[The Turning Point] Why these founders decided to focus on India's lending landscape

The Turning Point is a series of short articles that focuses on the moment when an entrepreneur hit upon their winning idea. Today, we look at Delhi-based IndiaLends, an online marketplace for loan products.

Gaurav Chopra has worked in the consumer credit industry since 2005. He closely observed the market in the UK while working for the likes of CapitalOne. But when Gaurav came back to India in 2013 there was a large gap between the demand and supply of lending in India. 

“We realised that the approval rate on loans was low in India. Banks tended to focus on higher-ticket loans, which only those with high incomes and/or high credit scores were able to avail. The other problem area was the lack of data. India still relied on manual underwriting processes unlike the UK and the US. So while credit was available in the market, it could not be easily accessed by everyone,” Gaurav says.

Mayank Kachhwaha and Gaurav set out to solve this problem by founding IndiaLends, an online platform to assess borrowers’ creditworthiness using technology, and to help them secure loans from banks and non-banking financial companies. 

The Founders of IndiaLends: Gaurav Chopra and Mayank Kachhwaha.

IndiaLends uses its transparent and highly-advanced automated processing system to offer credit products to a customer base of over seven million through its 50-plus bank and NBFC partners across the country.  

Operating as an online marketplace, it allows customers to shop for loan products, and offers credit scores and financial education. The platform, which attracts over 140,000 visitors every month, helps people get quick access to cheaper credit.

“Our idea was to make credit accessible and affordable to every person in need of finance. Going further, to make credit easily accessible amid the lockdown we have also launched a range of touchless and contactless products that include loans, insurance, and a line of credit. These new offerings will provide consumers with quick and effective financial solutions, during and after the nationwide lockdown. We hope this will pave the way for a new normal,” Gaurav says. 

Mayank and Gaurav had been discussing this idea for a few years. They continued to refine their thinking at CapitalOne where they worked together as part of the same team. 

“After deciding to set up IndiaLends after my move back to India, it seemed natural to reach out to Mayank. Fortunately, he was also contemplating a move back and was looking for the right opportunity,” Gaurav recalls. 

The startup has disbursed loans worth Rs 500 crore and over two lakh credit cards. It has grown 10-15 percent every month in the last year.  IndiaLends goes head-on with multiple startups in the space, including Bank Bazaar and Finance Buddha

The startup, which raised an additional $10 million in Series B funding in July 2018, is now seeing a surge in users from Tier II and III India. 

(Inputs by Sampath Putrevu)

Edited by Teja Lele