Ajeet Kumar Singh, MD and Co-Founder of SAVE Solutions Pvt. Ltd

Ajeet Kumar Singh

An exclusive interview with Ajeet Kumar Singh, MD and Co-Founder of SAVE Solutions Pvt. Ltd, a leading player in the financial services sector

We are honored to present an exclusive interview with Mr. Ajeet Kumar Singh, the Managing Director and Co-Founder of SAVE Solutions Pvt. Ltd. As a prominent figure in the financial services sector, Mr. Singh has played a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of inclusive finance.

With a keen understanding of the challenges and opportunities in the industry, he has led SAVE Solutions to become a trailblazer in fostering financial inclusion. In this interview, we delve into Mr. Singh’s insights, experiences, and vision for the future of financial services.

Can you provide a brief overview of SAVE Solutions Pvt. Ltd and its journey so far?

Ajeet Kumar Singh: SAVE Solutions Pvt. Ltd. is a prominent banking service provider in rural India, boasting a vast network of 14,000+ Customer Service Points (CSPs) spread across over 8,600 villages in 28 states and 6 union territories.

With trusted partnerships with major banks like SBI, BOI, BOB, PNB, Jharkhand Rajya Gramin Bank, Baroda UP Bank, and others, we’ve established ourselves as a reliable banking correspondent company. In the fiscal year 2022-23, our trade volume reached an impressive 49,000 crore, serving a substantial 4 to 5 lakh clients daily.

Committed to addressing the financial needs of the underserved, our diverse portfolio offers a range of financial products under one roof, making banking and financial services accessible to rural Indians and contributing to the economic well-being of the communities we serve.

As a last mile banking service provider, how does SAVE Solutions address the financial needs of rural Indians effectively?

Ajeet Kumar Singh: SAVE Solutions has strategically expanded its presence in different sectors of the NBFC industry through four privately held subsidiaries. These subsidiaries focus on providing diverse banking services to individuals in rural areas with limited or no access to traditional banks.

Engaged in NBFC – MFI, NBFC – MSME, NBFC – HFC, and Asset-side BC Segment, SAVE offers a range of products including micro loans, housing loans, secured loans (such as loans against property and plots), and unsecured loans (like business loans).

Additionally, we provide basic banking services like cash deposit, withdrawal, passbook maintenance, and fund transfers, aiming to address the financial needs of those living outside urban centers.

With a daily footfall of around 4,00,000 clients, how does SAVE Solutions ensure a seamless and efficient customer experience?

Ajeet Kumar Singh: The integration of digitization into account opening and transaction processes has significantly simplified and enhanced efficiency. Leveraging technology has made it notably easier for our Customer Service Points (CSPs) to facilitate the opening of bank accounts for clients in rural areas.

This strategic use of technology not only streamlines the account-opening process but also empowers individuals by connecting them to digital financial services. As a result, we’re fostering financial inclusion by bridging the gap between rural communities and the modern banking landscape.

Can you share insights into the partnerships with banks like SBI, BOI, BOB, and others?

Ajeet Kumar Singh: Our team has partnered with big banks like State Bank of India (SBI), Punjab National Bank (PNB), Bank of Baroda (BOB), Bank of India, Baroda U.P. Gramin Bank, and Jharkhand Rajya Gramin Bank to bring banking services to more people across India.

We set up many Customer Service Points (CSPs) in different states, offering various banking services like opening accounts, deposits, withdrawals, and helping with important documents. Through these partnerships, we’ve reached a lot of folks, with over 2.20 crore people benefiting from SBI, 5 lakh+ from PNB, 20 lakh+ from BOB, 10 lakh+ from Bank of India, 5 lakh+ from Baroda U.P. Gramin Bank, and 5 lakh+ from Jharkhand Rajya Gramin Bank.

Our goal is to make banking easier for everyone and help them manage their money well, bringing financial services to different parts of the country.

Managing operations in over 8,600 villages across 559 districts is a substantial undertaking. How does the company navigate the geographical challenges and ensure consistent service delivery?

Ajeet Kumar Singh: Our company, in collaboration with major banks, is addressing banking challenges in remote areas, creating a network of Customer Service Points (CSPs). Local executives, trained in banking and community engagement, become champions in regions lacking financial services.

By tackling geographical challenges, we identify areas without banking access, ensuring our CSPs reach every corner. Continuous learning is a priority, with regular training for CSPs and awareness camps promoting financial literacy in rural villages.

Our professional network provides constant support, addressing challenges and innovating solutions to ensure efficient service delivery. Motivation is sustained through our incentive-based model, keeping CSPs passionate about connecting communities with banking services.

Join us in promoting financial inclusion, creating a connected and empowered society where essential financial services are delivered to all, overcoming geographical hurdles.

Are there any innovative solutions or technologies that the company has implemented to enhance its services?

Ajeet Kumar Singh: In a bid to make banking accessible to rural communities, we pioneered the establishment of Customer Service Points (CSP) across the country, extending our reach to even the remotest villages. But our journey didn’t stop there; we recognized the need to connect with people and provide financial education.

To bridge this gap, we introduced a groundbreaking solution—SAVE, our Banking Correspondent program, partnering with leading banks. The key to success lay in building trust, so we appointed individuals from native villages as Customer Service points (CSPs).

We empowered our CSP with knowledge about our mission and offered a commission-based incentive model to motivate them to bring more people into the banking system.

To address challenges faced by our CSPs, we established a dedicated help desk, enabling them to raise tickets for prompt issue resolution. Additionally, we developed an in-house SAVE app, streamlining the SAVE Visit process.

This app employs geo-sensing and real-time image capturing, ensuring seamless internal processes and efficient monitoring. Our commitment to financial inclusion has not only reached the grassroots but has also created a network of empowered individuals working towards a common goal—making banking services accessible and fostering financial literacy in every corner of the country.

SAVE Solutions plays a crucial role in financial inclusion. How does the organization contribute to empowering rural communities economically?

Ajeet Kumar Singh: SAVE Solutions was established with a crucial mission – ensuring financial inclusion for all. Recognizing the challenges faced by rural communities, particularly their reluctance to open bank accounts due to inaccessibility, we set out to make banking services more convenient.

The primary hurdle was the lack of nearby banks, forcing villagers to travel long distances, which was impractical for daily-wage workers, especially women.

To address this, SAVE established Customer Service Points (CSPs) in rural villages, offering easy access to banking services within the comfort of their surroundings. This initiative allowed women to open bank accounts after work, fostering financial inclusion. As a result, people began saving money, enhancing their financial well-being and self-reliance.

CSPs not only facilitated basic banking transactions but also identified women entrepreneurs in need of loans, assisting them in the application process. This comprehensive approach empowered rural Indians, contributing to their financial security and collectively boosting the nation’s growth.

The dedicated team at SAVE shares a common goal of reaching as many people in India as possible, making them financially resilient.

What are the future plans and aspirations for SAVE Solutions? Are there any new initiatives or expansions on the horizon?

Ajeet Kumar Singh: In a significant collaboration with Bengaluru-based rural BC lending company SagGraha Management Services, we have made substantial inroads into the Southern India market, offering banking correspondent services.

This strategic partnership aligns with our vision of extending banking services to the remotest areas, contributing to our mission of fostering financial inclusion for all. Moving forward, we aim to attract more individuals as working partners and clients, providing them with top-notch services and solidifying our commitment to making accessible and reliable financial services available to a broader audience.

Operating in the financial services sector comes with its share of challenges. What have been some of the key challenges faced by SAVE Solutions, and how has the company learned from them?

Ajeet Kumar Singh: Our journey faced hurdles, starting with poor internet connections at our CSPs. We tackled this by implementing Virtual Satellite, ensuring smooth operations. Next, we encountered reluctance from people due to a lack of financial awareness. To address this, we organized financial literacy camps in villages, educating folks about the banking system’s benefits.

Building trust was crucial, so we spread the word about our partnerships with major banks like SBI. Gram Sabhas, hosted by our bank officers, explained banking services to rural communities, fostering brand trust. Another challenge was our CSPs’ limited knowledge of banking and technology.

We tackled this through training camps, equipping them with computer skills for record-keeping and providing a comprehensive understanding of banking activities.

In overcoming these challenges, our focus remains on making banking accessible, fostering awareness, and empowering our CSPs with the skills needed for efficient service delivery.

In conclusion, our conversation with Mr. Ajeet Kumar Singh has provided a profound glimpse into the dynamic world of financial services and the imperative need for inclusive practices. As the MD and Co-Founder of SAVE Solutions Pvt. Ltd., Mr. Singh’s commitment to driving positive change in the sector is evident.

His strategic vision and dedication to financial inclusion continue to set SAVE Solutions apart as a leading player in the industry. We extend our gratitude to Mr. Singh for sharing his valuable perspectives, and we look forward to witnessing the continued success and impact of SAVE Solutions in the evolving landscape of financial services.

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