I am pleased to present you the 26th Annual Report of the Company for the FinancialYear 2017-18.
We started our journey as S. E. Investments Limited in the year 1992 when theoperations were limited to the local territory of Uttar Pradesh. Today the Company hasfootprints in seven states & union territories with a customer outreach of over 8.75lakhs. To reach this milestone the Company has leveraged its distribution networkproviding tailor-made products for customers and focused on financial inclusion in ruralIndia. Furthermore with the changing role of technology in the Indian financiallandscape the Company is modifying its operational model slowly transitioning to adigital credit business where all formalities of loan processing from loanapplication to funds disbursement are carried out online.
When we were still deliberating the decision to metamorphose from a conventionalfinance Company to a digitalized one we faced a lot of criticism. But someone wise oncesaid that I can't change the direction of the wind but I can adjust my sails toalways reach my destination. Keeping in mind this remarkable thought we tried tochange our working strategy and moved towards digitalization. In effect the name of theCompany was also changed to Paisalo Digital Limited from S. E. Investments Limited. Itruly believe and as sure you all that this reformation will benefit the Company in theyears to come.
The Non-Banking Finance sector in which we operate has gained immense recognition infinancing India's growth in the recent past. The sector is emerging as an integral part ofthe Indian Financial System as well and has made commendable contributions towards theGovernment's agenda of financial inclusion. NBFCs have been to some extent successful infilling the gap that existed in to retail customers in underserved and unbanked areas. Inthe speech for Budget 2018-19 Mr. Arun Jaitely Finance Minister of India also addressedthe importance of NBFCs as a powerful vehicle for providing loans to MSMEs. Ourground-level understanding of the customers' profile and their credit needs gives us anedge as does our ability to innovate and customise products as per the needs of clients.This makes us the perfect channel for delivering credit to MSMEs.
NBFCs are passing through a very crucial phase where the RBI is revising regulatoryframeworks with the objective to harmonize it with banks and financial institutions toaddress regulatory gaps and arbitrage. While the regulations especially assetclassification norms have been made more stringent in order to be at par with banks whatis now required is to equip NBFCs with tools such as coverage under the SARFAESI Act torecover dues and income tax benefits on provisions made against NPAs.
This shall bring the desired parity with banks and other financial institutions. Wehope that changes in the regulatory framework will strengthen the robustness of thesector and allow us to operate in an enabling regulatory environment.
I take pride in sharing with you that in the 26th successful year of operation ourtotal income grew from Rs 2500 Millions to Rs 2880 Millions and the Company registered agrowth of 16% in the FY 2017-18 as compared to the previous year. We are even more pleasedthat we have been able to maintain our assets quality at a higher standard. The Company'sprofit-after-tax grew from Rs 510 million in the FY 2016-17 to Rs 570 million. During FY2017-18 we have expanded our reach to other states as well and are now fulfillingthefinance needs of the underserved population of India from 66 branches and offices/ 607customer service points and 743/770 employees/business associates. Additionally we arealso planning to make our presence in many more new territories in the current year.
It is a pleasure to let you know that our Company has achieved new pinnacles of successin terms of growth rate. The rating received by our Company is one step ahead from thelast FY. The India Ratings & Research has assigned IND A - with positive outlookrating and Infomerics Valuation and Rating Pvt. Limited has assigned IVR A with stableoutlook rating to the Company's credit instruments.
In the near future we plan to consolidate our presence in existing geographies as wellas enter new territories that hold great potential for the products we deal in. Theseregions shall provide steady business over the next couple of years as we leverage ourexisting strengths to grow with a more concerted effort.
I would like to assure all the stakeholders that we team Paisalo are working withgreat dedication and commitment to create value for our stakeholders and the community atlarge.
Last but not the least we marked the end of another remarkable year and I would liketo thank the Management Team for their unwavering commitment and guidance in leading theCompany forward. I would also like to extend my deepest gratitude to the employees fortheir invaluable contributions to the Company.
On behalf of Team Paisalo I would like to give special thanks to our shareholdersfunders bankers and customers for their continued support and loyalty towards ourCompany.
With Best Wishes