Venkat Raman –
We have often reported that winning awards, setting high standards of service and rising self-assigned targets have become a habit with Auckland based Gulf Financial Services (GFS) Limited but last fortnight the company set a new record which will pose a major challenge of beating it.
Managing Director Ajay Kumar, who has built the Company loan by loan and policy by policy on its mortgage and insurance departments since setting up shop at his modest home in March 1999, was a man with justifiable pride when he announced at a press conference that his company had arranged mortgage loans valued at $825 million in the 12-month period covering March 1, 2015 to February 29, 2016.
Accounting for 115 bank holidays during the year, the total amount arranged as mortgage loans works out to $3.4 million per day, a feat that would certainly be a record in New Zealand.
Seen from any angle, especially considering that it functions from a single location close to the Auckland National and International Airports, GFS is truly a soaring company remaining as the Star in its own galaxy. The company has to grow by less than 21% to reach the annual figure of $1 billion; that should be an achievable target, since its average annual growth rate has been more than 40%.
Addressing a press conference to mark the 17th Anniversary of his company at his offices on March 9, 2016, Mr Kumar said that GFS had crossed $3.8 billion in mortgage loans arranged for customers and GFS has been declared the ‘Number 1 Mortgage Broker in New Zealand’ for the past two years.
“GFS is the only Mortgage Broker to win the ‘Excellence in Customer Service Award’ at the Westpac Auckland Business Awards (Auckland South) in October 2015.
The Company has thus far received 29 Awards and Citations, many of them at the Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards over the past several years.
Mr Kumar says that the judging process of our Awards is robust, that the independent panel of judges are people of high calibre and reputation and that their decisions are based on systematic assessment of performance.
GFS has also won awards from ANZ Bank and ASB Bank in acknowledgement of its leading position as a mortgage broker.
“Each of the companies behind the Awards won by GFS is known for high levels of integrity and honesty. We are therefore proud of having won the Awards given by them. We are of course always conscious of the fact that these were made possible only by our customers. They are of course the real judges of our quality of performance and standard of service,” he said.
Placing customer interest above everyone and everything is the hallmark of the success of GFS since its establishment and Mr Kumar is known for his non-compromising approach, even with his customer, one or two of who may at times suggest ‘other ways’ of obtaining approvals.
“Every document, including applications for loans in the case of mortgages or writing polices and letters for claims in the case of insurances, must stand the test of scrutiny at any point of time. There is no alternative to honesty and integrity. GFS will not submit itself to any transaction that is impeachable. In fact, we do not want such business, however attractive it may be,” he said.
The Company today accounts for a team of 18 others. All of them know that their leader sets exacting standards of integrity, confidentiality and consumer focus and expects them to be followed without exceptions.
That the regulatory authorities including the Reserve Bank of New Zealand have been tightening controls and sharpening their supervising eyes does not matter to companies like GFS, since they already have in place their own internal procedures of compliance and audit.
From its own unique ‘Loan Liquidation Formula’ which enables customers with the propensity to pay off their mortgage loans faster and specialist and sharp approach to insurance of all kinds, GFS has been an institution with a difference. It would follow principles, no matter who remain the principal.
As Mr Kumar said, “In 2015, GFS established a management team to guide and take decisions for the company. We have already seen how it has changed the trajectory of the company to providing even better service to customers and improving the quality of operations to the best international standards.”