“If we were a country of farmers 50 years ago, today we are a country of small businesses,” said Alok Mittal, MD and CEO of Indifi.
Filling a critical gap in India’s lending landscape, Indifi has become a tool for startups and small businesses to seek seamless access to funding. The digital financial services company offers business loans to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) that have limited access to credit from financial institutions.
“There are millions of small businesses that really fuel this economy. They weren’t getting the equity financing, the media spotlight, and weren’t being celebrated as entrepreneurs. I wanted to help that part of the economy,” Alok explains in the video.
Indifi executives Alok Mittal and Siddharth Mahanot are among the entrepreneurs whose stories are captured in Omidyar Network India’s new video series titled “The Bold – Innovating for the Next Half Billion”. A compilation of 11 short videos, the series captures powerful stories of entrepreneurs building for the more than 500 million Indians who are going online for the first time through their mobile phones – a segment often referred to as the “Next Half Billion”. . ‘ or NHB.
Since its inception in 2015, Indifi has disbursed over 38,000 loans in over 400 cities.
Expanding Access to Finance for MSMEs in India
“It’s painful to see nearly 60 million entrepreneurs out there who don’t have access to capital and therefore can’t grow their businesses,” says Alok while mentioning that small businesses “are the real drivers of economic growth in India”. ”.
“We provide unsecured trade credit for the business needs of MSMEs,” says Siddharth Mahanot, COO, Indifi, while mentioning that small business lending is one of the most underserved segments in the country.
Indifi’s technology platform gathers and analyzes company data from a variety of sources and derives insights to judge their creditworthiness, past and current performance in the context of the industry in which they operate. This differentiated approach helps find low-risk and high-risk businesses. on a pledge basis, opening up opportunities for those who previously did not have access to short- or long-term commercial finance.
“Over 40% of our clients are entrepreneurs who have not received a business loan before contacting us. We find pockets of underserved entrepreneurs, especially in Tier II and III cities. This is our main area of interest. Today, we serve over 300 cities nationwide, all in a remote model,” adds Alok.
Indifi has also supported many aspiring and new female entrepreneurs, enabling them to take a step towards financial independence.
Bridging a gap with technology and entrepreneurship
“We’re probably the only lender in the country that serves customers in over 400 cities without having any physical footprint, and we’ve been able to do that through substantial use of technology,” says Siddharth.
Offering tailored loans for travel, hospitality, e-commerce, catering, commerce and retail businesses, Indifi covers over eight industries and has over 80 partners. The platform has collaborated with top players such as Amazon, Flipkart, Swiggy, Zomato, etc.
“We are going through a phase where our society and the economic status of people will transform over the next 20 years. I am convinced that it will be the entrepreneurs who will do it [foster economic growth]. So do you want to be a spectator or do you want to go out and play the game? asks Alok while reiterating the power of entrepreneurship.
To learn more about the personal and professional challenges and successes experienced by the leaders of Indifi, watch the video here.