The aggressive financier
IDLC Finance has been around since 1985, but it was in 2010 that things took a turn, for the better. That was when it decided to be the “best financial brand” in the country.
New vision meant new leadership, and the non-bank financial institute turned to Selim RF Hussain. And together, over the next couple of years, IDLC niftily went about realising its goals.
First up, the company invested heavily in human resource and infrastructure, to set the groundwork straight for its lofty ambitions. Over 450 full-time and 300 contractual employees were recruited in the last three years, while the number of branches rose from 12 to 26.
“We moved from the 1st-gear mentality to the 2nd-gear one in 2010, and now, we are about to step on the 3rd gear. Our success, therefore, can be said is a combination of quality planning and quality execution,” says 56-year-old Hussain, IDLC's managing director.
With the solid keystone laid, IDLC then went about increasing its client base. In 2012, the total deposit stood at Tk 2,200 crore, up almost 78 percent from 2010. Credit disbursement, too, raked in impressive figures: it went up 79 percent in 2012 from 2010's Tk 1,561 crore.
IDLC, which is short for Industrial Development Leasing Company of Bangladesh, was set up in 1985 in collaboration with international development agencies such as the International Finance Corporation, Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development and German Investment and Development Company.
Hussain insists it was a “renowned” brand in the financial sector since inception, but was run conservatively. “What we have done is aggressive business, but in keeping with corporate governance, statutory compliance and ethical practice.”
A full-on corporate culture has been embedded, one not too dissimilar from the foreign banks. “We constantly look to HSBC and Standard Chartered to see how we measure against them,” Hussain says.
IDLC offers products and services in four categories -- corporate, consumer, small and medium enterprise and treasury. The corporate products and services include lease financing, term loan, working capital financing and project financing. In consumer area, it offers home loan, personal credit, car loan for individuals, real estate developer finance and retail deposit.
In the SME division, one of IDLC's focus areas, it offers small enterprise finance, business loan, commercial vehicle loan, machinery loan, medium enterprise loan and women entrepreneur loan. The NBFI's credit exposure to the sector in the last three years stood at Tk 1,276 crore, with a cumulative average growth of 57 percent.
The treasury products and services of IDLC comprise common equity investments, call placement, debenture, short-term placement, fixed deposit and zero coupon bonds.
“We are the largest in-terms of balance sheet, in-terms of employees and in-terms of multi products,” Hussain says.
It is not just hard-core numbers that consume IDLC -- corporate social responsibility gets much attention, too.
It expends on employee health and safety, community empowerment, human and labour rights, anti-corruption, environmental sustainability and green technology, blood donation and tree plantation.
Going forward, the company plans to blend its capital market business with the loans and deposit business, for a holistic offering. “This approach is looking good and we are confident it will lead to greater things in future.”