For Rachit Chawla the dream to start and head his own company never came as an afterthought. The entrepreneurial spirit, after all, ran too deep in his family genes and the urge to carry forward this proud family tradition was too overbearing for this young man. So after completing his BSC in Business & Management from Aston University, Birmingham and working briefly as Price Analyst for Intel Corporation, Mr. Chawla unsurprisingly took a plunge into the entrepreneurial world.
Today Chawla spent most of his time in his New Delhi office, where today he is busy transforming his one year old Fintech startup Finway Capital into a highly successful Fintech company. Today Finway Capital stands out from scores of other Fintech startups by offering a holistic platform where customers can not only secure personal/business loans easily but also buy insurance products and seek investment advisory to increase their wealth. Currently operating only in New Delhi region, the startup nurtures the dream to go for a pan India presence in coming years.
In this special interview with Techpluto, Chawla speaks about the future plans that will help propel Finway Capital at the forefront of India’s Fintech industry. He also shed his valuable insight into future of India’s Fintech industry and what challenges awaits this nascent yet promising industry.
Q) Techpluto: Could you please shed some light on the Finway Capital’s mission & vision?
Mr. Chawla: Finway Capital’s vision is to promote financial inclusion in the Indian society. We aim to achieve this by offering to our customers financial and investment literacy absolutely free of cost. This will help our customers including small business owners in making wise choices not only in credit borrowing, but also investing & there by increasing their wealth.
Q) Techpluto: Finway Capital nurtures the aim to become a zero NPA (non-performing assets) Fintech company. Now this seems to be a very ambitious goal as NPA is a problem that is almost unavoidable for any financial institution that aims to grow its loan portfolio?
Mr. Chawla: Yes, I agree that it is a very ambitious goal. But I completely believe that our deeply integrated work culture can help us in achieving this seemingly difficult goal. Our work culture is based on integrity and honesty, which helps us in assiduously judging the credit worthiness of every borrower. The key is to set high standards for evaluating the credit worthiness of potential borrowers and never compromise on the same.
Today many Fintech startups are accumulating NPAs as they are in hurry to increase their loan portfolio. A practice that Finway Capital will avoid at any cost.
Q) Techpluto: Today there is so much of competition in Fintech sector. Literally every month a new Fintech company is entering into the market, while many existing players are getting funded. In the wake of such competition, how does Finway Capital stand out from other competitors?
Mr. Chawla: To begin with, not many Fintech startups are offering the holistic platform to customers like we do. As you already know that we are probably the only player that not only offers secured and unsecured loans, but also sell insurance products and provide investment advisory under one platform. Hence we not only offer credit to our customers, but also help to protect and increase their wealth further.
Besides, Finway is also beating the competition by virtue of TAT (Turn Around Time). Today our company has a TAT of 24 hours for unsecured loans and 72 hours for secured loans, which no other NBFC is capable to offer. Today this impressive TAT is helping us grow at the rate of 20 percent on MoM basis.
Q) Techpluto: Currently, Finway is a completely bootstrapped startup. Do you have any immediate plans to raise external funding from investors?
Mr. Chawla: I don’t see any plans to raise capital unless we are able to scale our business to certain level. Finway as of now has a loan book of Rs 17 crore and unless it reaches Rs 100 crore, external funding can wait. In case if the company in coming months does feel the need to raise capital then I will choose to raise it through venture debt than venture capital.
I would also like to highlight that I have already received several mails from investors who have expressed their desire to invest in our company. But so far I have not shown any strong interest in these investment proposals.
Q) Techpluto: Do you think the emergence of Fintech sector has finally helped the MSME and small businesses to remove the badge of untouchability; something that they had to endure for decades owing to apathy of banking sector?
Mr. Chawla: Yes, without a doubt the emergence of Fintech companies has proved to be a huge blessing for the entire MSME sector. Fintech companies like us take the help of sophisticated technologies than traditional outdated methods used by banks to judge the credit worthiness of small & medium companies.
Over all, I feel that today Fintech companies are doing a great service to Indian economy, since MSME is one of the main engines of our economy.
Q) Techpluto: While there is no doubt that the untapped credit market is largely fueling the growth of Fintech industry, don’t you think that the industry will eventually reach the saturation level and go through a consolidation phase?
Mr. Chawla: Like any other industry, Fintech industry will also go through consolidation phase. Only those companies with positive cash flow and good balance sheet will able to survive during this consolidation phase.
Q) Techpluto: So those Fintech companies that are unable to gain market traction will have to head towards exit door during the consolidation phase?
Mr. Chawla: Yes, definitely. The industry will eventually reach ‘survival of fittest’ phase and only those with good market tractions and lesser NPAs will able to survive.
Q) Techpluto: Today there many Fintech companies that are focused only on niche markets like salaried employees, student loans, agriculture loans etc. How do you see the future of such Fintech companies?
Mr. Chawla: I am not very sure about these niche markets. Eventually the market size of these niche markets and other critical factors will determine the future of such Fintech companies.
Q) Techpluto: Where do you see the entire Fintech industry five years from now?
Mr. Chawla: The entire Fintech industry is heading towards a fantastic future. Despite the on-going Fintech revolution, even today a huge segment of our population and industry is still in dire need of credit. Majority of this untapped market will eventually turn towards Fintech companies to fulfill their credit needs and this will invariably fuel the growth of the entire industry.
Q) Techpluto: Modern technology has certainly played a key role in growth of Fintech companies. Do you think the technology will only get better from here and pave way for greater growth for Fintech companies?
Mr. Chawla: Yes, most certainly. Even in their nascent stages breakthrough technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning & big data have proved to be a huge blessing for Fintech companies. Hence their positive impact on the industry will be far greater once all these breakthrough technologies go beyond their nascent stages.