and eight-foot-wide boat ambulance, they managed to keep a space for an emergency delivery.
Another project is named Oditiya. In this project, they offer scholarships to underprivileged women who are the first in their families to reach the honors level of education. They collaborate with a vernacular Bangladeshi daily and Asian University for Women for the project. They bear the educational expenses of the women at the honors level.