Bajaj Finance, the finance company under Bajaj Finserv, has revealed its plan to significantly reduce the value of loans pushed through telemarketing calls.
Sanjiv Bajaj, the chairman and managing director of Bajaj Finserv, stated that the company aims to bring this portion of their business down to less than 10 percent and ultimately reach zero percent, Moneycontrol reported.
Bajaj expressed his desire for their phone calls to solely serve customer service purposes, with all promotional activities conducted through digital channels.
At present, approximately 15 percent of Bajaj Finance's loan book comprises loans solicited through telemarketing calls. This aggressive marketing strategy has led to the company becoming the subject of social media memes. Telemarketing calls to sell loans are common in India's financial services industry.
To provide customers with greater control over their interaction with the company, Bajaj Finserv plans to introduce an option on its website and mobile application in the next three months, allowing borrowers, investors, and clients to choose not to be contacted again.
Sanjiv Bajaj emphasized the importance of customer privacy and the right to be forgotten. He acknowledged that many unsolicited calls related to loans or insurance products originate from fake call centers, highlighting the issue of institutional fraud. Bajaj revealed that a 400-member organized fraud call center was recently exposed and shut down near Mumbai.
Bajaj emphasized the need to mine data to make products available to customers rather than engaging in proactive customer calls. He also assured that the mutual fund managed by Bajaj Finserv would comply with all data protection and privacy norms expected by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
SEBI does not explicitly prohibit fund houses from sharing client contact information with sister firms but expects them to maintain the privacy of investor information. The Code of Conduct outlined by SEBI for asset management companies emphasizes integrity, fairness, and high standards of conduct in all business dealings.
In 2020, SEBI issued instructions regarding data privacy to mutual funds, registrar and transfer agents (R&T), and the Association of Mutual Funds of India (AMFI), instructing them to adhere to client data privacy.
It specified that user data should not be shared between group entities managing multiple businesses or products, and cross-marketing of group companies' products and services should not take place.