Interaction with ETMONEY Founder-CEO Mr. Mukesh Kalra

Our country is leapfrogging in terms of financialization of assets, and ETMONEY is enabling it through mobile-first Investments, Loans and Insurance services. With more Indians availing low-cost online investment options, ETMONEY has more than doubled the number of mutual fund investments done on its platform in the past 6 months alone.

As per the compnay, the Users from over 1,200 Indian cities have invested in direct mutual funds using the platform. This has made this fintech app a leader in online mutual fund investing, ahead of most banks and traditional players. ETMONEY offer paperless LoanPass. This year, the firm will take its services to 5,000+ cities, facilitating around $1.5 Bn in annual transaction value from 10 Mn+ Indians.

Mukesh Kalra, CEO-ETMONEYThere’s much more underway and being planned as ETMONEY sets out to enable and empower the next generation of India’s half-a-billion smartphone users. To understand the reasons for the brand’s recent success and plans for growth and diversification in greater detail, we had an interaction with ETMONEY Founder-CEO Mr Mukesh Kalra.

Mukesh Kalra, Founder & CEO, ETMONEY has an experience of 11 years in building a business from scratch in the consumer internet and mobile advertising industry. He started his own company, moneysights, a fintech business, later acquired by Times Internet, since he has been building ETMoney to touch new heights in fin-tech industry.

What criteria does a person have to fulfil to get the approval of a loan from ETMONEY?

ETMONEY offers two loan-based products – the ETMONEY LoanPass and the Online Personal Loan. They are available to both salaried and non-salaried Indian nationals between 25 years and 58 years old across 750+ cities.

How many active users does ETMONEY have?

ETMONEY is currently the country’s largest financial services app with more than 5 million users who have transacted more than Rs. 2500 Cr on our platform.

How the idea of setting up ETMONEY set in?

Back in 2009, a friend’s personal misfortune left a deep impression on me about how inefficient the financial services sector is & how a common Indian consumer’s financial life is fundamentally broken. It also made me realize how a handful of financial products made it to the masses, while a majority of the sound financial products were restricted to the elites, who had more money & access to better financial advice.

Coming from InMobi with learning about leveraging technology at scale, I took to solving the financial problems of Indian consumers. This was the inception of Moneysights, which was later renamed ETMONEY.

What have been ETMONEY’s achievement so far and what are your future plans?

In the last 18 months, through multiple innovative solutions, it has grown to more than 5 million users from 1300+ Indian cities and driving more than $300 Mn of annual transaction volume on its platform.

In 2019, we will continue to enable more Indians to be financially fit with the most suitable mobile-first financial products. Our team plans to expand our offerings to 2,000+ cities and Rs. 5,000Cr in annual transaction value from more than one crore Indians by FY20.

How can technology solutions for complex & deeply personalised needs like modern personal finance?

A majority of Indians are disenfranchised from the mainstream economy. 2019 is going to be the year of Wealth Tech as Indians who had earlier adopted simple digital payment solutions are now looking to secure their lives with affordable insurance, asking for small loans to cover unexpected expenses and wanting to grow their wealth with sound investments. Our country is undergoing a massive drive towards financialisation of assets, and at ETMONEY, we are grabbing this opportunity like never before.

Can financial service apps replace personal wealth advisors in the near future?

While personal wealth advisors may still be around for a bit longer, finding the right fund for the vanilla investor is simple and 100% digital. Whether you’re a young professional in your first job or an existing investor looking to expand their portfolio, they can simply log in to our app and choose investment buckets like ‘Tax Saver’ or ‘Better Than FDs’ with hand-picked schemes with the ETMONEY app. The app helps first-time investors by helping them find the right fund by asking them = two simple questions and offering them relevant funds only.

How can technology democratise access to financial services in a country like ours?

With the availability of high speed and low-cost internet to people from different strata of society, exposure to technology is now not limited to a select few. This deep penetration of the internet has ensured that more people are now aware of the advantages that come with technology. And this awareness has brought a huge spike in the demand for different services across sectors while also pushing the supply side in building new products that cater to this varied demand.

Similarly, with financial services, that was until recently considered a niche, the trend has changed with the advent of technology. Earlier, the cost of setting up physical distribution was high, and companies in financial services focussed mainly on important cities where they could get big clients. With technology, this trend has changed and companies are now reaching beyond the metros and tier I cities. This exposure and reach in small towns have ensured that brands are also building new products specific to the needs of these consumers. This has ensured that the long-standing geographical and economic gap that existed between the demand and supply, especially in the financial services sector is now no more.

How can Personal Finance Apps like ETMONEY help in changing bad spending habits?

People often do not keep a tab on the movement of their money; most of them do not have a comprehensive picture of their finances. The result is that they end up spending more than they should. ETMONEY offers a simple solution to this problem – the app automatically tracks and manages all expenses for a user, giving them a weekly or a monthly summary of their expenses, keeping them on top, always.

Also, once users become financially aware, they want to cut down on their bad spends and save some money for their future. That is where ETMONEY helps a person to invest as it has different investment products for varied objectives. So, not only the app helps a user to track and manage their spends but also get into the healthy habit of investing regularly for their future.