Home LendTech “Be yourself and have confidence in your plan”

“Be yourself and have confidence in your plan”

Jaipur-based CA Vijendra Singh Shekhawat, CEO and Director, Choice Finserv, got inspired by his former MD and decided to develop a one-stop lending solution for MSME customers. He had enough confidence in his plan, and is doing well today with his team

by The Founder
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After getting an immense experience in the digital lending domain during his employment at AU Small Finance Bank, Jaipur-based CA Vijendra Singh Shekhawat, currently the CEO and Director, Choice Finserv, decided to start something on his own in this domain.

It was then that he met with some investors and discussed his thoughts on how differently he could provide lending solutions to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) customers, and finalised his investors who were already having a Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) licence and doing whole-sale lending, but wanted to do something disruptive in retail lending, and that’s when it happened at Choice Finserv.

It was well decided by Shekhawat and his other four co-founders that they would give disruptive lending solution to micro MSME customers in the rural and semi-urban segments of India.

They started with surveys in deep rural India to understand the real problems of micro enterprises. “I, along with my co-founders, visited almost 500 micro MSME customers and understood the existing pain points in getting the formal funding by MSME customers,” he tells The Founder.

Then, the four started drafting their product and policies, along with development of technology, and took almost six months to start their first disbursement completely through their digital journey.

Hurdles on the way

Shekhawat understood that the customer segment he wanted to cater to could not be completely digital, but had to be phygital. Hence, he also built branches and a front-end team, along with using 100 per cent technology.

He built a one-stop lending solution technology, called the Choice Money app, for MSME customers, where they could avail any kind of funding they require in their business lifecycle. Further, to cover risk at the back end, he onbaorded a number of co-lending partners having expertise in different lending products.

During his journey, Shekhawat and his team members also faced a number of challenges. The biggest one, though, was to hire talent. However, they overcame it and hired sales force of 500 people on the front-end sales within six months.

“I have given opportunity to youngsters to build their own vertical, and I believe that everyone is the owner of the company,” quips Shekhawat.

The inspiration

Shekhawat opines that as CEO, one has to keep a balance between his/her team and the investors.

According to him, his former MD and CEO from AU Small finance Bank, Sanjay Agarwal, has been his inspiration, under whose leadership, he worked for a decade. One specific quality of his that inspired Shekhawat was “going in depth into things and the eagerness to create something unique in the industry.”

Success strategy

The discussion and concurrence in one’s team is always a good strategy to succeed. One strategy that he has followed in his organisation is going paperless and the use of technology end-to-end. Giving one-stop lending solution to micro enterprise customers through single mobile app (Choice Money) and multiple lending options in a single screen is another perk. This helped the company to disburse over Rs 400 crore in 15 months.

Giving his insights into funding, investments and financial strategies, he tells us that at present, all his funds are his own.

The advice he has for the future entrepreneurs? “Be yourself and have confidence in your plan and your innovation. People will believe you one day. Problems will definitely come, but don’t be afraid of failures.”


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