State Bank of India (SBI), which has been a pioneer in SME lending has taken yet another giant leap by partnering with Uber, world’s largest on-demand transport aggregation company, to provide vehicle finance for driver-partners on its platform.
It is SBI’s endeavour to fuel growth for micro-entrepreneurs by providing access to quick and low-cost finance. The loans will be sanctioned instantly using an inbuilt digital offering. This new product will enable thousands of skilled drivers to overcome liquidity crunch and excess documentation requirements, to become an entrepreneur. All these loans are collateral free and carry a very competitive interest rate. All loans will also get covered under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana Scheme of Government of India.
Founded in 2009 in the US, Uber has operations in almost 400 cities in 68 countries across the world. Uber launched its India operations in September 2013, and is currently present across 27 cities in the country, more than any other country outside the US. By seamlessly connecting riders to drivers through its app, Uber makes cities more accessible, opening up more possibilities for riders and more business for driver-partners.
In January, earlier this year, SBI had launched an innovative digital loan offering for merchants on e-commerce platforms. The offering has been extended to some of the largest players in the space including Snapdeal, Flipkart, Paytm etc. The partnership with Uber is another big step in the bank’s vision to build a risk mitigated portfolio by leveraging new ecosystem opportunities.
The Bank has hired Boston Consulting Group (BCG) to facilitate new tie-ups under eco-system financing and to design innovative product offerings.
SBI and Uber are exploring further collaboration opportunities on various other areas including a special scheme for the Faujis who intend to drive on the Uber platform. Uber India has partnered with the Army Welfare Placement Organization (AWPO) under the Ministry of Defence to help ex-servicemen transition to civilian life and to provide them with entrepreneurial opportunities once they retire or complete their term of service. The bank is looking to offer special benefits for UberFauji program.
The new partnership was announced by Smt. Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chairman, SBI and Mr. Eric Alexander, President of Business, Asia Pacific, Uber. The event was graced by the bank’s top management – MD Rajnish Kumar, MD B Sriram, MD V. G. Kannan, MD P. K. Gupta, as well as various DMDs and CGMs of the Bank. The Business development lead of Uber India Ms. Nandini Maheshwari was also present along with her Uber India team.