Exclusive Q&A With : Khushru Jijina, Managing Director of Piramal Fund Management
Updated on: 02 Jul 2016
At a time when its rivals have tightened their purse strings, Ajay Piramal owned Piramal Fund Management, one part PE fund and one part NBFC, has emerged as real estate's largest investor.
At a time when its rivals have tightened their purse strings, Ajay Piramal owned Piramal Fund Management, one part PE fund and one part NBFC, has emerged as real estate's largest investor. When managing director, Khushru Jijina took over in 2012, PFM's loan book was just R1,400 crore, now it is more than Rs 20,000 crore an indication of how dominant a lender it is even at a time when the sector is reeling under a financial crisis. In a conversation with Priyanka Ghosh and Shubhra Tandon, Jijina explain why he has not shied away from taking bets and writing big cheques. Excerpts:
You have grown your loan book exponentially at a time your peers have held back investments,on the grounds the market is too risky. Could you take us through your assessment of risk?
The difference in perceived risk is because we understand real estate more than we understand lending and that, I think is the biggest difference. We have invested heavily in building a more than 100 member team, which is considered large, to have our ears-on-the-ground. More than 70% of our time is spent monitoring companies even when they are able to meet interest deadlines because we have to catch early signs of stress. Our in-house processes for monitoring and underwriting are strong to begin with, we cannot wait until the first NPA happens. I can confirm to you we don't have a single NPA on our books. We believe that having ground knowledge is the underwriting.
Still, there are questions on creditworthiness of some of the largest companies. How are you structuring your lending?