In Rajasthan’s towns and cities, getting loans for second-hand trucks or three-wheelers is no longer hard. But, in 1995, when Au Financiers had just started, borrowing at reasonable interest rates was tough. Moneylenders charged usurious rates while banks were wary of lending to buyers who lacked documentation. Consumers often found themselves in a fix.
Targeting this niche, Au Financiers (incidentally, Au is the periodic symbol for gold) started with a small branch in Jaipur, focusing on lending that would enhance livelihoods. That is, by giving loans for trucks and three-wheelers. Growth was slow till 2002 but the initial phase placed the company on a solid wicket for the massive expansion that was to take place in the next 10 years.
In 2003, Au Financiers tied up with HDFC Bank to provide loans in regions the big housing financier could not reach. The company has since grown and now lends to small businesses as well as for housing. Its Rs 4,200-crore loan book has enabled it to raise money from blue-chip names like Motilal Oswal, IFC, Warburg Pincus and ChrysCapital.
The man behind it
In 1995, after Sanjay Aggarwal, Au Financiers’ promoter and managing director, took his chartered accountancy exams, he realised he didn’t want to work for anyone. Instead, he wanted to create something on his own and the finance business seemed to be synergistic with his qualifications.
Raising money was a problem but Aggarwal got his first break with high net worth individuals who were willing to invest. “It was frustrating to be in a business that was growing slowly,” he admits. Then, in 1997, two years after he set up shop, non-banking finance companies (NBFC) came under a cloud after the CRB Group promoted by CR Bhansali was found guilty of fraud and went bust. But Aggarwal stuck it out; he says he was more interested in understanding credit patterns and behaviour. For instance, why do people in certain regions not pay back while others do? What are prudent provisioning norms? How does a business develop tools to assess creditworthiness?
This thought process enabled Aggarwal to grow Au Financiers into a sustainable business. Today, it is considered a rising star in the financial sector. It has expanded to 10 states and Aggarwal has even instituted a stock ownership plan for his employees. His aim is to build an organisation that is known for its professionalism and has the same corporate governance standards as HDFC.
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(This story appears in the 06 September, 2013 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)
The great perform in business line and amazing growth in market. financiers build our #miracle .on Mar 15, 2016
I am proud to be from AU familyon Dec 29, 2015
Great...on Aug 7, 2015
I proud to be member of Au financierson Jul 22, 2014
i am proud to a au familyon Mar 21, 2014
This is krishna prasad from Andhra pradesh vizag location really its a best place to hard worker n honest people, why this AU finance not exlansion in AP.Actually in AP also good potential market for veh finance.on Mar 7, 2014
Very inspiring storyon Nov 4, 2013
i proud to be a part of au financierson Oct 15, 2013
amazing story of Au finance ltd which inspiring new generation like me for growing up.................on Oct 15, 2013
I am very much glad to know about the company.. and being part of makes me feel more proud person.. wanna thank a lot of people for making me work with such organisation where motto of work is HONESTY AND HARDWORK..on Oct 8, 2013
there is no substitute of hard work, sir I salute your talent..on Sep 30, 2013
I proud to be member of Au financiers.on Sep 25, 2013
Main bada Sobhagyashali hun ki sanjay sir mere \" GURU \" hain Samashya ki jad (Bottom) tak jana unki aadat hai aur samadhan unka Dharm unki ek line hamesha yad rahati hai \" Jis post per aap bathe hain wahan ki problems ka solution aapke pass Nahin hai to aap us post ke layak bhi nahin hai \"on Sep 23, 2013
Company Grow Day to Day, But I think needs to company having Best employee policy i.e incentive, salary, expense. Old employee get promotion yearly on dedication, profitable buz. Having Dedicated, profitable and knowledgeable employees. Mean company need floor level strong/Mkt Exe.on Sep 9, 2013
proud to be a member of Au Familyon Sep 9, 2013
I proud to be member of Au financiers.on Sep 9, 2013
The best experience of my life with the best people around me as a family .... Really hats off To Sanjay Sir for such an initiative . Blessed to be a part of your team .on Sep 9, 2013
Its been incredible while many of the big players in the sector are just managing to survive Au is growing like any thing, the major magic behind this is the greatest leadership of Mr Sanjay Aggarwal. SALUTE to him.on Sep 8, 2013
This is an incredible recognition. When big NBFC\'s are still striving to establish, AU has not just established but proved to be a hidden gem. I am proud to be part of AU family. Kudos to Sanjay Sir\'s who only could made this achievement possible. I believe that all those who are associated with AU group will now be more possessive for the group. Remember this is just a start, we have to collectively work upon to go beyond excellence in every field. My best wishes to entire AU Family.on Sep 6, 2013
I Proud to be a member of Au Family.on Sep 6, 2013
great !!! happy that i am a part of AU which is best leadership team in Indian market. congratulation to all AU familyon Sep 6, 2013
I Proud to be a member of Au Family. main sanjay sir ko apna adarsh manta hu aur main bhi unki tarah hi ek self business man banna chahta hu main bhi Bahut aage badana chahta hu , aur main sanjay sir ko unki kamyabi ke liye bahut-bahut Bhadhai sir aapko.on Sep 6, 2013
Great Company with one of the best leadership team in world. Proud to be part of Au Group.on Sep 6, 2013
M feeling proud to be As a part of Au financiers, The company is one of the best growing company in the world and the management people of this company are very down to earth as well as supportingon Sep 6, 2013
Hidden Gem....truly said.... One of the best finance company in Indian market, who not only lends, but cares for its customeron Sep 6, 2013
My Respected person is Mr, Sanjay Agarwal , main sanjay sir ko apna adarsh manta hu aur main bhi unki tarah hi ek self business man banna chahta hu main bhi nahut aage badana chahta hu , aur main sanjay sir ko unki kamyabi ke liye say,congratulation sir,on Sep 6, 2013
Proud to be a part of Au.. bcz of the friendly attitude of managment every employee consider Au as his/her \"Second Home\"...on Sep 6, 2013
I proud to be member of Au financiers.on Sep 6, 2013
proud to be a member of Au Familyon Sep 6, 2013
kindly let me know if there is any opportunity to source business from Pune and rest of Maharashtra areas..on Sep 5, 2013
Proud to be a member of AU family. Our efforts, attitude, sincerity, goals are very clear to set a milestone in M.P.on Sep 5, 2013
Good growth short period in finance industry why can\'t u expand ur business to south region as said by Mr.Venkat tanneeru huge market for used vehicle finance with good yield the existing financiers are maintaining I think this is the right time to enter into south market especially into APon Sep 5, 2013
iam very much impressed about your company growth and working system i have more than 10 yrs of experience in finance industry ..hope for expansion of new branches towards south india especially in Andhra Pradesh . if possible any oppertunity to source business from hyderabadon Sep 5, 2013
Proud to be a member of AU family. Our efforts, attitude, sincerity, goals are very clear to set a milestone in Punjab.on Sep 5, 2013
What a nice article!!! I know very well about this company as I worked for nearly 4 months in HR. The company is one of the best growing company in the world and the management people of this company are very down to earth and they never think that they are MD or ED or business head.. Every body in this company including MD and ED Sir are very clear in their goal to become the biggest player in Finance industry. However they not only put importance for company growth but also on their manpower growth. The person who leave this organization are the biggest fool i have ever seen. The company is full of star performers which make the MD Sir the rising star.. Hats up to the MD Sir and Management for all their efforts..However I am not a part of this company now but I would love to see this company as the biggest financiers in India..Wish you all the best AU Group members..on Sep 4, 2013