The third wave of Omicron has almost ended, and life is getting back to n normal once again. After two years of adopting the digital way of life, people are once again craving for the traditional or offline experiences once again. While this is undoubtedly a positive development, one can’t help but wonder if this will have any bearing on companies that offer digital services. Manish Bhatia, president – Tech, Analytics & Capabilities at Lendingkart, however, says that digitisation is here to stay regardless of the pandemic situation. Read the full interview here
DQ: A rise in digitisation has been witnessed in the past two years due to COVID. How has this trend worked out for Lendingkart?
Manish Bhatia: The last two years have seen many changes in the ways of functioning. The world has moved from traditional ways of working and innovated digital means of survival. This is true across industries – from online food delivery the brands have adapted 10min grocery deliveries, from actual dining kitchens we saw a rise in cloud kitchens and from physical loan branches companies have gone to providing loans digitally.
One of such being Lendingkart. The future of lending is Digital and with that as our aim, over the last 2 years, we have truly evolved as a company when it comes to digital lending. We have disbursed over $1 BN loans across the country with zero physical branches! We are now moving towards making Lendingkart a lending marketplace. Our full-service lending platform Lendingkart 2gthr, will connect different financial institutions – NBFCs, DSAs, PSUs, lenders, originators, borrowers to each other and provide access to robust data-driven platforms in the loan disbursal process. We have about 1200 DSAs and 101 channel partners – Amazon India, Punjab National Bank, Canara Bank, Bank of Maharashtra among others - that span across our origination to supply cycle. Our vision is to become THE DESTINATION for all credit and financial needs for our 65+ MN MSME customers in India.
We already have the building blocks in the form of platforms like Lendingkart Xlr8 that is being used by thousands of offline and online O2O agents spread across India to provide assisted lending experience, Lendingkart Cred8 – a proprietary underwriting engine to evaluate businesses based on cash flow rather than only credit rating and Lendingkart Collec10 – a full-service collection as a service and Lendingkart 2gthr – used by several co-lending partners like PNB, IDFC First Bank and Canara Bank, that I have explained above. These platforms have enabled us to scale and evaluate over 11 Lac MSME applications translating into 250K+ loans worth over 11L+ crore.
To enhance our digital lending experience, we integrated with Account Aggregator (we were in fact one of the early adopters). We now have 7 banks LIVE in terms of coverage and our target is to reach from 60% to 70% adoption of Account Aggregator (AA). We have clearly seen an improvement of 4-5% in conversion of AA enabled applications.
We understand that the world is mobile and with internet penetration reaching the skies, it only made sense that we work towards an App-first approach and are increasing vernacular coverage across our Lendingkart app which is available on Google Play Store.
DQ: When talking about digital lending, there are several players in the market. What is the competitive advantage that Lendingkart has to offer?
DQ: Everybody is craving normalcy once again and people are looking forward to traditional experiences. Will this bear an impact on digital lending?
Manish Bhatia: The reality of today is that the world is moving towards digitisation or rather has to some extent and there is no turning back. The world is forced to accelerate and provide digital solutions to traditional
issues. We are waiting on innovations that will bring us food through drones rather than humans and I’m sure there’s a lot that will surprise us with the constant need for industries to innovate and stay ahead of the path of becoming digital. I will reiterate – The Future of Lending is Digital for sure! Govt rules mandate digital registration of MSMEs, the process for loan application in banks are adopting digital methods, even KYC verification today is digital.
DQ: What role does data play when it comes to digital lending? How is Lendingkart using data and Technology to put lending within reach?
Manish Bhatia: At our core, we are a technology company built on data. It has helped us reach out and personalize digital experiences for our customers. Over the last 7 years, we have built an extensive MSME data warehouse of more than 3.5BN data points which is not being leveraged by other financial institutions as well.
Using our comprehensive AI and ML based underwriting platform Lendingkart Cred8, we have evaluated more than 1.1MN applications. This helps us to assess NTC and thin-file customers who may have been disapproved of by other financial institutions. Data is at the heart of our technology platforms.