25 July 2019
THE IDEA: An application which gives young working professionals instant cash loans, salary advances and an easy line of credit
EUREKA MOMENT: Akshay Mehrotra said the idea resulted from a desire to provide assistance to working professionals who were hard up. “We noticed that many young professionals in India reduce expenses, even the most essential ones, towards the end of the month, when their bank account dries up. In case of emergencies or large expenses, they turn to their friends or family, which can be embarrassing,” he said. “While the number of young professionals in the country is at an all-time high, less than 10% of them have access to credit cards. It’s why we came up with the idea of EarlySalary to provide unsecured, easily accessible financial assistance.”
EARLY DAYS: The ability to lend in real time is critical for building a short-term loan model, according to Mehrotra. “In the first phase, we created an app to facilitate easier customer interaction and started to build an algorithm-based underwriting system for faster decision-making. The key aspect about EarlySalary is that the lending procedure takes place without physical interaction or applicants having to give justifications,” he said.
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Giving out loans in a matter of seconds instead of days was the toughest challenge. “Financial products involve several risks and minimising them causes delays. Over the past three years, we have built systems and processes for automation that have successfully eliminated the need for any customer to be physically present,” he said. “Today, we are able to disburse over 50,000 loans and salary advances in a month, with minimum amount of risk. All this with the help of a small team of about 170 employees.”
WHERE THE STARTUP IS NOW: EarlySalary is the largest consumer-lending application in the country with over 9 million downloads. It has disbursed over 5,00,000 loans worth over Rs 850 crore. Instant loans worth nearly Rs 100 crore are currently being disbursed every month.