This Woman Is Leading a Pay-Later Service Company, And How

Simpl's co-founder and chief operating officer, Chaitra Chidanand, has taken the reins of her firm in her hands

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Almost every entrepreneur has encountered challenges while starting up and scaling. Nurturing a business requires more than 100 per cent effort and time of the entrepreneur along with passion to face adversities that come along the way. While entrepreneurial challenges are not different depending on gender or age, the journey for women becomes tricky owing to the biases.

Chaitra Chidanand, co-founder and chief operating officer, Simpl

Speaking to Entrepreneur India, Simpl co-founder and chief operating officer Chaitra Chidanand said a lot of the challenges that women deal with are internal in nature as women tend to hold back and believe that they are not as good as they think thus doubting their own selves. Apart from this, women also experience “subconscious biases” which make the journey difficult for them.

“I really think that the biggest challenge that in general women face is that the rules of the workplace have been defined by the patriarchal system. As more women get into the workforce, these rules will dismantle. But right now in order to be successful, women need to conform to the existing norms which can be challenging,” Chidanand explained.

However, increasing development and digitization grouped with awareness is helping women make themselves known with their work. Simpl’s Chidanand is a great example of who has taken the reins of her firm in her hands and is leading the Bangalore-based fintech start-up towards growth.

Simpl’s Journey To Make Credit Process Simpler

Simpl was founded in 2015 by Chaitra Chidanand and Nityanand Sharma and the company offers a pay-later platform which allows e-commerce merchants to offer single-click checkout, credit at point of sale and full buyer protection to users.

According to Chidanand, the story behind launching Simpl comes from the traditional ‘khaata’ (ledger) system between the merchant and customer. Under this process, local merchants keep a tab on their buyers for day to day purchases. “Drawing inspiration from the khaata system, we created a similar digital model for all the Zomatos and BigBaskets of the country.”

She also added that Simpl which already has more than a million users, is now piloting a model with 15 stories in Bengaluru where the local kirana stores are digitizing their khaata system. Chidanand added that the pilot is taking off and the company plans to add 20-26 more stores for this pilot.

Relying On Trust Rather Than Credit Score

Inspired by the traditional khaata system from the local stores which relies on the trust between the merchant and the user, Simpl too focuses on ‘trust score’ for each individual user rather than any credit score.

Chidanand explained that while researching microfinance lending in countries where credit score is not readily available during her time at Stanford, she came to realize that trustworthiness correlates with creditworthiness. 

Thus, the idea behind Simpl is to help the e-commerce merchants to build a trustworthy relationship with their end customers. A user can become eligible to use Simpl for any of its partner merchants only after having at least three transactions in a single billing cycle.

According to Chidanand, the company also has plans to work with banks and come up with an EMI product in the future. It also has plans to expand its services in international markets this year.