Interview with Ranjit Punja, CEO & Co-Founder, CreditMantri
Q1. Please tell us about your company?
CreditMantri makes credit possible.
Our company was started by 3 ex-bankers in August 2012 to help customers take charge of their credit health and make better borrowing decisions. On the supply side,CreditMantrihelps lenders get efficient by making more nuanced credit risk decisions.
Q2. What products and services are you providing?
Our services cater to the entire spectrum of credit-seekers. We are the first in the market to offer a free credit score and a free credit health analysis, helping the consumer in understanding his/her credit status. We also offer exclusive credit products for first-time borrowers and those with poor credit history.
Furthermore, our credit profiler is one of a kind, which outlines an individual’s credit worthiness with the credit score and history as a starting point and further builds on it using non-traditional data and the individual’s digital footprint. Alternate data is particularly important for users who have limited choice and access to credit. We have served over 1.8 million customers with over 60% of the users provide access to over 2000+ credit relevant data points to build their credit profile using CreditMantri’s proprietary algorithm.
On the platform, users can discover loans and credit cards best matched to the profile from lenders across the risk continuum, resolve and dispute issues on existing loans and borrowings, and reduce current borrowing costs.
Q3. How many lenders are associated with your platform and plans to increase this base.
Presently, more than 40 lenders are associated with our company and we are actively pursuing to bring on board more banks and financial institutions to expand the credit offerings to our customers.
Q4. What is your current user base and plans of expansion?
Our target is anyone who is in need of credit, and those who are credit-challenged. Right now, we have over 1.8 million users.
As far as plans of expansion are concerned, CreditMantri aims to become India’s largest and most inclusive credit facilitator.
Q5. How has been your business in last fiscal and what are your projections for next year?
We increased our lender base by 60%. Our aim for the coming fiscal year would be to increase our user and lender base while also educating Indians on the importance of maintaining a good credit score.
Q6. What is your USP in comparison with your competitors?
We start off by helping users understand where they stand and hence discover products and services best suited for them. By helping users know where they stand the service they opt for and choice set they have becomes apparent to users. Most importantly, users are guided to make a decision using data and the quality of their credit profile. This approach is particularly necessary in a market like India where consumer understanding of credit scores and how it impacts their ability to borrow is very low.
Specific benefits are as follows:
- All users can dispute / resolve issues pertaining to incorrect data on their Bureau Credit report
- Credit challenged users can resolve issues online for problem borrowings on old loans
- New to credit users can discover products by leveraging non-traditional data and get credit
- Credit Healthy users can compare products and services best suited for them and make an informed decision since we only display offers from lenders willing to lend to the user.
Q7. Indian finance Industry is struggling from bad loans and defaults. How efficient is your platform to select the right person for loan disbursement.
Our platform enables efficient credit decisions for consumers and lenders, thereby reducing bad loans and default. CreditMantri matches the consumer’s credit and demographic profile to the lender’s lending criteria and presents them a shortlist of only those lenders willing to lend based on their unique credit profile. In effect, we pre-screen the application to make sure the consumer is likely to qualify as per the lender’s credit criteria and repay the dues.Thus, helping the lenders in understanding their customers better.
Q8. What is the average credit score which can be considered good for taking loan?
Credit bureaus have different parameters to arrive at a credit score, generally lenders are willing to lend to anyone with a credit score above 750. Although lenders do disburse loans to borrowers with a lesser credit score but at unfavorable rates.
Q9. Do you help to rectify bad credit score? If yes how?
Yes, we do help to rectify a bad score. A poor credit score and challenged credit history can be expensive. We start by building the consumer’s simplified credit profile which is free of jargons and is easily understandable even by a layman. We then provide them with an online dashboard which gives a detailed listing of borrowings besides highlighting negative accounts which are impacting them. We help them get updated balances on problem accounts and start interacting with their creditors online. In short, we help them:
- Remove incorrect account(s) mapped to their profile
- Resolve incorrect borrowing details
- Make payments to lenders directly
Q10. How secure and strong is the technology platform you are using
CreditMantri goes the extra mile in protecting the user information. We use bank grade security to protect our client’s data by SSL (Secure Socket Layer) for establishing an encrypted link between the client’s browser and our website. Weadditionally encrypt data related to account and credit card information while storing it in our system.All data is captured or shared only after obtaining explicit consumer consent.
Q11. In which cities you are operating and any plans of expansion
We are based out of Chennai but our user base covers the length and breadth of the country.
Q12. Any other development you would like to share
We are excited to share that we raised $7.6Mn (INR 51.4 Crores) in Series B funding. This round of funding was led by Quona Capital along with Newid Capital. Our existing investors Elevar Equity, IDG Ventures and Accion Venture Lab also participated. We will use the funds to strengthen our core product and expand our team.
About Ranjit Punja
Ranjit Punja is the CEO and Co-Founder of CreditMantri, a Chennai-based Fintech start-up focused on enabling efficient credit decisions for borrowers and lenders. As a founding member of the team, he also holds direct responsibility of managing the strategic relationships.
Prior to CreditMantri, Ranjit spent 23 years with Citibank across multiple geographies. His last stint was overseeing the Collections function for Citigroup’s international consumer lending businesses in 53 countries. Prior to this, he managed the Collections operation for the U.S. credit card business.
During his stint at Citi, Ranjit launched Internet Collections and real-time debit card payment processing in Australia, Philippines – a first in the industry in these geographies.
When not in office (which is getting rarer by the day), Ranjit loves to be on his bike – could be a motorbike or a bicycle. Photography and fitness are his other passions.