Flipkart cofounder Sachin Bansal is in for a long-term stint at Chaitanya India Finance and plans to continue giving attention to the financial services sector.
In September 2019, Bansal announced that he has acquired Chaitanya Rural Intermediation Development Services Private Limited (CRIDS), a non-banking finance company (NBFC) and took over as the CEO of the company.
“Chaitanya is a 10-year-old company with a target of lower-income and rural customers, which will transition into becoming middle class in the next 5-10 years,” he told CNBC-TV18 recently.
CRIDS provides the underbanked population in rural areas access to credit. Founded in 2009 by Anand Rao and Samit Shetty, the majority of its business is in microfinance. It also provides loans for two-wheelers, housing, small business and education. CRIDS operates in Karnataka, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh.
In one of his media interviews during the acquisition, he said that what he has seen in Chaitanya so far is that they are a great team, great founders building the microfinance business starting from scratch in 2009. “Today, it’s a very strong business, leads in its geographies. Mostly focused on low-income, micro-credit customers. Over time, they’re expanding their portfolio. We’re going to add some digital lending businesses on top of that (micro-financing),” he said.
The acquisition saw an investment of INR 739 Cr ($104 Mn) by Bansal and his entry into financial services. What inspired Bansal was CRIDS providing financial access to people who don’t have access to other formal finance.
“There is huge under-penetration in the sector, whether it’s a credit-to-GDP ratio or insurance penetration. We can give access to a lot more people in financial services. That’s not happening by existing players and technology can be applied to solve this,” he added.
As per DataLabs by Inc42 findings, the credit demand in India is projected to be worth $1.41 Tn by 2022. The estimated growth rate in credit demand is 3.73% between FY17 and FY22. Between 2015 and Q1 2019, the total investment in Indian fintech startups was $7.62 Bn with a total deal count of 478. Out of the total funding, 25.49% ($1.94 Bn) was in lending tech startups.
Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal founded Flipkart in 2007 and after Walmart bought 77 percent in Flipkart in May 2018 Sachin Bansal exited the company. From then on he has been making investments in finance sector. Other than CRIDS, he has infused capital into Altico Capital, Indostar Capital Finance, U Gro Capital, Kissht and KrazyBee.
During the interview, Bansal also mentioned how he is bullish on transportation, healthcare, and e-commerce. “Technology hasn’t touched the healthcare sector as much as it can. Transportation will create many unicorns,” Bansal said.