What made you enter the online market space ? What prompted you to take up this present assignment?
There is tremendous opportunity in the Indian online market space. For instance buying flight tickets and shopping online was not popular a few years ago. Today people realize that transacting online can be safe, cheap, and can be done within a few seconds. Bankbazaar.com makes getting a great loan bargain as easy as buying an air ticket. Customers using our site will appreciate how much thought we have put into every little detail, which will make the process of applying and getting a loan a hassle free experience. It can help them save precious time and money. We expect a large percentage of consumers from channels such as bank branches and agents to migrate to BankBazaar.com .
Today there are a number of websites that claim to give customers instant loan rate quotes, when they actually just collect customer information and sell them to multiple banks and Direct Sales Agents. In such a scenario, we see a need for BankBazaar.com. Our innovative talent pool drawn from the world’s best colleges and companies are constantly seeking the best possible ways to offer an easier and faster online experience for customers.
I took up this assignment because my team is driving pure innovation in India. We are exploring options that no other financial marketplace in the world has ever attempted before and our goal is to build the world’s premier financial services marketplace (made in India).
What is different about BankBazaar for the customer ? What is different for a prospective employee ?
On BankBazaar.com the customer can instantly get customized competing offers from India’s leading Banks and NBFCs on our secure interface. We are the first neutral provider in the world to have innovated in partnership with leading financial institutions to provide this real-time offer capability. This information is
secure and not shared with any financial institution until the user chooses to apply to a particular financial institution. The users get customised offers, easily compare them and apply for the loan online, all in the span of 15 minutes.
Another critical USP of BankBazaar.com is it’s people. The company was founded by a group of US-returned and homegrown entrepreneurs (http://www.bankbazaar.com/aboutus.html) from Deloitte, Amazon.com, Capital One, Kraft, Microsoft and includes alumni from College of Engineering Guindy, REC-NIT Trichy, Columbia University, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and BITS Pilani. This team built the world’s largest online credit card acquisition channel for Amazon.com in the US, and now we are back in India to weed out inefficiencies, streamline and release value in financial delivery channels in India. All employees work in an environment of high innovation, high intelligence and quick action. We offer excellent remuneration packages and an attractive ESOP program in one of India’s fastest growing start-ups.
What are your views on predatory lending and adverse selection ?
Predatory lending is a bad practice that needs to be weeded out from the system. Loan-seekers need to understand all the terms of the loan, which includes the interest rate, other parameters like charges levied under different circumstances, pre-payment terms etc. Another significant factor that needs to be observed is the customer service of the financial institution that offers the loan.
BankBazaar.com provides consumers a very transparent picture displaying all hidden fees and detailing the total cost of loans, which helps the user effectively choose a loan of his preference. We are very confident that loan seekers will love the user friendly and effective interface of our site. The key determinant of how soon BankBazaar.com will take off is based on how quickly we can increase consumer awareness about our product.
What has been your biggest challenge in your career so far ?
Before BankBazaar.com I managed Deloitte Touche & Tomahatsu’s alliance with the world’s leading Information Management Company on the US East Coast. Running such a large corporate alliance was challenging because the sales teams allowed quarterly revenue goals to drive long term sales strategy which was resulting in lost opportunity. My biggest challenge was to guide the sales organizations on both sides of the alliance to invest their time in creating and implementing the alliance sales approach, which sometimes resulted in small revenue reduction in the short term but yielded long term sustainable incremental profits.
What advice would you give to a freshman out of college entering in the corporate world today ?
Try and excel at whatever you do – there is a lot of opportunity for someone who is smart, committed and has the confidence and ability to take the entrepreneurial risk.
Do you think the present economic slowdown will taper down fast ? How long do you think the Indian regulators will take to adopt a higher rate strategy?
Several analysts and Finance Ministry officials have indicated that they expect interest rates to ease up in 2009 – lets wait and watch.
A short biography
Adhil Shetty is the Founder & CEO of BankBazaar.com. Prior to BankBazaar.com, Adhil lived in New York City and managed Deloitte Touche Tomahatsu’s US East alliances with the world’s leading Information Management Company. Earlier in his career, Adhil worked with Cisco Systems as an engineer in Bangalore and San Jose. Adhil has a Masters degree in International Relations with a specialisation in International Finance and Business from Columbia University in the City of New York, and a Bachelors degree in Engineering from the College of Engineering Guindy, Anna University.