SBI Cards to wipe out accumulated losses in three-four years, says CEO
SBI Cards, the second largest credit card issuer in the country, expects to wipe out its accumulated losses over the next three-to-four years, Chief Executive Officer Kadambi Narahari says.
“We now have a very strong business model. The diversification into corporate cards business, the use of e-apply channels for (client) acquisition, and (business) partnerships with banks and companies are driving our growth. We are confident that in next three-to-four years we will be able to erase all our accumulated losses," Narahari said.
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The company plans to leverage its business partnerships with co-brand partners like Oriental Bank of Commerce, Karur Vysya Bank, Bank of Maharashtra, Maruti Suzuki India, SpiceJet, Tata Group, Yatra and Indian Railways to drive growth. It has also recently entered the corporate credit card market with its SBI Platinum Corporate Card.
SBI Cards has introduced an online application ‘Click2Card’ that will allow an individual to apply and get approval for a credit card online.
The move is aimed at strengthening its customer acquisitions through electronic channels.
The company, a joint venture between India’s largest lender State Bank of India and GE Capital, started its operations in 1999. However, it turned profitable only in financial year 2010-11.
Narahari did not share further details on the company’s financials. “We are a private company. I cannot reveal more. We broke-even in 2010-11 and had very good profits in 2011-12. This year also, we expect strong growth in our earnings," he said.
According to rating agency CRISIL, SBI Cards’ net profit in 2011-12 was around Rs 38 crore, compared with Rs 6.7 crore in the previous financial year. The company’s total income last financial year was at Rs 640 crore, almost flat compared to 2010-11.
The credit card company currently has a base of 2.3 million cards and is only next to HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank. In terms of issuance, however, it occupies the second spot after HDFC Bank and issues around 575,000 cards annually.
SBI Cards has set a target of issuing one million credit cards annually from 2014-15.