Dhirendra Pathak. Rohit Garg, a resident of Kota (Rajasthan), was employed before venturing into entrepreneurship. Their fintech platform SmartCoin provides financial assistance to the underprivileged. He says that success for me means building a sustainable business that makes a real difference to people’s lives. That is the biggest inspiration for him. The stories of thousands of customers who have benefitted from his services always motivate him and his team to move forward.
Rohit Garg, CEO and co-founder of Smartcoin, started his career at Morgan & Stanley as an IT associate. He has also worked as a senior analyst at Deutsche Bank. He has done B.Tech in Computer Science from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur and PG Diploma from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. He had seen and experienced the financial crisis of the family very closely since childhood. He always had the urge to change this situation. So after working for a few years, he felt that some work needs to be done in this direction, because at that time there were not many people in the market regarding the financial inclusion of this middle class. It was with this inspiration that he founded Smartkine. Its USP is that it does not focus only on the salaried class like other fintech companies.
Its customers include young millennials who are in the early stages of their careers or emerging small firms and people working in the unorganized sectors or those who are micro-entrepreneurs running small businesses and shops. Overall, the company provides credit facility keeping in mind the income limit of 10 thousand to 50 thousand rupees every month. So far, the fintech company has served more than 700 districts in the country, of which more than 75 percent are Tier II or below cities. Rohit says that through our platform, we are helping the underprivileged to build a credit profile, besides easing their path to formal credit, so that they too can become a part of the mainstream.
Entrepreneurship Challenges: According to Rohit Garg, you may face many challenges or obstacles in the beginning while setting up your venture. For that you have to be prepared in advance. Since our inception it has been our endeavor to bring financial services to the underserved or underserved through our technology driven model. Challenges had to come in such a situation. The first challenge was to convince our partners how to prepare them. Because the way we were going to redefine economics and the class we were going to serve, there was an assumption that this class has no credit history and no authentic ability to repay . There was no such example before.
There was also a perception that the segment we were looking to serve was not considered suitable for business sustainability, as traditional banking institutions focused on lending only to a select few. The company took utmost care of the team composition and placed only those people who were fit for the respective role. Along with this, we have taken care of continuous changes according to the needs of the business. Different models have been adopted. This is the reason why our products are in massive demand today among the less privileged. All that matters is how you convert an opportunity into a possibility, how you can be a partner in helping others or change stereotypes about a particular category.
Tips for Budding Entrepreneurs: The startup ecosystem of India is currently growing at a rapid pace. Investors are going ahead and pouring money into it. It is also being discussed a lot in the media. That’s why investors or employees are also choosing such startups instead of big companies, which are promoting innovation. Due to this, the Indian economy is developing rapidly. Domestic demand is also picking up pace. The rapid penetration of e-commerce in tier two or tier three cities due to increasing smartphone penetration shows how the Indian market is creating favorable conditions for budding entrepreneurs as well. All in all, the implication is that it is a good time to be an entrepreneur in India. One thing to keep in mind though is that business building is a long term game. So come thinking that your business model is somehow related to the problem of the people, which is solved by your business. If you come with this thought,
CEO & Co-Founder