Aditya Birla Capital launches new digital platform; aims to double customer base in 3 years

Called ABCD, the platform offers a portfolio of 22 products and services


The Aditya Birla Group has a large presence across the financial services space— from insurance to mutual funds and finance. The company is now launching a new digital platform that will bring all these financial services businesses and more on one direct-to-consumer platform. This also marks Aditya Birla Capital's entry into the extremely competitive payments space.

Called ABCD (Aditya Birla Capital Digital), the platform offers a portfolio of 22 products and services, including UPI payments, bill payments, and online recharges, apart from financial services like loans, insurance, and investments.

Most of these products like health and life insurance, asset management and investments are already offered by Aditya Birla Group companies. Other products like digital gold and deposits will be offered through strategic partnerships.

Aditya Birla Capital has thus far invested Rs 100 crore on developing this platform.

"The genesis of ABCD lies in our endeavour to adapt and address shifting consumer preferences and build an omnichannel player made to meet all their financial needs through a unified digital first platform," said Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman of the Aditya Birla Group.

Aditya Birla Capital already has 35 million customers and hopes to almost double this base through the new platform over the next three years.

"The ABCD D2C platform will further help ABC augment its digital footprint. The plan is to acquire 30 million new customers in the next three years," Birla said.

The company may be a new entrant in payments, but sees huge growth opportunities tapping into the large ecosystem of employees, dealers, suppliers and channel partners across the diversified Aditya Birla Group businesses like cement, paints and fashion and retail.

The ecosystem of over 2,50,000 partners will be a source of a huge competitive advantage for ABCD, felt Birla. It should also benefit from the consumer ecosystem of over 250 million spread across businesses like telecom and fashion retail.

The launch of this digital platform, which has been developed over the past year, comes just about a month after Aditya Birla Capital announced plans to merge Aditya Birla Finance with itself.

"This omnichannel platform will allow us to acquire customers at scale. Insurance is typically considered a push product. But, lending is a pull product. It is very important that we create a large unified NBFC. This will be a new engine to acquire customers," said Vishakha Mulye, CEO, Aditya Birla Capital.

Given the very low penetration in areas like insurance and demat accounts, the headroom for growth is immense, said Pankaj Gadgil, MD and CEO of Aditya Birla Housing Finance, and group head, digital, payments and analytics, for Aditya Birla Capital.

The target segment for ABCD is in the 22-35 age group or as Gadgil put it first income to first-kid people among the growing middle class and the population in this segment is significant, around 200 million, he said.

Aditya Birla Capital is poised to show strong growth in loans and earnings driven by its lending and life insurance businesses in the next several years, Macquarie said earlier this month.

"The moats here are strong parentage and AAA rating providing access to competitive funding; leveraging the ABG group and ABC ecosystem for cross-selling and upselling in NBFC, insurance, and other segments; diversified product suite and distribution mix avoiding concentration risk in terms of product segment dependency," it said.

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