Rubique - Aims to Become the Largest Online Marketplace For Financial Products

We facilitate the best deals across a wide range of loans such as Personal Loans, Car Loans, Home Loans, Business Loans, Loans Against Property, Credit Cards, Healthcare and Construction equipment financing etc. We cater to the needs of individuals as well as small business owners. We have 160 product agreements across loan & credit card products.

Rubique is an online marketplace for financial products offering a wide range of loan products and end- to-end loan fulfillment to individuals and MSMEs. Introducing a tech-led lending solution which is unique in terms of its matchmaking algorithm and direct integration with Financial Institutions’ lending systems, Rubique with this technology solution is focusing on disbursement rather than mere lead generation allowing customers to get the best deal at the quickest possible time while lowering the cost for customer acquisition for the financial institution. BW Disrupt got into an exclusive conversation with Mr. Manavjeet Singh, Founder and CEO, Rubique to know more about their start-up:

Q- What are the technologies that you use?

A-  We have Standard 3 tier LAMP architecture which is SOA based distributed architecture. The back-end is coded in MySQL database, Redis as a cache-store, middle tier (written in PHP & Java) exposes APIs/web services which are consumed by web and mobile app. Our mobile app also has CRM functionalities.

 Q- What are the different services that you offer?

A-  We facilitate the best deals across a wide range of loans such as Personal Loans, Car Loans, Home Loans, Business Loans, Loans Against Property, Credit Cards, Healthcare and Construction equipment financing etc. We cater to the needs of individuals as well as small business owners. We have 160 product agreements across loan & credit card products.

 Q- What were the initial challenges and how did you overcome them?

A-  Getting the financial institutions on-board was quite a challenge for us. The initial months since our foundation were focused on tie-ups to get maximum number of financial institutions. Today, we are proud to have 60 FI tie-ups associated with us, who have seen value in our business proposition.

Getting the right talent was the next big challenge and I think this is a constant challenge we are facing. But since our first round of funding, things are looking better on the hiring front. After working in corporate culture for almost 25 years, the first thing I realized was to get rid of the structured way of approaching things. Startups need to have an open culture where teams should be encouraged to share ideas irrespective of their functions. The journey in startups should begin with unlearning many things from past corporate culture & widening the horizons to learn more. So far it has been a continuous journey of learning for us and we foresee this stage of learning to continue.

 Q- What is your competitive advantage and how did you find it?

A-  In the current market of ambiguity & uncertainly, we provide customers a chance to take informed decision which is more certain related to their financial need or credit card. During this entire journey, what the customer is looking for is the hand-holding till disbursement. Also the consumer behavior for online financial services is still at a nascent stage. Hence, instead of focusing on just lead generation, we focused on disbursements & building the technology platform to create a revolution in the current loan eco-system. We are very unique in terms of:

·    A neutral platform where lender & borrowers can discover each other bringing transparency in the process

·    Matchmaking algorithm & Fulfillment engine which offers faster access to credit along with certainty

·    Wide range of products for individuals as well as small business owners which is not offered by any online model

·    Multichannel distribution tapping every consumer segment be it digital savvy or traditional customers

Q- What was the catalyst for starting Rubique?

A-  I have been part of Indian Banking System more than 25 years and worked with the some of the best financial institutions like CITI, HDFC Bank, Reliance Capital and Yes Bank. During these years, I got an opportunity to see the consumer & the lender interaction from very close quarters from different vantage points - from Retail lending to MSME finance to, Commercial Vehicle Finance. I saw there is a huge gap between Banks’ requirements & customer needs; and the challenges faced by Banks & the pain that a customer goes through. The current marketplace for financial products is highly inefficient, time consuming & uncertain for customers as well as Banks. We know that for every borrower, there is a lender willing to lend. However, the customer today has no sure shot way of finding that bank. And this is precisely we wanted to work on when we thought of idea of Rubique.

Q- Who are your partners and how do you approach them?

A-  We have 60+ tie-ups across Banks & NBFCs like HDFC, ICICI, Manappuram, Edelweiss etc. Initially we struggled to get our proposition across the table, but with current traction where our disbursement figures have reached three digits, we are receiving requests from financial institutions for tie-ups.

Q- Customer service and satisfaction is the key- How are customer queries handled?

A-  Yes, it’s indeed the key. Not just customers, but our associates as well as financial institutions are very important customer for us. We have “Insights” team which constantly seeks feedback from all stakeholders including addressing customer queries. With this constant flow of inputs, we keep refining our approach & processes.

Q- The future is about technology combining with finance - your expert views on the same?

A-  We all have witnessed the shift in the market because of the latest technology boom. From Telecom to FMCG, wave of online is penetrating across industries, territories as well as consumer segment. There has been growing expectation towards “Instant”, “On the go” and every industry is working towards the same including financial services. We are already experiencing the exponential growth in the payments industry like digital wallets, etc. The exponential surge in digital adoption by consumers and sudden mindset shift towards being aspirational, the loan market in India today offers a perfect opportunity for growth. There has been forward movement by financial institutions to go digital & they have been introduced in-principal online approval for template lending products through digitization of policies. The platforms like Rubique, are elevating this wave of technology disruption by rewriting the rules of traditional practices in Indian loan eco-system. The aim here is not only providing the online solution, but create a one stop shop for customers to take informed decision with significant reduction in discovery time spent due to the varied risk appetite of Financial Institutions. This would in turn bring down the rejection rates, as these platforms would perform the profile match before proceeding further with the application.

Q- You also have an opportunity where people can become your Business Associates with you. Tell us more about it?

A-  Indian market is mainly driven by the influencers'. Even though we are on the cusp of financial revolution, for financial services Indian consumers still prefer a face to interact with and therefore there is an important role played by influencers' & therefore to ensure that the wave of technology disruption reaches the masses, Rubique has introduced a mobile application for this influencers' through which we are not only addressing the needs of the customers but also creating affinity among consumers towards online medium. Even though online, we are among very few platforms having disbursement focus model & does end-to-end fulfillment than mere lead generation. There has been growing acceptance by financial institutions as well, as we are aiding FIs to enhance/build their online solution & reach out to market faster with reduced cost of acquisition and broader reach to New to bank & new to credit customers.

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