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5 Lessons I Learnt As An Entrepreneur Over The Last Decade Co-Founder and CEO of Paisabazaar shares some insights he gained while building PaisaBazaar that hopefully would help young entrepreneurs starting

By Naveen Kukreja

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Entrepreneurship in India is experiencing a remarkable surge. When we began Paisabazaar 10 years ago, the environment was quite different. The start-up culture was still new, especially within financial services, and there were only a handful large scale fintechs like Policybazaar around. Ten years later, we are proud of not just surviving, but also of the consumer-focussed business that we have built. As Paisabazaar celebrates its remarkable journey of a decade, I would like to share some insights I gained while building the organisation that hopefully would help young entrepreneurs starting out:


I am a firm believer in the concept of net positive, and it's a pertinent question that founders should ask themselves, not just while starting a business, but also during various stages as the business builds, grows and scales. Being net positive essentially means adding genuine and positive value to your consumers and the overall ecosystem you are operating in, over the long-term.


As a business, there are bound to be bad days, periods of extreme crisis. One may lose clients or market share, your funding may get cancelled, there may be regulatory challenges. One of the biggest lessons the pandemic taught businesses was to be prepared for these sudden challenging period. Like most businesses globally, our dark phase also came during the pandemic in 2020.

Today, we are a profitable business with 2.5 times of over precovid business volumes

After the initial phase of helplessness and panic, we decided to focus on certain fundamentals of our business. First, we were aware that lending is a basic financial need for consumers and that was not going to go away in the long run. Second, we realised that the tough external environment may accelerate digital adoption of the industry, benefitting digital only platforms like ours. And most importantly, we need to rebuild the business to a more robust one - that can handle these shocks better than what we did here.


When we started, we were the 4th or 5th marketplace platform to enter the space. But, we were aware of the massive market opportunity, given the under-penetration of consumer credit, the lack of digitization and the consumer need gaps that existed. And after 3 years of relentless execution, Paisabazaar went past the incumbents to become the market leader.


Establishing a robust support network is paramount. First, having co-founders who share a deepseated commitment to the overall vision is invaluable. Co-founders with diverse expertise and experience can enhance the organisation's capacity to navigate varied challenges adeptly and bolstering the business' overall efficacy. The second aspect is building a core team that is aligned to the organisation ethos and are here for the long haul.


For us at Paisabazaar, we have one simple mantra – 'Measure everything you do. If you can't measure it, find a way to'. That, I believe, has really helped us execute better and progress in the right direction.


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