We are publishing an interview of Mr. Gaurav Gupta, Founder and CEO, MyLoanCare.in.
Please tell us about the founders and the core team members
MyLoanCare.in was co-founded by seasoned investment banker Gaurav Gupta and process technology and automation expert Deepak Gupta. Meanwhile, Shalini Gupta, an experienced banking and financial services consultant, also played a major role as a core team member in the inception of the marketplace. Gaurav Gupta is Founder and CEO and Mr. Deepak Gupta is Director of MyLoanCare.in
Gaurav is an experienced banker carrying 18 years of work experience including senior positions with country’s leading financial services firms. With his vast experience in banking and financial services, Gaurav brings to MyLoanCare a deep understanding of banking products and processes and relationships with senior bankers in India. At MyLoanCare, he shoulders the responsibility of driving the company’s strategy and managing relationships with banks and lending partners.
Deepak is an experienced engineering and management professional with expertise in technology enabled process design and automation. His areas of interest include process design, process automation, technology led process disruption and simplification. At MyLoanCare, Deepak is responsible for driving digitization of loan delivery processes, integration of the platform with partner bank systems and building smart systems to perfectly match borrowers with lenders. He meticulously identifies and addresses the pain points of customers’ loan journey using technology.
Shalini has more than 18 years of experience in banking and financial services research and consulting. She has a strong understanding of the latest trends, innovative products and emerging fintech business models and processes that can improve access to finance to underserved customer segments in the country. She is leading digital marketing, SEO, content, external and internal communication, training & audit functions and is a part of various strategic initiatives at MyLoanCare.
We have a team size of around 150 employees and almost 10% of our employees have been working with MyLoanCare since our early days as committed team members driving our platform, sales processes and new initiatives.
What is your USP?
We are a truly bank neutral and unbiased online marketplace for loans. We have imbibed the neutrality concept for online marketplaces much before the regulators have started to think about enforcing neutrality of marketplaces in the online and ecommerce ecosystem.
The platform follows a versatile and fully-digitized automated matchmaking algorithm for connecting customers with suitable lenders to ensure that they get the right loan product, matching with their needs and credit profiles. Our matchmaking algorithms are renowned among banks to be the best in the industry. We are connected with our banks on real time basis, which ensures that the loan process is quick, online and transparent. Our endeavor is to ensure that there is no discrepancy in the loan terms and offer in the sanction letter issued to the customer vis-à-vis the initial communication. Unlike many other loan aggregation platforms, we follow an assisted loan delivery prototype that allocates a loan advisor to each customer who coordinates with the bank on the customer’s behalf and guides the customer through each step of the loan-availing process thus making up for the lack of personal touch in today’s digital world.
What challenges did you face when you were starting out?
When we established MyLoanCare.in in 2013, the online lending market was just evolving. There was low acceptance and readiness for digital transactions both on the demand side from customers and on the supply side from conventional lenders. Customer acceptance of digital transaction showed a rapid pick up only after demonetization was rolled out. That was the time when bank processes that were not digitally oriented It is in the last two years, fintech market in India has started moving towards a new high and we expect it to maintain a brisk growth over the next few years.
How did you get the initial capital? Tell us about the investors (if any)
We started with our own equity, followed by an initial equity round from angel investors ; a group senior financial professionals working with reputed organisations which believed in the strength of our business model. We also raised seed capital from angel investors worth INR 1.5 crores in Dec 2015 and INR 6.5 crore ($978,000) in a Series A round of funding from Ncubate Capital Partners, the venture capital arm of Gurugram-headquartered SAR Group.
Please tell us about the Product / Solution
MyLoanCare is a digital financial intermediary that enables the customers to make an informed choice by comparing, shortlisting and finalizing the right loans in the most hassle-free manner. With a strong focus on innovation and technology, MyLoanCare makes the process of taking credit easy through an algorithm-based matching of the customer’s credit profile, thereby showing them only 2-3 suitable bank offers as per their needs and eligibility. Furthermore, customers can compare the rates, terms and conditions of all its 24+ partner banks together to zero in on the best deal with the lowest EMI burden. This efficient service of shortlisting loans and advising customers is offered at no extra fees from the borrowers. Further, technological integration with banks enables customers to check the real-time status of their loan application without any errors. Our latest loan portfolio management system launched on the back of our “Double check your financial fitness” program has made the system of match making and shortlisting banks even more targeted. It includes a set of 25-30 parameters such as customer profile, income, age, past credit history and geography to identify the best loan product and customized interest saving offers for our customers. Going forward, we plan to share the results of our tool with our customers to enable them to take wise and educated financial decisions.
In addition to the digital capabilities, our platform also allocates a loan advisor to each customer who coordinates with the bank on the customer’s behalf and guides them through each step of the loan-availing process. Additionally, all the key terms and conditions along with the interest rates are kept transparent for the customer. It is the combination of systematic assessment of users’ financial needs, a knowledge base of industry insights, and technological expertise that has enabled MyLoanCare to change the way people take loans in India.
What were your assumptions when you entered the market and the key learnings you acquired after entering the space?
When we ventured into the fintech space with our solution, we assumed that overcoming customer resistance towards digital financial transactions would be the biggest hurdle in our growth in online financial services sphere. However, having worked in the sector for more than four years now, we realize that the on-ground situation is absolutely the opposite. In India, end customers have readily accepted the digital journey. It is the banks and the financial institutions that have struggled to keep pace in terms of upgrading their systems and processes to enable a truly digital customer journey. As new fintech lenders and the incumbents overcome the initial teething issues, the digital marketplace can be expected to scale new heights in the coming years.
What is the strength of the startup and the scale of operations? Who are your competitors?
At MyLoanCare, we emphasize a lot on technology and process innovation with our in-house capabilities; CRM and bank integrations keep us ahead of our competitors, even those who have existed for over 10 years. Having said that, today we are the only profitable online loans marketplace in the country having achieved it at net level in FY17-18 after attaining unit profitability in FY16-17. This is despite having invested heavily to emerge among the top 4 loans marketplaces in the country. This achievement came on the back of our highly differentiated processes and use of innovative technology solutions that help us keep the operating costs under control.
Our customers trust us and the rating of 4.3 / 5 is a testimony to that. Meanwhile, we also swear by our management’s execution capabilities, which involve a deep understanding of customer needs in the banking space, thorough knowledge of banking industry products, processes and regulations and finally, a strong grip over technology needed to automate and transform the customer’s journey.
Coming to our competitors, the fintech sector is extremely competitive with more than 70-80 banks and an almost similar number of NBFCs vying for the same customer set. The banking distribution ecosystem in which we operate is even more competitive with various banking channels competing not just with each other, but with the banking partner itself for a share of the market. As an online loans marketplace, we compete with various banking channels including branches, relationship managers, online, field staff on one hand and the traditional outsourced third party agents such as DSA, CAs/CSs etc on the other hand.
What is your revenue model?
Ours is a free advisory model for the customer. We don’t follow a sales-oriented process and our focus on advising a customer on what is best for them. The revenue usually comes from our 24+ partner banks as commission and marketing fees.
Who are your target consumers? How is this going to affect them?
Our target customers are mostly of an age group between 25 and 40 years who are comfortable with technology and have already moved beyond the mental barrier of transacting online. They are looking for a medium which can guide them to the right product in the most transparent and convenient manner as they have a significant mistrust or do not have any significant brand loyalty for their existing banking partners or traditional bank agents. Our platform’s automated matching engine checks customer’s eligibility, provides the customer best offers from banks and NBFC’s and gives them an option to apply online. As a result, the consumers are able to avail loans at competitive rates and the best terms with minimum EMI burden without paying any cost.
What is the big picture of your startup? Is this Product leading to something bigger?
We endeavour to become a trusted online one-stop-shop for all financial services in India which would include not just loans, but cards, deposits, mutual funds and so on. The idea is to be able to cater to a customer’s varied financial needs at different life stages on the basis of our robust digital capabilities as well as our strong understanding of customer behavior and expectations.
Since inception, give us a sense of the value of business done by your venture? What is the current turnover?
Key Performance parameters (till date) since inception are:
Total disbursements (INR crore): 2000
Number of borrowers: 20,000
Daily visitors on website: 52,000-55,000 (Monthly around 15-17 lakh)
Registered users on our platform: 2.3 million users
What would be your goal to accomplish in the next six months?
We have recently launched a free loan portfolio management service for our borrowers in which they can double check their financial fitness by accessing their free EPF and credit report and also get to know opportunities to save interest or get loans at low interest rates. Going forward, over the next six months, we intend to strengthen our ability to be able to offer targeted and personalized loan offers to our customers based on their income, occupation, past credit history and their life stage. We also plan to expand our product offerings by including fixed deposits, saving deposits, mutual funds in the next few months.