Mehzabin works with Aye Finance as a loan advisor at the Meerut branch. In the two years that she’s worked with us, Mehzabin has spent most of her time on the field, reaching out to the micro business community and fostering relationships with them.
A woman like Mehzabin is uniquely qualified to recognize hard work. Like so many women across the country, she wakes up early in the morning to cook breakfast and lunch for her husband and two sons. She then leaves home around 8:30 a.m., works from 9:00 – 6:00, and then rushes back home to make sure that she’s made dinner for her family.
While it seems like a usual story, Mehzabin stands out because of two main reasons. Firstly, because she works in a heavily male-dominated industry and work function. And secondly, because most of her working hours are spent out on field, once again, she spends most of those hours interacting with people in heavily male-dominated space.
A typical work day for Mehzabin involves a number of different functions. When she’s out on the field, she sources references and recommendations for micro businesses in need of a loan.
“A large part of my work is making sure I stay connected with the community of micro business owners” says Mehzabin. “That means, I always have to be on the lookout for a business that can benefit from a loan.”
The Challenges of Working on the Field
But loan customers don’t come by easily.
In a small Indian town like Meerut, where small businesses are still run in the old ways, people can be wary of taking loans. “Small business owners don’t like being in debt” muses Mehzabin. “They want to grow on their own merit and they can’t because they don’t have enough capital. But they don’t want to be in debt either. It’s not an easy cycle to break.”
The cycle poses an interesting challenge for a loan advisor, especially when there are targets that need to be met; but Mehzabin is always willing to rise to the challenge. Moreover, repeated interactions with the business owners allow her a close insight into the way they work.
“As a loan advisor who works in the field, I am able to see what most people don’t usually have access to” she says. “I learn about their inventory, their businesses, and their operations. But most importantly, I get to see how hard they work and how much they believe in what they make and sell.”
Sometimes the work brings unforeseen challenges as well, but someone like Mehzabin is naturally geared towards sailing through them.
“In the beginning, there were times when customers would call me at all hours” she tells us “and it would get very disturbing. I felt like my privacy was being intruded all the time.”
While many people would have found this a good reason to stop working, Mehzabin has remained undeterred and found a way through this obstacle as well.
“The company does not expect us to work unreasonable hours. So I just started switching my phone off at 6:30!” she says laughingly. “I have spent a lot of time and energy on my education and in making my own career, so why should I stop working?”
Does she have her family’s support in her pursuits?
“Ghar pe support hai, tab hi toh kaam mein mann lagtaa hai (I have the support I need at home, which is why I can concentrate on work). And working at Aye Finance means that I get a lot of support from my seniors and the company as well.”