A first generation entrepreneur Manavjeet Singh is the Founder & CEO of Rubique (earlier known as bestdeal finance), one of the largest financial portals offering a comprehensive range of financial products and services from multiple Banks and Financial Institutions, through a cutting-edge technology platform. A veteran banker with more than 23 years of experience in the field of banking and financial services, he is a well-recognized name in the industry. Manavjeet started his professional career with Xerox followed by several strategic leadership positions in prestigious corporate organizations like Citibank India, SBI Mutual Fund, HDFC Bank, Reliance Consumer Finance, Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd and YES Bank. In conversation with Dominic Rebello, he reveals how getting consumers good finance deals can spur a financial portal’s growth.
What drives you?
The origin of one’s personal drive comes from his intrinsic beliefs, goals and value system. I am a strong believer of “Think big, dream big” and that is how I landed myself in Mumbai from a small town in Himachal Pradesh, with the intention to make it big. I started Rubique to bridge the existing lending gap by bringing in every borrower and lender on a common platform, which so far never existed.
How big is the potential for a business like yours: Any statistics to compare with international standards?
Fintech has been the buzzword of late and its potential in India is very promising. The current loan market in India is growing at approx. 18% CAGR and is expected to rise to Rs 1.5 trillion by 2020. Despite such lucrative growth, there are inefficiencies in the current marketplace. These gaps could be well-addressed with the help of technology and that precisely is the endeavor of startups like ours. At Rubique, we are not only focusing on individual borrowers but also the SME segment, which is growing at a fast pace and is well-connected digitally, yet with no/limited loan offerings online. We have tuned ourselves to be customer-centric as well as complement the existing eco-system for value creation.
This year, we are looking at processing around 1,50,000 applications for loans & credit cards. Even with this target, we would be covering only 1-2% of the overall market. Currently, we are focusing only on quality rather than quantity. It would be very difficult to mention any exact statistics at this stage of the market evolution but very soon we will be able to witness a significant contribution of business from the fintech players.
How do you plan to scale up; raise funds through seed or venture capital or simply grow the old fashioned way through rising turnovers?
We are currently present in 6 cities namely Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Pune & Hyderabad. As mentioned earlier, we are focusing primarily on quality at the initial stages. We have already raised our Series ‘A’ funding led by Kalaari capital in the month of Sept ’15. Although there has been an inbound interest from investors for the Series ‘B’ round, currently we are emphasizing on strengthening our foundation in terms of our technology platform and distribution.
Who would primarily be your consumer audience?
We cater to anyone who is looking for loans or credit cards. We aim to plug the financial gaps of all the individuals, SMEs, financial institutions or ecommerce portals, no matter whether they are online or offline.
Where do you see yourself five years down the road?
We intend to become the largest online marketplace for loans in the near future and would like to establish ourselves as one of the few fintech players changing the landscape of the Indian lending space. To sharpen the technology offering, we are setting up tech hub in Bangalore.