“Reigning high interest rates over the past one year has led to a slowdown in the growth of our business and revenue,” said Vikas Sahdev, partner, Financial Heights, a Delhi-based company that operates as a DSA (direct sales associate) for leading banks to offer home loans, personal loan, loan against property and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) along with advisory on investments. “It has also forced us to defer our expansion plans and has strained us to downsize our staff.”
Experts too see a slowdown in the home loan business. “Traditionally, the home loan business is down from July to September but it is down even more this year because of prevailing high interest rates and property prices,” said Harsh Roongta, chief executive officer, Apnaloan.com.
The fall in the business environment reflects the sorry state of thousands of entrepreneurs and their businesses today which were prospering till six months ago.
Nasir Ali, who runs Alvira Realty Services, another DSA, has also witnessed a slowdown in his business since April. “My business has gone down by 50 per cent and to cut down on costs I have transferred some of my employees to my other line of businesses,” said Ali.
It’s not merely home loans. Lending to the SME segment has also slowed down. “Banks have reduced their funding to SMEs even though demand is coming,” said Sahdev. “This, along with the slowdown in the retail loan business, has impacted my revenues by 40 per cent,” said Sahdev.
While all this has happened, what has kept Sahdev and his partners going is the good business they have done in the past. “We are placed better than many of our peers since we managed a growth of around 40 per cent over the past five years and have been able to hold on to our clients,” he said.
While he does not expect a quick revival of the economic downturn, he is confident it will end. “This can’t go on forever,” he said.