Having done his MBA from the University of Wisconsin, Ranjit Punia started his career in finance services at Citi Bank. After serving there for about 20 years as Senior Vice President, he decided to live his entrepreneurial dreams with all the industrial experience he has acquired over the years.
In 2011, he started Proventure Pvt. Ltd., a first of its kind independent & professionally managed credit improvement service. After one year of successful operations, Ranjit decided to transform his venture into a service that makes the loan system more transparent in India, thus, CreditMantri was born.
CreditMantri helps people clearly understand their credit score better so that when taking a loan they can make a more informed decision.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
CreditMantri is a digital credit facilitator – on one hand, we profile customers using data from credit bureaus, from non traditional sources like government sources, social media and parsing financial statements. We then match these customers with lenders willing to lend to their profile. We have product offerings that cater to the credit healthy, the credit challenged and those new to credit.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
The majority of Indians are unaware of the importance of credit score and how it impacts their ability to secure loans. On the other side, lenders are constantly looking for incremental data that could help them make more informed credit decisions, especially for people who are new to credit. With a combined experience of over 50 years in multinational banks between us promoters, we felt we had an opportunity to provide credit solutions to both sides.
What is your life mantra?
Do what you believe in.
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
Hiring and nurturing a team has probably been the most challenging part.
How did you overcome those challenges?
Given the strength of the business proposition and the management team, the initial round of funding did not present much of a challenge.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
In May 2015, CreditMantri raised $2.5 million in Series A funding from IDG Ventures, Elevar Equity and Accion Venture Lab.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
- When people feel they are solving a problem and providing real solutions, it creates excitement in the work they are doing;
- When they see company growth month on month;
- When they enjoy a transparent and informal culture at the workplace. All these help to retain talent in the organization.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
Perserverence, a strong work ethic, and vision.
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
We are an online company and use a multitude of online tools and apps.
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
Going for a run every morning.
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
I would like to eat healthier.
Answer in less than 50 words
Pick a good team, provide the right training and skills, continuously offer support with coaching and mentoring.
- One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
Don’t ignore your health. The relentless nature of a start up can drain you mentally, physically and emotionally. You need to eat well, sleep (as much as you can get), exercise and spend time with family.
- One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
There is no road map and it is okay not to know all the answers. No one has done what you are are doing – what you can do is to be open to change, correct your course and listen to others – your team, clients, vendors and mentors – to help you forge forwards.
What are your plans for next 3 years?
We plan to raise Series B funding shortly to help build team, technology, and product. We also plan to build deeper integration with lenders.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
Know that it is okay to have doubts. Those who have no doubts or no questions are either complacent or delusional.
What are your top three getaway destinations?
Any 3 places by the sea!
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
“Excellence is not an act, it is a habit.”