The Shriram City Union Finance (SCUF), part of the Chennai-based Shriram group and a leading NBFC that specialises in consumer loans and small-ticket working capital to small businesses, is now keen to find rooftop solar power projects.
A senior SCUF official said the company is yet to disburse the first loan, but confirmed the intention to develop solar as a new vertical. SCUF’s clientele includes some 400,000 small businesses that used to get their working capital requirements from the chit funds operated by the Shriram group. For a variety of reasons, the chits business is on the wane and SCUF began taking over the area vacated by the chits.
Now, the company is telling at least the larger of these small businesses that ‘solar’ is a viable alternative to other sources of energy such as diesel and asking them if they want loans. After all, the official pointed out, if businesses can lower energy costs, their ability to repay other loans only goes up.
While the Shriram group appears to have taken a lead in this, there is evidence that other non-banking finance companies are looking at funding solar rooftop projects.
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