A Revamped KSFE to be a Key Player in Infra Development

Thrissur: Walk into any government office and what mostly welcomes you would be age-old furniture, antique computers and shabbily kept interiors. However, one such institution in the public sector in Kerala is readying for a drastic makeover, shedding the stereotype of a typical government office.

A Purushothaman, Managing Director of Kerala State Financial Enterprises Limited (KSFE), a non-banking finance company, says that all KSFE branches, including the main branch in Thrissur, is going to get a facelift soon. “Everyone complaints about the non-cooperating staff and the laid back attitude of government employees. Once they are provided with good infrastructure and a proper work environment they will deliver their best,” he says with confidence. Apart from providing them with a proper workplace, he proposes to start a training centre for the employees. “We need to give them training in related skills and also soft skills. A parcel of land has been identified in Alappuzha to set up the training centre,” Purushothaman explains.

“KSFE is all set for a complete rebranding. From the logo to the service to the office environment, everything is going to change soon,” says Purushothaman. ‘‘We have around 6000-plus employees right now and with the addition of a few branches in the near future, this will go up to 7000,’’ he says. KSFE products include ‘chitty’ (chit funds), loans, savings and money transfer plans. “We are planning to bring in centralised registration for chit funds and online chitty auctions. The centralised scheme will give more transparency to the system and we hope, through this, we can attract more NRIs into the business,” says the KSFE MD.

The State Government has recently announced its plans to finance highway projects in the State with non-resident Keralites’ money invested through KSFE chit funds. In his Budget speech on March 4 this year, Dr. Thomas Isaac, State Finance Minister had said that a 1,267-km-long hill highway at a project cost of Rs. 3,500 crore, and a 630-km-long coastal highway with an estimated project cost of Rs. 6,500 crore will be financed through KSFE NRI chit fund scheme.

In order to attract the new generation tech savvy clients to its various schemes, KSFE is planning to launch a mobile application soon. KSFE grew its turnover by 18 per cent in 2014-15 over the previous year to touch Rs. 14,883 crore. KSFE, which is fully-owned by the State Government with an annual turnover of Rs. 30,000 crore and a customer base of 1.7 million, is expected to touch 1 trillion by 2020. At least 32,000 auctions are taking place at KSFE in a month. A medium sized branch collects a sum of around Rs. 5-10 lakh per day.