Within a period of two years, Religare has built a customer base of over 12,000 and a portfolio of Rs 1,500 crore, plus a collection efficiency of over 99.5 per cent.The demand for construction equipments is co-related to with the development of road infrastructure, growth in the real estate sector, development of ports, pipelines, airports, power and other infrastructure projects, mining, building and material handling. This attracts an investment of more than $ 500 billion over the next five years. This is from the present $ 2.5 billion dollar infrastructure industry to $ 12-13 billion industry by 2015. At 6 per cent growth in the economy, infrastructure typically grows at 12 per cent which in turn fuels the construction equipment to grow by 20 per cent. What further fuels this segment is that the government has sanctioned Rs 1.73 lakh crore in infrastructure upgradation for the Eleventh Plan.In the construction equipment market there have been quite a few developments; the excavator market is growing fast at a rate of about 30 per cent; there has been a shift from a generic backhoe segment to bigger and specialised equipments; mini- excavators, wheeled loaders and backhoe loaders are still maximum in demand; the forklift market will grow by about 15-17 per cent YoY from the current level of 3650 nos. to 8600 by 2015. In the mining segments also, there has been tremendous growth and has seen mining companies use high end tippers and shovels. Needless to say that there have been tremendous technological advances in these equipments to reduce wear and tear, high performance levels, and tailor-made to suite requirements and lowdown time.Commercial vehiclesPost recession which was a temporary blip and a growth in GDP and IIP, coupled with a high replacement demand, easy availability of finance, entry of new manufacturers in commercial vehicles, better road conditions, all this has fuelled the growth of the commercial vehicle sales. In fact, the recent spurt in the last one year for increase in sale has also been because of the government getting stricter with the emission norms.The commercial vehicle finance for new vehicles is estimated was Rs. 34880 crore (M&HCV Rs. 24960 crore and LCV Rs. 9920 crore) for the year 2009-1010. With a CAGR of almost 15 per cent, of late there has been a consistent rise in sales of commercial vehicles across all segment be it M & HCV, tractor trailer segment or the LCV and the one tonne segment. The refinance market for commercial vehicles is estimated at about Rs 63,260, which total the entire commercial vehicle finance market size to about Rs 1, 00,000 crore per year.The commercial vehicle finance market is dominated by both banks and NBFC's all of whom cover the entire gamut of commercial vehicles for funding, and established players covering the entire length and breadth of the country with a presence of more than 25 years. This industry is slightly more organised for new vehicle finance and also refinance in terms of funding.Considering the above opportunities in both construction equipments and commercial vehicle financing, Religare started their lending business to address this segment from October, 2008. They went about quickly staring business initially by setting up operations across 14 cities, growing it to 24 cities by the end of the second year, and now are in the process of increasing the branch network to 40 locations by the end of this financial year. Needless to say, the team has been built with care ensuring that the senior management has a wide array of experience in terms of cross- functional experience, strong domain knowledge, and a thorough understanding of the local demographies in which they operate. They also took a paradigm shift to ensuring the company broke even in the first year of operation and has stronger growth plans for the year and a well-defined strategy for the funding of commercial vehicles and constructions of the next five years.The product features comprise of funding the entire gamut of commercial vehicles, construction equipments, both new and used financing, with flexible financing schemes to suit the customers' requirements. Of course, the rates of interest are also competitive. However, Religare's forte lies in their team which has strong domain knowledge, providing financing solutions through a personal tailor-made approach to suite the customer's requirement with a decisioning timed time. In fact, the local sales team has the authority to take funding decisions at the branch levels as against working towards a centralised set-up, whereby the local intelligent is used to the fullest.With the above practices, the company has, within a period of two years, built a customer base of over 12,000 customers and a portfolio of Rs 1,500 crore at a collection efficiency of over 99.5 per cent. Their immediate short-term objective is to build the book to $ 1 billion by the end of 2012 as per official source.