Shabu Cherian

Shaboo Cherian

A name for trust, integrity

Shabu Cherian of the Kalayil Nancy Group has been a well-known personality in Kalyan and its neighbourhood areas for the last 18 years. An entrepreneur, active in social circles of the region he hasn’t lost touch with his humble beginning as he grew systematically. Toiled a lot in the early days his works have brought life to many poor people and created earning opportunities for many families, who were unable to find financial support from banks. He recalls his early days of supporting many rickshaw drivers in Kalyan East. “They owe greatly to me for the support,” he recalls. An ambitious business man, but not over-ambitious to chew more than what is digestible, he defines himself.

Shabu had enough opportunities to build a giant organization through his grip in the government approved money lending market. But he did not jump into anything to boast about with a hot pursuit over-zealously. “I know that is risky proposition. I am always over-cautious and transparent in my dealing,” he avers. His long relationship with people, who trust him so deeply that they always remain in close touch with him, has made him a different entrepreneur.

The Kalayil Nancy group is in the business of providing one or the other form of micro and small credit to tiny enterprises and entrepreneurs of various classes, who are unable to get support from large commercial lenders at the very time they require it. “In my business, trust is very important, so important is integrity too,” he remarks while recollecting the extremely difficult days after November 8th last year. On the post-demonetisation days, many of his customers had troubles that he did not overlook. While the one end was tight the other end gave him some relief as the customers whom the Group companies had liabilities understood the prevailing difficulties of the time. They stood with him as a family member. Many of them have been growing with him and he admires their gratitude. “They are my inspiration and major source of strength,” he recollects.

On the demonetization days, he determined to face the difficulties and held firmly on his conviction of serving his companies’ customers at any cost. At that critical juncture, borrowers were unable to repay and lenders also could not pressurize. That was not a secret story, he rightly points out. On the other side, naturally he had liabilities also to be met. “In financial business I know safety is more important than anything else. Safety comes only if the lender applies enough prudence and the lending cost is lower. Our group is good in both, giving me and my customers a great hope,” he notes.

He passed through the days of crisis that reinvigorated his optimism. “My belief in the power of Almighty and firm conviction that ethics and honesty could never be held hostage by change of climate in the market drove me through the worst kind of market, ultimately to find a turnaround,” he says. In fact, that process has helped him prove once more his high level of reliability, trust and integrity.  Financial business is risky even under good economic atmosphere, as one is not sure what would be the extent of assets turning bad. There are plenty of willful defaulters in financial market. Often, banks are unable to recover some of their assets despite high value mortgage and hypothecation equivalent of the value of credits. Yet large commercial lenders face troubles. But the prudent player like the Kalayil Group does not face that much heat. “The Group takes only a calculated risk. We also don’t do anything which is against the law of the land and cheat customers,” he adds.

Began as a licensed money lender in small ways, Shabu came a long way through his hard work and curiosity to learn the inner side of small lending, “nidhi” and gold loan businesses. The takeover a small company from Bhopal a few years ago helped him learn more about the nuances of financial business, besides his own passion for knowing the inner mantle of small lending. Successful weathering of the post demonetization crisis has kindled his strength further and brought a better name of trust and reliability as an entrepreneur.