Knight FinTech's Kushal Rastogi on transforming the banking infrastructure

In this episode, Knight FinTech Founder and CEO Kushal Rastogi talks about the current financial system, the benefits of co-lending, and the company’s future plans in India and globally.
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Kushal Rastogi, Founder and CEO of Knight FinTech, has an extensive background in finance and technology fields.

For 14 years, he dedicated himself to the world of finance, primarily focused on asset management—including hedge funds, and building systems and algorithms for large financial companies. Kushal and his co-founder, Parthesh Shah, have worked in the financial ecosystem for 12 years, learning the ways of large financial institutions. They now aim to transform the banking infrastructure with Knight FinTech.

The company specialises in financial technology for banks and financial institutions in the areas of treasury and credit, empowering more than 40 institutional clients. Knight Fintech’s Integrated Treasury Management Solution helps institutions in mission-critical tasks such as reducing risk and enhancing returns while managing various regulatory and compliance issues.

Credibility and trust

“A lot of things need to fall into place to start to work, especially building credibility and trust”, says Kushal in a conversation with Sanjay Swamy, Managing Partner at Priven Advisors—investment advisor to Prime Venture Partners.

He adds that “human relationship and trust was built” once they started working with some major clients.

Both founders worked on building a strong brand and creditworthiness in the sector. Their primary objective was to collaborate with small banks and understand their needs. They considered managing a large part of the balance sheet of businesses—sometimes one-third of their assets—as a key step forward. This is how they could convince customers about their work capabilities, enhance the returns of their assets, and reduce the risks of their liabilities.

The company would then show its prior work with those small banks and the value created for larger institutions to collaborate further and gain more exposure.

Co-lending

Knight FinTech enables and facilitates co-lending—a form of lending in which two or more parties jointly lend money to another party (the borrower). It generally involves banks and NBFC (non-banking financial companies) fintechs.

Along with customers, all parties benefit from this type of operation. While the banks reduce their risk (as they share it with NBFCs), NBFCs gain more customers, and hence, more revenues. From the customers’ point of view, as risks reduce, interest rates decrease, which leads to obtaining “cheaper and sooner money”, Kushal sums up.

Finally, the system profited as it became more competitive: more companies are working with more customers.

Kushal estimates that around 10% of bank assets will move to co-lending in the next 3-5 years.

Future

“Definitely, there is a global approach. I think for the next 12 months, the focus is on India. Once we achieve the size and scale in another 12 months, it would be a good time to start global expansion. In the long term, we will expand globally. Banking-as-a-service and lending-as-a-service have become global phenomena”, Kushal adds, defining the company’s vision for the coming years.

You can listen to the full episode here.

Time stamps:

04:30 - Solving hard problems for large financial institutions

17:15 - Gaining the trust and confidence of a large enterprise

36:00 - Challenge of building two products at a young company

45:00 - Future plans of Knight FinTech and global opportunities

Edited by Kanishk Singh

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