Venkat Raman –
When Global Financial Services Limited (GFSL) was declared the winner of the ‘Excellence in Customer Service Award’ at the Westpac Auckland Business Awards (South) last fortnight, Managing Director Ajay Kumar did two things that are always instantaneous for him on such occasions.
He acknowledged the members of his staff and soon thereafter called us to convey the news.
Receiving awards and accolades is nothing new for GFSL and Mr Kumar, but these have increased in frequency and numbers over the past three years, demonstrating the company’s well-placed plans for growth and growing penchant for service.
The Westpac Awards are organised by the Auckland Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ACCI) in partnership with Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED). The Excellence in Customer Service Award was sponsored by Barfoot & Thompson.
ARCCI Chief Executive Michael Barnett said, “This Award recognises a business that succeeds through showing consistent dedication to superlative service, demonstrates its commitment to customers through its policy & staff training.”
Westpac Bank manager Scot Bailey congratulated GFS and the team and said that the award was well deserved.
According to Mr Kumar, the value of the Award was enhanced by the fact that it attracted entries from all types of businesses across all industries.
“This highlighted the importance of financial advice that GFSL has been delivering to customers. Our financial advice process was independently verified by a panel of judges for the purpose of this award. These judges are amongst the most discerning as they have mentored or lead some of the best businesses in New Zealand,” he said.
“Excellence in Customer services” is always the core value of GFSL. Competition is extremely tough because we had to compete with all other South Auckland based business including financial advisers, manufacturers, consumer businesses, hotels, educational institutions and many others,” Mr Kumar said.
One of the finest attributes of GFSL is the emphasis on quality customer service, shared not only by its owners and management but also staff and everyone involved.
Mr Kumar often says that people in New Zealand have the benefit of choice and that under fierce competition, companies follow ways and means of attracting customers and increasing their share in a crowded market.
“While transparency and accountability are a must for those engaged in mortgage and insurance business, the credibility established with the lending institutions and the ability to go beyond the normal distance to accrue advantages for customers is the key to attaining the position of pre-eminence. At GFSL, customer service starts at the reception and goes beyond obtaining loans and insurance policies. It transcends into areas such as the fastest repayment of loans, quick settlement of insurance claims and good advice on refinancing,” he said.
Increasing financial risks in national and international markets and other developments have placed additional responsibilities on financial advisers, insurance advisors, mortgage and insurance brokers to be adapt to the changing trends, follow stringent practices of regulating authorities and deliver quality customer service.
The GFSL-Client Agreement is one of the most exhaustive documents that exist in the mortgage business. It sets out a step-by-step description of the application process, choice of banks available to the customer, options for fixing or floating interest, desired interest rate (where possible), the fee payable, obligations of GFSL and the customer, loan repayment schedule, income and expenditure analysis and a host of other issues.
Since its establishment, GFSL has obtained more than $3.5 billion in mortgage loans to customers helping them to realise their dream of owning their own homes and more than $2.5 billion in insurance premiums.
As mentioned in these columns in the past, GFSL won the Supreme Business Award at the Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards (INLIBA) 2010, in addition to other individual awards. The company won in a number of categories at our 2012 and 2014 Awards. These include recognition for Customer Service (earlier known as Professional Service), Marketing, Best Small Business, Best Medium-Sized Business, Best Young Entrepreneur of the Year (his son Aseem) and the Supreme Business of the Year award.
GFSL has won High Performance on ‘Top in Category’ awards of major commercial banks including ANZ, ASB and Westpac.
Mr Kumar and his 18-member team (soon to be joined by another mortgage specialist) maintain exhaustive records (both as paper and electronic files) of their customers.
- Darrin Frank, Manoj Singhal, Aseem Agarwal, Ajay Kumar, Gavin Tully, Saurabh Gupta at the Awards Night
- Ajay Kumar, Saurabh Gupta, Michael Barnett with Auckland Chamber of Commerce & Industry staff at the Awards Night