India is a hotbed for fintech innovation. The Indian fintech software sector is expected to double from the current $1.2billion to $2.4billion by 2020. Riding this wave along with many others is Keerthi Kumar Jain, founder of AnyTimeLoan, an on-demand Peer to Peer lending platform.
Team ELEVATE got a chance to catch up with him and here’s what he has to say:
You were building a successful career in banking, what made you move to entrepreneurship?
Though I was building a successful career in banking, I was always a kid by heart with a grownup’s brain which always had this zeal to keep challenging the status quo. This very nature of mine always attracted me to build something that can one day influence millions directly or indirectly. Hence, the natural dive into entrepreneurship.
Congratulations on acquiring RBI’s NBFC P2P license. How does this boost your business?
Validation of your business by the country’s apex institution, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), is exhilarating. This license brings a lot of credibility to the massive work that we had been carrying out in this space. Honestly, we were skeptical as to getting the go ahead as AnyTimeLoan.in is a non-conventional P2P lending platform and it’s very difficult for the regulator not just to understand the business model but to appreciate it too. But finally, we were successful in our endeavor.
How is the Peer to Peer (P2P) lending scenario in India? How is AnyTimeLoan improving it?
P2P lending is at a very nascent stage today and I would like to compare it with what mutual funds were 8 years ago in India. We India are usually not first adopters of new products or technologies, especially when it comes to our money. But, once we get a hang of things and understand the greater benefits, we make it a part of life. That’s India.
AnyTimeLoan.in (ATL) is the world’s only and India’s leading on-demand P2P lending platform which functions like a lending mutual fund. At ATL, there is no signup fee for investor or borrower and ATL uses its proprietary algorithm to evaluate the borrower based on alternate data points and only eligible borrowers can avail instant, 24/7 loans from ATL investors.
Unless the borrower and investor smile, ATL doesn’t cross a mile. Today, ATL offers loans as small as Rs.1000 to Rs.100,000 for tenures as minimum as 1 day to a maximum of 3 years for an ROI as low as 0.05% per day to as high as 0.15% per day.
You boast of some of the most advanced tech like AI/ML, Predictive Science, etc. Is there a real impact of such emerging tech on the Fintech Sector?
Ever changing times, customer behavior, access to anything over the internet etc., has led to emergence of models around data science. And financial services is the mecca of such data due to its very nature. In order to make use and sense of these alternate data points, tools like AI/ML, Predictive Science become the core ingredients to evaluate a borrower in a 100% digital ecosystem. AnyTimeLoan.in uses advanced tools mentioned herewith to assess a borrower’s credibility. It is also a function of ability and legitimacy to ensure qualified, eligible borrowers are made available to its trusted investors. In the end, ATL earns its revenues only when our investor earns returns.
You maintain a default rate of less than 0.23 percent, which is amazing! How do you do that?
We believe when you build your business model around your customer and not the other way around, you will end up creating magic. Ever since its inception, ATL has ensured that it’s business model revolves around its customers’ smiles. A borrower smiles only when he/she gets a loan approved instantly and a investor smiles when he/she gets their return back. Therefore, we ensure we earn revenue only when borrower returns money back to respective lender thereby ensuring our skin is involved throughout the transaction.
We always build our systems, processes and technology that has the ability to think one step ahead of borrowers and our numbers are a reflection of our commitment towards creating value for our investors / lenders.
How do you accumulate lenders onto your platform? Do you have a specific marketing strategy in place?
P2P lending is an emerging asset class and involves a lot of effort to educate investors about the same. It is all about building customer trust, public awareness and a reliable brand. At ATL, it has been more of word of mouth till date wherein our existing lenders referred to their near and dear ones after experiencing the power of wealth via our platform. Going forward, our marketing effort would be a mix of all possible channels that will position us perfectly before our potential customers.
What do you think is the next big thing in the Fintech industry in India?
There are lots of avenues in Fintech. For instance, the way people spend, save, and create money. But for us, the next big thing is P2P as everyone needs money to survive (borrowers) and those who survive, want to multiply their income(lenders).
How important is funding for a Fintech startup like yours?
Funding is critical for our business model to create the much needed awareness, trust and brand and change the way people have been thinking about wealth all this while.
What is your take on the Hyderabad startup ecosystem?
Like any start up ecosystem, Hyderabad has also got sweet spots in terms of industry/sectors. It has one of the most dynamic governments that has backed and created a world class incubator in the form of T-Hub. That’s a reflection of the commitment towards innovation. It’s a matter of few years and few major breakthroughs for Hyderabad to join the much coveted unicorn club. Having said that, Hyderabad lacks shops of Marquee investors, media houses, etc., which are equally critical to make a complete ecosystem on which local startups can thrive upon.
Suggest 4 things every entrepreneur must do to be successful.
For me it’s simple:
- U should remain ‘YOU’ all through the journey,
- Commitment and
- Killer Instinct