How Poonawalla Fincorp is adapting to new ways of working

The NBFC has undergone major digital transformation and has hired 200 people with tech and digital skills


Poonawalla Fincorp, the Pune-based non-banking financial company, which employs more than 5000 people in the country, is going through a major digital and cultural transformation. Over the last nine months, the Company’s focus has been to rebuild its culture and bring in new skillsets which never existed before, reveals Manish Chaudhari, president & chief of staff, Poonawalla Fincorp, in an exclusive chat with HRKatha.

Chaudhari explains that currently, Poonawalla Fincorp is undergoing a digital transformation with many of its functions and services being digitised. Earlier, it followed a culture of processing and delivering documents manually, and now, most of the interaction and communication with the customers is happening digitally.

“We have actually moved to new ways of working in the organisation,” says Chaudhari.

With technology becoming a significant part of the Company’s culture now, most of its products, services and offerings to customers have been digitised.

That is not all. In the past nine months, there has been a change in the kind of financial products and even in the customer base of the Company.

“Skills required in a financial services firm depend on the kind of customer base being catered to. Earlier, we were dealing with customers majorly from a rural background, but now, our customer base has shifted to people from urban cities,” tells Chaudhari.

With financial products such as personal loans, business loans and professional loans, Chaudhari says that a new set of technology skills such as analytics has become critical for the organisation.

“We have trained our people to adopt the new technology and the new ways of working”

Manish Chaudhari, president & chief of staff, Poonawalla Fincorp

For technology and digital skills, which have never existed in the organisation earlier, Poonawalla Fincorp prefers to rely on external sources. To acquire these skills, the Company has hired analytics professionals from the talent market, coming from diverse sectors, including fintech, IT and tech.

“As of now, we have hired about 200 people to meet our technology and digital skillset needs,” shares Chaudhari. The Company has actually created a separate centre for this set of talent.

Like any other company, attracting tech talent was a challenge, but they were able to set the tone right. “We were able to set up the right kind of leadership team for this segment, with the members further using their expertise and influence to attract quality tech talent,” explains Chaudhari.

In fact, since the Company hardly had any experience in attracting tech talent, a special talent-acquisition was formed to hire and onboard tech and digital talent.

Skill building is a part of the digital transformation exercise at the firm. “We have trained our people to adopt the new technology and the new ways of working,” reveals Chaudhari.

To build a digital mindset, the Company has used a mix of classroom training, on-the-job learning and virtual tools to impart training to the employees, covering most of the workforce. The content as well as the learning and training drive have been conceptualised and formulated internally by the Poonawalla Fincorp team itself. “We believe that no outsider can help our people understand the internally-developed technology platforms and systems better than us,” declares Chaudhari.

In fact, the Company also worked to enhance the skills and capabilities of its learning and development (L&D) team. Now, Poonawalla Fincorp has a well-equipped competency chart and an internal learning calendar in place.

Rebuilding culture

On July 22, 2021, Magma Fincorp had changed its name to Poonawalla Fincorp and rebranded itself following the acquisition of controlling stake by Adar Poonawalla led Rising Sun Holding. Post this acquisition the Company has worked upon rebuilding its culture and values.

The new set of values, according to Chaudhari, can be defined using the acronym CREDIT, which stands for collaboration, responsible, entrepreneurship, direct, innovative and transparent.

As per Chaudhari, the top leadership of the Company has been well aligned with these values. Poonawalla Fincorp has enabled its leaders to demonstrate these values and behaviours, which will gradually cascade down to the bottom of the pyramid.

After the acquisition, the Company has been able to retain 90 per cent of the people in the organisation. Not only has the Company managed this transformation smoothly, Chaudhari is confident that this cultural transformation will be a continuous learning and development process.

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