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Brand story of Kinara Capital – A leading fintech company for MSMEs

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Small and medium-sized enterprises play a major role in our country’s economic growth. However, obtaining financing still remains one of the main challenges for them, with the interest rates charged by financial institutions being too high. In many cases, even if the SMEs do apply for loans, the main difficulty they face is lack of collateral. It is to address this problem that Hardika Shah launched Kinara Capital back in 2011. The company provides no-property-collateral loans to small businesses in the manufacturing and trading sectors in India, thus empowering entrepreneurs in realising their dreams.

Kinara Capital – An idea inspired from real-life struggles

While Hardika’s father is an academician, her mother always had entrepreneurial leanings – she ran a couple of small businesses. Growing up, she witnessed the hardships of her mother and other relatives and neighbours who grappled with accumulating capital to build their businesses or take them forward. “I noticed the gap between commercial capital and micro finance capital,” said Hardika Shah.

Hardika Shah

Hardika Shah – Founder & CEO of Kinara Capital

Motivated to resolve this issue in some way, she started building risk-assessment methodologies while she was pursuing an MBA from a joint programme with Columbia Business School and UC-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. She then ran a pilot for small businesses in India seeking financing under Rs 10 lakh upon the success of which was then launched fully-fledged.

Today, Kinara Capital provides fast and flexible loans to small businesses within the range of Rs 2 to 25 lakhs without the need to keep property collateral and it disburses the loan within five to seven days. The company has its presence across 12 cities including Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad.

Amalgamating technology with human intervention

When Kinara Capital was launched, it sought to address two key factors within the MSME circuit – the burden of requiring property collateral and long turnaround time of loan disbursement. To make it possible, it combined technology with a human touch. The field officers visit the small business owners in person and help them in applying for the loan and understanding the available options. Then leveraging digital and data-driven technology, they proceed with business verification of the customers as well as final loan disbursement.

A space for progressive women, with open work culture

As a brand, while it is important to deliver the best services to its customers, what is equally important is ensuring a favourable work environment. Disrupting the traditional lending practices, building Kinara Capital was undoubtedly hard for Hardika Shah. However, she ran against the tide and among the many things that contributed to the company’s success was the open work culture.  “By reducing layers of bureaucratic processes, we can learn and implement changes quickly if something is not working,” said Hardika. Furthermore, what is unique about Kinara Capital is the fact that the majority of management team are all women.

Led by a team of progressive women, Kinara Capital, ever since its inception, has never looked back. So far, it has disbursed over 32,000 loans amounting to around Rs 1200 crore across various states in India. Last year in May, it raised about Rs 100 crore capital from a clutch of investors including Susan Dell Foundation, Gaja Capital, GAWA Capital and Patamar Capital. In its bid to empower women entrepreneurs in India, the company also announced HerVikas business loans earlier in March this year.

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