Negativity made me try harder: Sashank Rishyasringa, Capital Float
"I was also told that the MSME sector is a traditional sector and mostly carry their business offline."
The usual sense that we got was them going like ‘tumse na ho payega’ (you would not be able to do it). I was also told that the MSME sector is a traditional sector and mostly carry their business offline, hence collecting data from these entities for an online-only lending model would be a huge challenge.
Such negativity made me take up this business more as a challenge to prove others wrong and I knew if there was universal scepticism then the prize to prove everyone wrong would be really big.
Thereby not only did I enter into a lending business but kept it completely online. Further, even within lending, I chose to enter the MSME space though consumer lending looked easier. Within the lending business also I could have gone for a marketplace or a lead generation model, but then I entered into balance sheet lending. Even within the SME, in spite of having a better model to underwrite loans in the range of Rs 10 to Rs 30 lakh, I chose to also target the Rs 1 lakh loans for kirana shops, which is even more difficult to underwrite.
So, today, if I can count Ribbit Capital, which is one of the most prominent fintech investors globally, as one of the shareholders of the company, I believe it is largely due to the fact that as a motto of the company I have always said that we should pick market dislocations that are deep and hard because if you can crack those, then you have a huge head start against competition.
(As told to Pratik Bhakta)