Times & Shamrao tie up loans for the Lions

MUMBAI: Creative geniuses from the communication and marketing worlds will all be heading to France next month, not just to soak in the culture and sip the wine, but to attend the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival (IAF), being held from 20 to 26 June. Considered the pinnacle of the ad world, this year‘s lineup will include talks by Yahoo, Microsoft Advertising, Facebook, MasterCard, Kraft Foods, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Hewlett-Packard and Coca-Cola. Also screenings, shows, awards, workshops and the other madness the creative fraternity likes engaging in will all be a part of the Cannes experience.

For the head honchos - whether creative or management, the bill for a trip to Cannes is something the agency foots. But for those less fortunate and junior, they have to wait until they enter that hallowed list of who can make it there. Well the times, they are a changing. The Times of India group has tied up with The Shamrao Vithal Coop Bank to offer loans to all those wanting to wing it to the French Riviera beach resort this June.
Says Times of India Group director Sujoy Ghosh: "We are connecting the bank with the young creatives of the advertising fraternity who would want to go to Cannes on their own. The one week there is like being in a university full of communication experts and it can be a huge learning curve for people, especially to improve in their own fields, learn, observe and understand the level of competition around. And, hopefully improve their own skills to make award winning ads themselves soon."
The maximum loan amount being given is Rs 4.5 lakhs, which can be utilised for air tickets, travel, living and other expenses one would incur to make the trip. The loan is given with a 36 months equal monthly installments (EMI) option and the interest is set at 11 per cent per annum. The loan also comes with additional benefits of no processing charges and no penalty for early payments, and hence one is not obliged to keep the loan running for its tenure.

If the loan amount needed is up to Rs 200,000, then there need to be two guarantors who countersign the loan, however, the employer needn‘t be one of them. Also it does not require any collateral. However, for a loan between Rs 200,000 and 450,000, one has to give 15 per cent of the loan amount as collateral. This can be in the form of surrendering a LIC policy, bonds, national saving certificates etc. One also needs to provide IT returns, other relevant documents, and, show two years of work experience to be eligible for the loan. 
Sources confirmed that the loan process is still going on and there are a fair amount of enquiries coming in from young professionals from various ad agencies, and other firms.

"The response so far has been very positive from the ad agencies and many creative directors have applauded this initiative, and told us what a good idea it is. However, in all honesty this year the idea and planning started rather late and so I would expect this concept to only really pick up from its second year onwards. We will be looking at other financial institutes in the future to tie up with as well, especially ones which have a pan India presence and can make these loans available to people from all over the country. While currently the loans will be accessible to people in Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad and other places where Shamrao Vithal Coop Bank operates, going forward we hope to take this affordable way of going to Cannes national," adds Ghosh.

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