The managing director and CEO of the fintech company is leveraging technology to bring borrowers and lenders together on a single platform
Manav Jeet, MD & CEO, Rubique
Image: Vikas Khot
Manav Jeet, managing director and CEO of the fintech company Rubique, has seen the pain points of those who apply for loans. He understands that it is not an easy process and feels that there is an opportunity to be tapped. He started Rubique with the idea of bringing lenders and borrowers together on the same platform. Jeet spoke to Pravin Palande of Forbes India about the business and its growth prospects. Edited excerpts:
How did the idea of starting a fintech company come about?
I have been a banker for 20-odd years and I have seen this space from very close quarters and also from different vantage points like SMEs or retail loans. One thing always bothered me—while the opportunity may be large for banks from a financial point of view, from a customer’s point of view the entire borrowing process is inefficient. I always thought that this entire loan process is very painful for consumers. I thought that I could help the end customer and build a large business around that.
When you are looking for a loan, whether you are a retail customer or an SME customer or an existing customer of the bank with a savings or a current account, the bank still treats you as a new customer. This is because every financial institutional has a different risk appetite. They look for a particular set of customers. That’s when we thought that we have the domain expertise and with the help of technology we can get the borrower and a lender together on a single platform.
In October 2014, we started Rubique for retail and SME loans and recently added insurance products as well. When a retail customer is looking for a loan, he directly goes to a bank and you may or may not get the loan that matches your requirement. We have a lot of borrowers coming to our website and we match them with the right lender. The lender’s criteria is matched with the borrower’s requirement. We crunch the timeline using technology. If you come to our site and apply for a personal loan, it will be instantly approved. You can upload the pdf of your documents and get a soft approval. The next step is to send the physical documents. That’s where Rubique steps in and helps you complete the loan approval process. Secondly, we help to complete the transactions in terms of submitting the documentation. So you get the money in your bank account very quickly.
Can you give us an idea about the business model? We understand that you are getting borrowers and lenders together but how do you make money?
We charge the financial institution. The customers are not charged at all. There are two parts to the model. One, we integrate with financial institutions and work around the algorithms based on the policies of the bank, so we bring in a lot of options for the consumer. The second part, the fulfillment part which requires you to move the physical documents from one place to other, if you start hiring people then it is not a scalable model. That’s where our technology-led distribution model helps a lot. We have a network of round 4,000 financial advisors who use our technology. For them, the advantage is that they get access to financial institutions, customers and 200 products. We provide them training and they have complete transparency to the technology. We don’t have to hire them and they get to leverage our technology. They become our extended arms.
For the year-ended March 2016, we did business worth Rs 236 crore. We had 88 employees on the rolls of the company. This year, we did Rs 1,000 crore of business with the same set of people. So the number went up by four times. That growth was possible because we were leveraging technology. We keep the business asset light. It is a technology-led model.
How many financial institutions do you deal with?
We currently deal with more than 75 financial institutions. We have more than 220 products available in the retail and SME category. We have crossed 1 lakh customers. They have availed our services. We have disbursed loans worth Rs 2,000 crore overall.
How do you see yourself five years down the line?
Five years is a very long time. In the next two years, we believe that Rubique will be the largest platform for all kinds of loans and other financial products. We recently introduced insurance and maybe we will have mutual funds and other product categories. We would like to give paperless experience to the end consumers.