Why this BFSI Industry Veteran-turned-entrepreneur is Bullish on Fintechs
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Technology has revolutionized sectors like travel and telecom, but the financial sector is still in the queue.
When an ex-Reliance Security CEO decided to become an entrepreneur, he didn't want to waste time choosing the traditional method of starting up his company. Instead, he invested in a readily available platform, took its infrastructure and built his idea on it. In an exclusive conversation with Entrepreneur India, Sudip Bandyopadhyay, Chairman of Inditrade (formally known as JRG Group) expounded his success mantra as a lender, investor, and an entrepreneur.
Sudip, as an investor, is immensely bullish on Fintech segment and explaining his move he said, "I think the disruption in financial services through technology is yet to happen. I doubt, till date, there is any great innovation in the financial sector. Technology has revolutionized sectors like travel and telecom."
Block chain has the potential to revolutionize the financial services sector, he asserted, predicting that in 10 years, we might be able to see the revolution.
He prefers investing in companies at series A-level and is actively looking out for companies with innovative concepts. Presently, Sudip has invested in Bima Direct, Dining Plus and Emotix.
Sudip always knew he wanted to run a company, but there was no timeline for it. But in 2016, when Sudip invested in JRG Group as the largest investor, he had invested in his dream and an entrepreneur was born.
His goal was simple -"to do something he was good but without the crutches of a corporate." "It is not that you don't need any experience.However, once you get that, don't hold yourself back," he said. His message was: Start something on your own and stand on your own feet.
Commodity lending and microfinance are two of the key segments in which Inditrade operates. The USP about Inditrade's commodity lending business is its finances exchange-traded commercial commodities like rubber, turmeric, cardamom, soya, maize, cotton, caster etc.
About the business, he said, "It's completely a different business by what people understand from the simple English words. India is among the top ten commodity producers and consumers. So the opportunity in the commodities market is huge in India. The agri-commodity market is worth about INR 4-5lakh crore."
The producer has to store his produce at the exchange accredited warehouse and pledge his/her products under Inditrade's name. The company hedges its risk by making the producer sell the futures in the exchange. If the price falls or the producers run away - it doesn't matter. Money is recovered post delivery and hence, nonperforming assets do not give Sudip nightmares.
Additionally, Inditrade's microfinance business only prefers lending to women entrepreneurs in the industrial belts. When asked why only women, he chuckled, "Because unlike men, they won't waste their hard-earned money in alcohol or other ailments. They would clear debts."