This 19-year-old entrepreneur is making access to credit efficient, easy and instant
At 19 years old, when most people are still figuring out their aptitudes and making education and career choices, Swapnil Madiyar is at the helm of— a lending startup that specialises in hassle-free financing for individuals who do not qualify for a loan from other established lenders due to low income or insufficient CIBIL rating, among other reasons.
“My exposure to the finance sector was fortuitous. After completing my class 12 exams, I started visiting my father’s office, which was an NBFC and was intrigued by the way NBFCs work. I wanted to explore the industry deeper,” says Swapnil, who was guided by his aspiration to provide financial aid to the under-served, blue-collared and low-income category individuals in India.
After a project with a group of expats who were keen on launching an instant loan service did not take off, Swapnil became more resolved to bring his idea to fruition.
“During my research process, I realised that there is a huge part of the population who are not considered as the ‘target audience’ by lending or fintech organisations. It’s not that they aren’t capable of repayments or do not intend to repay, but since they belong to the low- income category, they are not seen as an ideal customer base by these organisations,” says Swapnil.
To help bridge this gap, Swapnil founded Mudrakwik in March 2019, and it was formally incorporated in July 2019 in Pune. It looks to enhance the convenience of availing credit for those who are often denied loans due to their professional backgrounds. From the verification of personal information to checking customer’s loan eligibility, they have automated the entire credit disbursal process.
What started off as a fintech company with just two employees, Mudrakwik has now grown into a 40-member strong team in a year’s time – an ideal mix of seasoned, experienced professionals as well as millennials and a cumulative customer base of over 2 million users.
Does the age difference between him and his employees affect his leadership? “Not at all!” says Swapnil.
“As a team, we communicate openly, set team goals and leverage everyone’s strengths. So factors like age do not really create an obstacle in the whole process. Rather, it is an advantage for us as it fosters a two-way learning and growth path.”
Tapping into the unmet demand
The Indian digital lending industry is poised to grow dramatically with a potential market size of $100 billion by 2023. Advancements in technology and data science are enabling fintechs to further extend their services to the credit-deprived at a time when India has come of age as a progressive fintech nation. However, the larger the scope, the bigger the competition. According to Accenture, fintech investments in the country nearly doubled to $3.7 billion in 2019, up from $1.9 billion the previous year, behind only the UK and US.
So what makes Mudrakwik stand out? “Our unique business model,” says Swapnil.
Mudrakwik’s ticket size is as low as Rs 1,000 and goes up to a maximum of Rs 5, 00,000. The company gives Rs 1,000 loan by default for the first time, and as an incentive for regular repayments, borrowers can be eligible for higher loan amounts, if regular EDIs are paid. The second USP of Mudrakwik, Swapnil says, is their instantaneous disbursal, irrespective of the applicant’s Credit Score.
“At present, we offer our services to salaried individuals only; providing loans to people with minimal salaries. We are location agnostic as well. The process is backed up by our family-owned NBFC, which makes the whole process of loan disbursal seamless and smooth.”
Unlocking the Fin-Com door
Even as the company continues to scale its lending platform to meet the credit demands of a large, underserved market, Swapnil is also on the verge of launching CrediKart — a Fin-Com venture providing a ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ facility to its customers.
With an objective to provide access to quality products across the country, CreditKart aims to increase the penetration of e-commerce, especially Tier 3, 4 & 5 cities.
“We (CreditKart) will be the first Fin-com platform in India to provide access to quality and affordable range of products to tier-two, three and four cities while also providing them with financial aid to purchase those products. The users will get a credit line based on their credit score to purchase the products which can be repaid in three consecutive EMIs. Their credit line will be revised depending on their repayment schedule and other factors,” Swapnil explains, adding that CreditKart looks to synergise with financial inclusion and digital transformation.
Onwards and upwards
Led by a dynamic young leader who helped the company break even in the first quarter of its launch, Mudrakwik’s goal of becoming the country’s leading digitally and technologically-driven business empire by the end of 2023 does not seem out of reach. With Mudrakwik on the right track now, Swapnil and his team are working tirelessly to actuate other business ventures.
“With CreditKart and a few more new innovative projects in the pipeline, our target is to achieve a bottom line that is not only sufficient to run our current ventures, but also provide financial abetment to our new projects so that we don’t need to seek funds from additional sources,” says Swapnil.
The company foresees a turnover of around Rs 2,000 crore by end of FY 2023 via mergers, acquisitions or collaborations. It is also in discussion with a leading Indian bank for launching credit cards and is soon planning to take its business beyond Indian borders as well.