Cover Story, Chandini Sehgal ( HDFC Credila )

“Good opportunities will always be those that are risky, confusing, maybe even hard to recognize. Moving beyond your comfort zone is where the magic happens. As a good marketing leader and strategist, it is integral to know what the customer needs even before they do.”

Education is the foundation for the future. It is the empowerment to make choices and emboldens the youth to chase their dreams. Availing an education loan is the first step taken by a majority of students to realize their higher education dreams in India or abroad. With this vision of transforming lives, HDFC Credila , an HDFC Ltd. company pioneered the concept of specialist Education Loan lender and embarked its name as India’s First Dedicated Education Loan Company.

Education is the foundation for the future. It is the empowerment to make choices and emboldens the youth to chase their dreams. Availing an education loan is the first step taken by a majority of students to  realise their higher education dreams in India or abroad. With this vision of transforming lives, HDFC Credila , an HDFC Ltd. company pioneered the concept of specialist Education Loan lender and embarked its name as India’s First Dedicated Education Loan Company.

As a new age company, the aim was to simplify and streamline the process of availing a loan and offer solution based customised products. Another strong differentiator that sets HDFC Credila apart is it’s unique marketing style. Ms Chandini Sehgal set up the marketing & business channels division when she joined the founding team in 2010, scriptedwriting brand HDFC Credila as we know it today.

SERVICES

HDFC Credila works with the mission to transform lives by enabling students to have financial abilities to choose better academic institutes globally. Pioneering the concept of Customized education loan solutions, HDFC Credila home delivers education loans. HDFC Credila provides an opportunity for the students to know how much money would be available to them even before applying to any university. Chandini Sehgal, Head-Marketing & Channels says, “As a brand, we believe in handholding the student through the financial process – from guiding him to understand  how much money he should plan for, offering value-added platforms to interact with experts from the education industry across the globe and even curating offers to help them save on products and services bought through the students life cycle.”

Using robust technology tools with multiple channels of communication, Brand HDFC Credila helps students in a number of ways by offering a range of features that legacy banks maynot provide- a tech enabled process and more flexible terms that are better suited for the modern educational needs.

Till date, HDFC Credila has funded education dreams of thousands of students, studying across 38+ different countries, and has become one of the most familiar and trusted names in the higher education loan sector.

STRENGTH

Chandini Sehgal, Head- Marketing & Channels shares that that the best practices they adopt from all around the world is the biggest strength to her and the Company. Remembering the days, she says, “HDFC Credila is also a story of scaling up during the turbulent times. It has grown to over Rs.10000 crores of Education Loan disbursed in a short time span of time. In an industry already dominated by large financial establishments- ‘The Goliaths’, HDFC Credila (initially known as Credila Financial Services) spotted an opportunity of an untapped education loan market! The challenge was to be the David in the ‘David vs Goliath story’ and seize the opportunity with sheer grit, determination and the belief that one could make a marked difference in the education loan industry.”

Until the economies of scale comes into play, remaining focused and leveraging resources is highly critical. Chandini says “It is much more rewarding to do more with less. Over a period of time this became a culture at HDFC Credila. A culture to be innovative, to be impactful even with limited spends.”

Multiple innovative value added marketing initiatives sets them apart as the thought leaders of the industry. Talking about the ethos of the company, Chandini says, “The ethos of the company comes from its leaders and then gets passed on to each one who works along with you towards the vision of the company. The culture, the ethos, the vision has to be lived every single day. It’s not always easy to do the right thing but doing the right thing makes you strong, it builds character. This is what HDFC Credila stands for.”

COMING UP WITH HDFC CREDILA

When asked for the idea behind HDFC Credila, Chandini said, “Education Loan is the second-largest asset class in the USA, with over $ 1.2 Trillion worth of total student loans outstanding. Despite India’s population being four times that of the USA and putting up all lenders together, the total Education Loan portfolio outstanding is just about $12 Billion. The underlying bedrock idea, therefore, was to pioneer the private education loan industry in India by launching India’s First Dedicated Education Loan Company, which would focus exclusively on funding students for their higher education in India and overseas. Where HDFC Ltd. is for Home Loans, Credila wanted to be for Education Loans.”

This idea has served thousands of students and helped them in their education. Most of the initiatives are directed towards, understanding unstated problems, predicting customer needs and providing tailor made solutions.

With a continuous effort to be the change-maker of the education loan industry, HDFC Credila has led several key transformations of the sector, carving its own path to success

THE MARKETING MANTRA

Chandini Sehgal started her journey with the company in the year 2010. Currently, she Heads Marketing, Business Channels and Corporate Communications of the company. Having an experience of over 18 years across the Financial Sector & FMCG sector, she along with a very passionate team has made HDFC Credila touch glory. With her creative streak and passion for innovative marketing tools, she has led the company pioneering trend-setting marketing initiatives and channel development tools.

Chandini has also been a part of various MNCs like ABN Amro Bank & Glaxo SmithKline Consumer Healthcare, where she held multiple positions across Marketing, Sales & Business Development. She has also been honored with the ‘100 Top Most Influential Business Leaders in the BFSI sector’ by World BFSI Congress & ET Now and conferred with ‘India’s Top 100 Women in Finance’ by AIWMI, recognized among the most respected and successful women professionals based on the success in her roles & contribution to the sector.

Chandini is passionate about learning. She says, “Growth and comfort do not go hand in hand. I learned to always take on things I had not done before and continue this journey of learning and leaving footprints behind.” Passion gives Chandini the energy to wake up daily with the same excitement and to work with a purpose. Chandini is not only passionate about implementing new ideas at work but for her passion extends to everything she takes up- be it her morning run, her love for adventure, a hobby dance class or while adorning her role as an involved mother. Chandini is greatly inspired by the first Indian defense personal who became the Field Marshal- Sam Manekshaw. His energy and leadership skills inspired her to become a leader who leads from the front. Sharing about her leadership style, she strongly feels that as a leader it’s important to have everyone aligned to a common goal and yet give them the freedom to work towards it with their own strengths and creativity.

Future Ahead

While talking about the future of the company, Chandini says, “HDFC Credila has been evolving constantly. While we integrate technology to simplify and automate the process, we still continue having a personal touch and engage at multiple stages of the life cycle of the student. We envisage the company to continue growth at this fast pace as a thought leader of this segment and empower many more such brilliant minds to achieve their education goals without downgrading their dreams!”

Challenges are part and parcle of everyone’s life and Chandini’s believes that at HDFC Credila, the challenge has been to grow in a complex and dynamic environment and to constantly stay ahead of the curve. The effort has been towards predicting customer wants before they do & making the brand relevant in the journey of the student.

HDFC Credila has grown immensely since its foundation and has marked success as a trusted and preferred brand. Chandini shares with pride, “For HDFC Credila success is also about the difference you make to people’s lives and I am privileged to be a part of an organization where one gets the opportunity to empower the next generation of highly qualified Indian professionals across the globe”.

For More details: http://hdfccredila.com/


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