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Crisis Communication: Case Study

About Manappuram Finance Limited

Manappuram Finance Ltd. is one of India’s leading gold loan NBFCs. Promoted by Shri. V.P. Nandakumar, the current MD & CEO, its origins go back to 1949 when it was founded in the coastal village of Valapad (Thrissur District) by his late father Mr. V.C. Padmanabhan. Manappuram Finance Ltd has a story of unparalleled growth with many milestones crossed. Incorporated in 1992, Manappuram Finance Ltd. has grown at a rapid pace. Today, it has 4637 (Including branches of subsidiary companies) branches across 28 states/UTs with assets under management (AUM) of Rs. 272.24 billion and a workforce of more than 30,000.

Over the last six years, the company has diversified into new business areas like microfinance, vehicle and housing finance, and SME lending. In February 2015, the company acquired Asirvad Microfinance Pvt. Ltd. with AUM a little short of Rs. 3,000 million. Today, six years of its takeover, AUM has around Rs. 60,000 million.

Objective

Ensure proper crisis management to maintain and protect the brand image of Manappuram Finance Ltd, the company underwent a dacoity.

About the Crisis:

A gang of five robbers looted around 19 kilograms of gold worth 9.5 crore and Rs 5 lakh in cash from a Manappuram gold loan finance office situated in the Kamla Nagar area of Agra in Uttar Pradesh. They took the staff hostage while executing the crime. Two of the five suspects were gunned down in a police encounter just two hours after the crime.

Challenges:

  • Handling media queries from the journalists regarding the issue
  • To protect and maintain the image of the company
  • To provide accurate, timely information to all the media and targeted audiences
  • To control the media narrative and minimize the damage

PR Strategy:

  • Ensured strong and on-ground media intelligence in Agra following the incident for the next 15-20 days
  • Regular and timely media monitoring
  • Damage assessment and control
  • Communicated all relevant details to the media
  • Ensured the first external communication following the crisis is a well-thought-out response that resonates with the customers
  • Anticipated potential crisis scenarios and established internal protocols to handle them.

PR Tools used:

Press Releases and Statements were disseminated in the media to provide accurate and timely information.

Result:

  • Around 40+ media covered this news along with the company statement
  • The company was not highlighted in a negative light by any media
  • A proper flow of communication between the brand and the media was maintained throughout; hence no further crisis occurred surrounding the issue.

Coverages

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