NBFCs Fully Equipped to Navigate the Road Ahead for Commercial Vehicle Financing

Samrat Gupta

In today’s fast-paced world, where time equates with money and value, moving goods faster is more critical than ever before. In the midst of this perpetual interplay, NBFCs are emerging as key players, actively bridging commercial vehicle operators with customised financing solutions. At the heart of logistics ecosystem, where time holds economic significance and delivering efficiency is of utmost necessity, commercial vehicles flow as the lifeblood, sustaining businesses, economy, and countless industries.

In addition, the demand uptake of commercial vehicles is observed as a crucial metric, signaling the pulse of the nation’s infrastructure development. It is also noteworthy to recognise the immediate link between governmentled sustained infrastructure spending and a flourishing commercial vehicle ecosystem.

In the recently tabled interim budget 2024, the union government has distinctly outlined its intent and vision for a ‘Viksit Bharat,’ reaffirming a resolute commitment to further continue building the momentum upon Infrastructure Capex. In addition, a significant emphasis has been placed towards fortifying the logistics sector through strategic connectivity interventions, and multimodal development. This not only stimulates the growth of the logistics ecosystem but also amplifies the demand for commercial vehicles, widening the highways for NBFCs.

From the outset, NBFCs have hit the accelerator harder, positioning themselves as frontrunners in enabling credit access for the unbanked and underbanked market segments. Moreover, the offerings enabled by NBFCs transcend beyond conventional credit access, playing a transformative role within the logistics industry.

NBFCs as Growth Catalysts
As roads expand, highways stretch, and transportation networks grow, the demand for robust fleets becomes more pressing. To that effect, the prospects shine brighter for NBFCs to emerge as growth catalysts, facilitating last-mile credit access and bespoke financial solutions for transporters and logistics players to meet their CV fleet expansion and upgradation requirements.

While the Commercial Vehicle financing undergoes transformation, the focus pivots towards addressing the industry’s fundamental needs. This transition creates opportunities for NBFCs to offer tailor-made financing solutions and distinctive deal structures that perfectly align with the business needs of commercial vehicle operators, beyond the conventional one-size-fitsall approach.

Enabling Faster Fleet Capitalisation and Operational Efficiency
Ensuring the continual operation and growth of commercial vehicle fleets necessitates timely capital-intensive solutions in order to keep up with the market demand. Moreover, given the delayed repayment cycles prevalent in the logistics industry, efficiently managing OpEx cash flows becomes a ticking concern for fleet operators.

Particularly, for CV operators, a major allocation of their working capital rotates into ensuring fuel efficiency of the vehicles. To that effect, Tata Motors Finance is emerging as the pacesetter by offering tech-enabled and co-partnered solutions such as OpEx financing through a range of digital payment solutions, On- tap vehicle maintenance loans – ensuring fleets on feet optimisation for mitigating operational challenges.

Tech Advancements as Key Allies for NBFCs
Moreover, for NBFCs, technology has emerged as the biggest ally. The evolution of NBFCs is synonymous with faster adoption of technology. From digital platforms to fintech collaborations, NBFCs are aggressively leveraging technological advancements to enhance operational efficiency, improve customer experiences, and stay at the forefront of financial innovation. This synergy results in more robust risk assessment models, personalised financial products, and streamlined processes, perfectly aligned with the needs of the commercial vehicle ecosystem.

Also Read | Way forward for NBFCs while thriving in the digital era

Catering the New and the Pre-owned Vehicle Market
Once confined by an unorganised market, NBFCs, including Tata Motors Finance, are not only catering to financing new vehicles but are also extensively penetrating and streamlining pre-owned commercial vehicle financing markets to tap on to the ever-growing demand. The pre-owned commercial vehicle financing market is primarily driven by replacement demand and increasing new vehicle costs.

As projected in a report by CRISIL Ratings, the NBFC AUM for vehicle financing is aligned to grow at 17% by March 31, 2025. Prominently, the key growth drivers for NBFCs include increasing costs of commercial vehicle ownership, nudging logistics operators to lean towards financing options. Additionally, replacement demand, increased credit awareness among deep-tier customers, and strategic shift towards digital and structured financing solutions will play a pivotal role.

Pacing ahead, by deploying product diversification strategies, co-lending collaborations, and embracing tech enablement, sizably established NBFCs are geared to broaden their range of services, catering to a wider customer stratum. While in contrast, mainstream banks may encounter constraints on surpassing sectoral funding limits and risk appetites. As commercial vehicles continue to be the lifeblood of the logistics ecosystem, NBFCs stand fully equipped to navigate the road ahead for commercial vehicle financing, offering a suite of 360-degree strategic credit solutions that touch the entire CV ecosystem.

Views expressed by Samrat Gupta, MD & CEO, Tata Motors Finance.

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