At a time when fintech firms are ruling the market, there are some that have been really disruptive. One among them is EarlySalary. Quite popular among the young generation, due to its easy payback option in easy EMIs, EarlySalary’s Head of Engineering Anil Sinha, and CEO, Akshay Mehrotra tell us about EarlySalary’s specialty.
Instant loans was a concept that was alien to most Indians. How do you think EarlySalary has captured the market?
Our objective was to build a user-friendly mobile application that would allow salaried individuals to avail financial assistance as and when required. When we launched it four years back, the instant loan was a concept alien to most Indians. Back then, loan disbursals were something that was only done by banks, and NBFCs and rejection rates for loans were rising rapidly, limiting access further.
When we started, we focused on solving problems faced by the young salaried working professionals. We provide flexible loan amounts under categories such as shopping, travel, education, medical, etc. We disburse loans where zero human intervention is required with minimal documentation work. In a traditional method, it takes around 2-3 weeks to close the loan approval process while our application takes less than 10 minutes for approving and disbursing the loan amount.
Today, we are the leaders in the digital salary advance and instant loans space. Focusing on consumer credit needs has helped EarlySalary build additional products like EMI credit for shopping and travelling with leading online partners with low-cost EMI offerings. Additionally, we have also started providing education loans in the app.
What role do you think technology plays in the fintech sector of late?
Technology helps provide seamless user experience for customers, with no break, and no manual touch in the user journey. On the other hand, technology enables firms to do underwriting decisions, KYC validation, and disbursement on a real-time basis. This makes the process faster and convenient. Also, given the recent advancement in technology, especially in the area of data processing, and AI, alternate data processing has helped a lot in real-time analysis and decision-making. With the help of new technologies, the operational cost has reduced drastically and has made it possible to do the small ticket-size transaction with an operational cost less than Rs 500.
What is the newest form of technology that is being deployed at EarlySalary?
We are a tech-centric company with almost all components developed internally, such as LMS, LOS, CRM, collection, etc. This gives us flexibility and agility in our product development. We are primarily on serverless computing system with complete microservice architecture. Our data lake is built around Sparx cluster and NoSQL. Python, Java, React, and Scala is being used based on use cases. We have an immense focus on automation, our UI, as well as backend testing is automated using Selenium, Appium, Webdriver, and TestNG. One other key aspect of building high-quality products is the ability to monitor app performance, availability, and user flows in real-time. We have built strong monitoring with the help of tools like Prometheus, Graphana, and Graphite.
Do you think India has the proper infrastructure to implement technology in the truest sense?
In the last decade, India has evolved a lot. We do have all the necessary infrastructure available to create world-class products. However, as a country, we still need to catch up on the infrastructure compared to the US, Europe, and China. India’s contribution to the open-source community is minimal, while it is home to many global companies for tech development. India’s contribution to the development of new-age tech like AI, ML, VR, Blockchain, etc., is significantly lower compared to global counterparts. The good news is we are moving fast, so definitely we have a bright future ahead. A large amount of good work has been done in technical solution space, especially on UPI payment, etc.
Lastly, what is EarlySalary’s long term milestone like?
The mid-term objective is creating a balance sheet of Rs 1000 crore within the next 18 months. The long-term focuses on two pillars. Firstly, we want to build the ability to disburse 1 million active loans per month. Secondly, we want to become the first line of credit for every salaried individual.