Based on Tata International Africa’s successful retail finance solution in African countries including Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and Zambia, the group has now made its retail finance offering available in South Africa.
“Our new finance offering is based on the fact that traditional lending models don’t always support good opportunities for growth in African markets. We now have a solution that comprises products with the ability to finance them, making this a compelling proposition for businesses in Africa,” says Len Brand, CEO and Managing Director of Tata International Africa.
Enabling this was the establishment of a company called AFCL RSA, a captive finance entity established by an external shareholder to support Tata International Africa’s dealership sales. Up north it has been used to finance heavy commercial vehicles, construction equipment and agricultural machinery but in South Africa, AFCL RSA’s focus is on financing Tata and Daewoo trucks and buses.
According to Brand, financing of assets presents its own unique challenges in Africa. “The introduction of a captive retail finance solution has afforded some leeway in the way credit is provided and we have now applied our successes across the continent to bring a unique solution to the South African market,” he says.
AFCL RSA was established to provide short to medium repayment terms for customers acquiring assets from Tata distributors and dealers. With its understanding of customers’ needs, AFCL offers convenient and flexible solutions and finance products, specifically designed to address the challenges of securing finance, with the added benefit of a quick response time.
“AFCL aligns its financing solution with the customer’s needs by offering affordable repayment terms that fit the cash flow cycle of that customer. It is not a one size fits all approach,” says Brand, adding that because access to credit is restricted, “we support customers in overcoming this obstacle by providing easy application and credit processes with novel, flexible repayment structures.”
It seems that under the leadership of Len Brand, Tata International Africa is using 2021 to go all out to ‘think out the box’ in terms of its products and services. It was just a few weeks ago that FleetWatch reported on the company introducing a Pan African five-year warranty to the full range of Tata trucks and buses as well as Daewoo Trucks in all 12 markets in which it operates. Now there’s a local finance arm attached to its offerings. Let’s see how all this affects sales. It will be interesting.