Bhupinder Singh, Founder and CEO, InCred
Bhupinder Singh is the Founder and CEO of InCred, a new-age, technology led, retail lending platform focused on education, affordable housing, SME and consumer loans. Prior to this, he was the head of the Corporate Finance division of Deutsche Bank and co-headed the Fixed Income, Equities and Investment Banking divisions for the Asia Pacific region. In conversation with Dominic Rebello, Bhupinder says, InCred has designed its products with the sharp focus on serving the needs of the underserved segment of Indian customers.
What is the idea behind InCred?
I've founded InCred with the vision of furthering financial inclusion in India. India was a key market for me when I was heading Deutsche's Investment Bank in Asia -Pacific. I spent lot of time interacting with various market participants and stakeholders like regulators and government entities and realised that India is at the cusp of a revolution in the Consumer and SME space.
Young aspiring Indians and the emerging Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are driving the growth of the Indian economy and also fueling the demand for credit. These Consumer and SME segments have historically been under-served by incumbent players in the lending industry due to a lack of sufficient information to assess the credit worthiness of these borrowers. InCred was launched with an aim to bridge this gap between the demand and supply of credit.
How is InCred different from others?
InCred focuses on market segments that are underserved by the incumbent players – the 'new-to-credit' customers.
Unlike other players in the market, InCred has designed its products with a sharp focus on serving the needs of the underserved segment of Indian customers. Our loan products are flexible and can be tailor-made to suit the unique requirements of our borrowers. We have built bespoke risk scorecards targeting the new-to-credit category of customers. All of this is based on an algorithm driven, alternate data based risk management engine. InCred hopes to bring a new borrower focused paradigm to the entire lending process. We believe in bringing a human approach to lending. Delivery of a superior and seamless customer experience across all touch-points is extremely critical for us.
How do you plan to scale up?
We launched market operations in Jan 2017 and disbursed over INR 400 cr in loans to more than 2500 customers across India within the first 6 months. Currently, we are present in 12 cities across India. We have built a strong sales team across locations and are using a widespread DSA and strategic channel partner network to reach out to our customers and scale our business. The use of digital mediums and our online presence enables us to further extend our reach to customers throughout the country.
We give loans in 4 key product categories- affordable housing, consumer, SME and education. We are now further expanding our product portfolio across the consumer and SME business which will further drive the growth of our business. We’ve recently launched a 100% digital product – car accessory loans. We are also giving infrastructure loans to the very niche education industry in India. We have also launched micro- lending focused on very specific segments of customers in the market. In view of this growth & scale up, we are investing a lot in technology and operations to drive internal process efficiencies.
Who would primarily be your consumer audience?
InCred is focusing on emerging aspirational young Indians and the burgeoning SME class in the country. With this aspiration, we launched InCred with a focus on 4 key categories of products in the initial phase:
- Affordable housing loans: This product aims to fulfil the dream of owning a house for the first- time homebuyer who is typically earning INR 15,000 - 30,000 per month.
- Education loans: This product seeks to meet the aspirations of higher education of young Indians. We are also offering collateral free loans up to INR 40 Lakh in this segment.
- Consumer Loans: We want to be the one stop shop for the Indian consumer to fund her financial needs and are exploring several new loan categories in this segment. We have also recently launched a 100% digital car accessories financing product.
- SME Loans: We strongly believe that SMEs will be a key growth driver for the Indian economy and have launched a broad range of products from working capital finance, growth capital finance to supply chain finance in this segment.
We are building a diversified financial services model with an aim to serve the wide needs of the Indian market.
Where do you see yourself five years down the road?
We hope to achieve exponential growth in balance sheet, profitability and other return metrics while establishing InCred as a top notch diversified financial services group. Our immediate focus is on achieving a loan book of INR 4000 crore by March 2019. My vision for InCred is for the company to be an inseparable part of every Indian family's journey towards financial success as it serves as the key partner to meet their financial requirements.