Name: Neha Aggarwal
Industry: Financial Services
Location: Delhi, India
Reason for starting: After working in Priority Sector Lending with ICICI, I wanted to do something for the society. I wanted to go a step ahead of providing loans to poor people, which ICICI was doing anyways. Therefore, I started an online platform for rural artisans to sell their products so that they get a wider avenue for their products and earn a stable income. Somehow, that couldn’t materialize due to operational and geographical constraints. Plus it included huge capital investment. Therein, an idea came, extending credit to real people with real needs from retail investors at an interest rate which is fair to both borrowers as well as investors. And hence, I decided to start P2P lending.
Biggest Success: Being able to create a platform for people who are genuinely in need of money but due to certain reasons can not be funded. Providing them credit at fair rates so that it is a win win situation for both lender as well as borrower.
We plan to become one stop financial solution platform in coming times. Currently, we offer vanilla EMI based product but as we grow, we intend to expand our product portfolio by introducing structured products and wealth management services to our customers. This will cater to both short and long term credit demand. We also plan to partner with institutional investors and help them reach underserved but credit worthy population which they could not do earlier.
What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? In India, the Peer to Peer lending has been in occurrence from decades in offline mode. But to bring the same in an organized manner was quite a challenge. Plus, making investors believe that P2P is an alternate form of investment which provides high returns for moderate risks is quite a task. Some of the investors are still wary of this emerging investment option as it is an unsecured personal loan. However, a key point to note is that P2P loans are debt products backed by a legally enforceable loan agreement and postdated cheques from the borrowers.
We introduced Principal Protection Fund; which is to safeguard biggest concerns of retail investors by providing guarantee on principal amount lent depending on the risk category of the loan at a nominal fee. Also, our Proprietary Credit Score Model calculates not just the financial health of a borrower but also one’s intent to repay.
Related: Women & Money: Setting an Example
Who is your most important role model? My father is my role model who has helped me inculcate the habit of putting my 100% in whatever I do.
Edited by The Story Exchange