India Uncut

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Sunday, May 29, 2005

The credit card boom

"The credit card industry in India has never had it so good," the Times of India informs us. "In its 15 years of doing business in this country..." Um, excuse me, my phone is buzzing, be right back.

Yes, I'm back. The article says, "In its 15 years of doing business in this country, it had issued 2.69 crore cards till December 2003. And now in just one year, 2004, that figure skyrocketed to 4.33 crore." Hmm, that's quite a phenomenal... excuse me, my phone's ringing again, I really must change my ringtone.

Sorry, I'm back. Where was I? Yes, the article elaborates, "From 14.57 crore transactions in 2002-03, the number rose to 21.19 crore in just the first nine months of 2004-05. The amount involved in these transactions also shot up from Rs 26,951 crore to Rs 44,737 crore." Outstanding stuff, and... um, sorry, it's my phone again.

[Hello? Yes, speaking. No, I do not want a bloody credit card. What is it with you people? This is the third call I've got in three minutes, I'm trying to blog here, just leave me alone, ok?]

Sorry, where was I? Yes, and the reason for this boom is this:
Behind the story of this dizzy growth is a tale of aggressive marketing, tall promises and a tribe of outsourced marketers called direct selling agents (DSAs). This is the tribe that's on your phone virtually every day, urging you to buy this card or the other, indeed, often promising the moon and, not surprisingly, failing to deliver.

The DSAs and their activities have already reached the court of the Reserve Bank of India. The RBI recently set up a working group to recommend corrective measures whose suggestions include setting up of a regulatory mechanism.
As I was saying... sorry, give me a minute.

[You scoundrels, you so-and-so, you such-and-such, I do not want a bloody credit card, never call me again, do you understand what I'm... what? Oh, sorry dear, didn't realise it was you. I thought it was a credit card company. Sorry. No, won't shout again. Yes, I'm a bad pup. Sorry.]

Grmphhh. Yes, the RBI needs to take some action against these DSAs. Enough is enough.

Update: ICICI kidnaps 18-year-old boy. Or so it is alleged here. Also, here's an earlier post on credit cards.
amit varma, 10:51 AM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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