Avanti building population-scale financial inclusion platform: Rahul Gupta, CEO, Avanti Finance

2020 is targeted to be a takeoff year for us. We would like to take our business to the next level, get in some additional strong investors, strengthen our product, deepen our market coverage and activate our platform lending partnerships with other financial institutions says Rahul Gupta, CEO, Avanti Finance, in an interview with Elets News Network (ENN).

Rahul Gupta

Avanti Finance has aimed to serve 100 million households in the next few years. Would you like to tell us the strategy behind this?

Avanti’s vision is to make financial services affordable and accessible in a timely manner to 100 million unserved and underserved Indian households. Avanti has been conceived to solve the issue of financial inclusion at population scale. We aim to build a platform that is open and collaborative. Avanti’s platform facilititates an ecosystem that leverages multiple sources of capital and offers fit and proper credit, insurance and savings products that positively impact the livelihood of millions of needy users. Avanti is for-profit but highly impact-driven.

The company was founded by corporate giants like Ratan Tata and Nandan Nilekani. How is it maintaining its niche?

Avanti is a bold experiment as we are trying to re-imagine financial inclusion at the bottom of the pyramid. Our operating model is based on a digital spine that is paperless, faceless and cashless aimed at creating a frictionless experience for our users. On the technology side we are building a deep tech platform designed for population scale, deep flexibility enabling mass customisation of products at a hyperlocal level and a minimalistic API driven architecture to work seamlessly with other financial institutions.

 Our market access is through a unique partnership model. By forming local partnerships with mission-aligned entities that have strong credentials, governance, scale & reach, Avanti can draw on relevant knowledge and experience to create products and services specifically for the end-user. The partnership also ensures prevailing social moral governance– critical to facilitating financial inclusion initiatives. In return, the partners and users receive tailor-made financial solutions that enhance their existing livelihood initiatives and can be deployed through the organisation’s community engagement model.

You joined the company in 2018. What measures did you take to polish its presence in the market?

Avanti is a team sport led by a strong cohort of experienced and mission-aligned leaders and a highly energetic & creative team. We strengthened our market presence across 8 states and 40+ districts. We invested in our technology, launched a range of credit products and got very encouraging results of digital adoption that empowers customers and will reduce operating costs significantly so users can benefit. We onboarded high-quality talent into the organisation. We have built the foundations to take the next leap forward.

What challenges did you come across in 2019?

Start-ups typically have multiple challenges and it’s been no different for us especially as we create a new category. Attracting the right talent, ecosystem driven pivots to processes, keeping the balance between risk and growth, getting the right investors. That’s why life is exciting and there is never a dull day. We are here for the long term and very excited about our mission.

What are your plans for 2020?

2020 is targeted to be a takeoff year for us. We would like to take our business to the next level, get in some additional strong investors, strengthen our product, deepen our market coverage and activate our platform lending partnerships with other financial institutions.

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