What has driven your growth to date?
Muscat Finance has a proud legacy of partnering growth for our business and individual clients. We provide finance solutions for both individual customers looking to purchase cars or household durables and business customers to lease assets including commercial vehicles and heavy earth moving equipment. We also offer innovative working capital solutions for business clients. During the last year, our focus was on helping our business customers manage their cash flows in order to cope with the challenging business environment caused by the pandemic. We were selectively extending new credits to businesses operating in sectors less affected. We were active in our car finance business and expanded our offering to include competitive used car financing terms. While we are seeing business sentiment improve, we are geared toward continue offering innovative solutions through better use of technology and exceptional service.
What different solutions have companies requested during the pandemic?
There were many industries under clear stress during the pandemic. We observed SMEs and corporates reinventing their business models by challenging their cost structure and exploring new avenues for income. In order to make such a shift, the loan deferment scheme regulated by the Central Bank of Oman greatly helped the business community in managing their cash flows. The deferment application also gave companies the opportunity to consult with their lenders in planning. Muscat Finance saw this as an opportunity to advise its customers on planning their cash flow and working capital needs. Over the last year, we engaged with most of our business customers in such discussions and deepened our relationship through trust and understanding.
What is the role of technology and innovation within your line of business?
Technology is at the heart of our transformation journey. In personal finance, the customer behavior has changed significantly during the pandemic. Many more customers are comfortable not only with social media but also consuming information as well as making online purchase decisions digitally. At the same time, speed of response and personalized service are the need of the hour. We are making use of this industry shift by building technology sales and servicing capability across various channels. We are already known for our market-leading application response time in car finance and are enhancing it across all products we offer. Across our offerings, we are building back-end algorithms and scorecards to give quick decisions for our customers. The algorithms are backed by customer data that we have collected over many years, and we are improving its predictive power through rigorous testing. Technology is also being developed to offer our customers a mobile application.
What are the company's medium-term ambitions?
Muscat Finance has a vision to be the first choice for all its customers in achieving their financial goals. As a company, we want to provide innovative financial solutions that no other institution offers. We will continue to cater to both individual and business customers. On both fronts, we want to leverage technology better to improve customer experience and provide exceptional service. Our values are fast, simple, and friendly. This is also our promise to our customers. Over the next three years, we aim to build a financial services provider known for its innovative and flexible personal assets and SME financing solutions. SMEs remain underserved in the Sultanate, but with our firm belief in SMEs being the engine of growth they will remain a key segment. In line with Vision 2040, we believe we can play a pivotal role fueling growth in the key sectors identified. On the personal finance side, as an agile and dynamic institution we are well positioned to create innovative products that will stand out and be accessible across our network and digital channels.