I saw the screen, and there it was – customer counter just clocked 10000000. I had goose bumps and was overwhelmed with the emotions of the journey. 10 million unique people had applied for a financial product through us, in a country of 50 million tax payers. We had just climbed a huge mountain, and what a journey it has been!
It all started with a simple idea – to have open source lending information platform. Being an avid sportsperson, I knew I can only accomplish it, if I find partners who are as passionate about the mission. Idea was to extend it from me to “We”. I called Wribhu for a walk in the park to convince him to join the mission. I still remember the conversation, and as he said Yes, my idea of “We” came alive and we started working towards building the ship.
Wribhu built the entire foundation from tech to each process and gave us this mantra and a piece of poetry by Sohan Lal Dwivedi which is our core fundamental value system.
लहरों से डर कर नौका पार नहीं होती,
कोशिश करने वालों की कभी हार नहीं होती।
नन्हीं चींटी जब दाना लेकर चलती है,
चढ़ती दीवारों पर, सौ बार फिसलती है।
मन का विश्वास रगों में साहस भरता है,
चढ़कर गिरना, गिरकर चढ़ना न अखरता है।
आख़िर उसकी मेहनत बेकार नहीं होती,
कोशिश करने वालों की कभी हार नहीं होती
This has been our core strength and we still ride on the processes built on this inspiring it.
Many people have asked us, what made us survive, thrive and achieve this milestone. We were a bootstrapped start up. There were many competitors with millions of dollars to spend. Yet we successfully competed and built a sustainable profitable business. There is only one secret to our success – our unwavering focus on Customer. As we often say internally, there are only 3 things that matter, Customer, Customer and Customer.
We started by giving customer a neutral platform with open architecture. To give her all the options available and let her choose the best fit. We did not have any hidden cost structures, we did not push products and were neutral enough to give her the best deal, even if we did not make money on that deal. We chose to give a unique “broker-free” experience – focused on fulfilling customer’s needs, rather than selling her something.
In the background, we were building tech to acquire customers and helping customers choose and select. In this journey, others had joined us and expanded our “we” family. This included Shweta, Jasbir and Balbir, Nidhi Shuaib and Hardeep. On the tech side, the “we” extended to include Lalit, Ranjana and Upendra, who pushed themselves to deliver tech products despite crazy timelines.
The journey changed course in 2015 with Puru coming on board and joining our initial idea of “we”. We also got investor love from Ram Shriram and Neeraj Arora/VH Capital. Puru made us think BIG and infused belief to look at what was possible to achieve. This is where our version 2.0, Wishfin was born. A platform that leveraged technology to help customer fulfil her wishes using finance.
With Wishfin, our mission is to help “every Indian make responsible financial decisions”. In this new journey, our “we” family has extended further. Franklin Templeton came in our institutional round to invest $15 million. Many talented leaders have joined us in our mission, to make our dream a reality.
We get up everyday to help our customers save and prosper, leveraging technology. Wishfin will grow that initial idea of “we” to the next level. We are looking at adding another 10 million customers in next 18 months.
We seek your best wishes in our mission to bring the “wishes” of millions of customer, just a few clicks away. We promise that we will keep trying with the same rigor, afterall कोशिश करने वालों की कभी हार नहीं होती!