Gurugram-based OfBusiness (OFB Tech Pvt Ltd) is a first-of-its-kind technology-driven SME financing platform that adds value to SME’s business beyond financing through its raw material fulfilment engine and new opportunities platform. Incorporated in August 2015, OfBusiness aims to provide an alternative to the local dealer distributor by providing dual benefits on credit terms (lower cost and longer tenures) and raw material fulfilment (aggregation benefits and quality/ on-time delivery).
OfBusiness’ BidAssist is a free of cost, revolutionary platform that not only aggregates new opportunities to enable discovery but also makes recommendations for the SMEs based on their profile. The platform’s unique approach makes the exhaustive task of searching and bidding for tenders relatively easy, which eventually leads to saving up to 50 percent of the overall time spent earlier in this task.
The founding team at OfBusiness consists of 5 people. Asish Mohapatra is Co-founder & CEO who takes care of risk. Ruchi Kalra is Co-founder and CFO and takes care of fund raising. Bhuvan Gupta is Co-founder & CTO. Vasant Sridhar, Co-founder and CBO takes care of central functions and initiatives. Nitin Jain is Co-founder & Head Sales and New Initiatives.
Nitin Jain is a 2008 IIT Delhi computer science graduate. He graduated with a silver medal, and then worked as an Investment banker in London for 7 years before moving back to India to cofound OfBusiness. He was one of the youngest Analysts to be made VP at Royal Bank of Scotland.
“We believe in 3Ps Process, Pace, and Profitability as our mantra for success,” says Nitin Jain.
The team is a great example of collaboration across super talented achievers who own their individual domains fully and are bonded together with a common set of values and a sharp focus on execution.
In an exclusive interaction with Motiverge, Nitin Jain, Co-founder & Head Sales and New Initiatives, OfBusiness, shares more insights about their venture, journey so far, motivation and future plans.
Below are the excerpts from the interview:
Tell us more about OfBusiness.
We are FinTech platform, where we give working capital to SMEs, and against the financing line, we aggregate and supply raw materials. We are considered to be a Lender ++, where along with working capital lines, we give ancillary services such as aggregation of raw materials, new orders and market discovery, and tech SAAS services.
We have brought about a business model innovation, where we lend to the SMEs, and against the line we also aggregate raw materials to enable them to lower their cost of credit and the price at which they purchase the raw material. We bring about 2-3% savings at least on the purchases, which is a significant amount that adds to the bottom line of the SME. We also help in solving the market discovery for the SMEs, but bringing them new buyers, thereby helping them increase the capacity at which they operate, and the pricing which they can demand for their products.
What factors influenced or motivated you to start this startup? What seeded the idea of startup in this sector?
There were many B2C startups in operation when we started. We figured out that no one was really helping the SMEs, who contribute to over 40% of India’s GDP. We realised their two biggest problems – financing and purchase at good prices. We have tried to solve both these problems and largely succeeded in giving them a very transparent platform to solve their problems.
What were the first few steps during and after the launch of &Me?
We assembled a team to be proud of. We made sure that all the founders had their tasks defined, and none of the tasks overlapped to a large extent. This is one of the reasons that our founding team is one of the strongest in the industry. The team helped us pivot when thought aggregation had to be accompanied by financing.
Have you raised funds so far?
Yes, we have raised $91m equity and $200m debt.
Tell us about your motivation. What keeps you going?
The fact that 500 member team is working extremely hard to serve our clients and the real world SME problems – this makes us super proud. All of us have been working for the company before ourselves and this keeps us going.
How has been your journey so far?
We managed to become profitable in under 2.5 years. When we started out, we faced several issues from the incumbents and the existing ecosystem. For us to make a place and disintermediate, required patience, resolve, and courage. We faced several rejections initially, but we stuck by our vision, and made it happen. We surpassed 1000 crore book in end 2019, and aim to more than double YoY. We also have surpassed 1000 crore revenue in 19-20 in our aggregation business.
How big is your team?
We now have a huge talent pool of 500 people.
Who are your major competitors in India as well as globally?
There are pure financing companies such as Capital Float or Lending Kart, and pure traders (traditional), but there is no real competition to what we are doing.
What are the business opportunities in your sector, especially in the APAC region? How do you see market growth and response in the post Covid-19 world?
We have already surpassed our pre-Covid volumes and we see a strong path to recovery for the SME sectors.
Where do you see the startup in coming 3 to 5 years?
We hope to become one of the largest financing companies in India, and one of the largest aggregators as well. We aim to expand to APAC and Middle East in the next 2 years.
Awards and achievements, if any?
We are a systematically important NBFC. We have been ranked 4th in India, and 17th in APAC by FT under India’s highest growth companies. We were ranked FinTech of the year 2019 by APAC Insider. We were ranked as India’s Growth Champions by ET. I (Nitin) have been ranked as Best 50 Entrepreneurs by CEO Insights magazine in 2019, and Asish has been ranked as top 50 FinTech Influencers in Asia. Ruchi was featured in BW 40 under 40.
What are your messages for budding entrepreneurs/young generation?
Follow your passion and work hard in making sure you make things happen. When you step out of your comfort zone, thats where magic happens – anonymous.
Hope this interview would motivate all the aspiring entrepreneurs. It is a part of our startup profiling feature story/interview series. We are on a mission to put forth the inspirational journey of successful entrepreneurs in order to spread some motivation during these tough times.
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