Bankers-turned-entrepreneurs are making gold loan easier – offer quick disbursals and doorstep services

Founded in 2021 and headquartered in Bangalore, Radian Finserv is being noticed in the financial services sector with its unique approach to gold loan lending. 

Co-founded by industry veterans Sumit Sharma and Sanjiv Bhasin the company has swiftly risen to prominence by leveraging their combined decades of experience in banking and financial services, including roles at global financial giant HSBC.

A Wealth of Experience

Sumit Sharma, a distinguished alumnus of XLRI and INSEAD, and a seasoned professional with 25 years in the banking and financial services sector, brings a wealth of expertise from his stints in international financial hubs like Hong Kong and London. 

However, Sumit decided to chart a new course five years ago by venturing into entrepreneurship, and started a microfinance organization 5 years ago. More recently, collaborating with his former HSBC boss, Sanjiv, they conceived the idea of Radian Finserv.

Sanjiv Bhasin, also from XLRI, has an illustrious 40-year tenure in banking, including leadership roles in India, the UK, and Mauritius, has held CEO roles for over 22 years.

Radian Finserv

Recognizing their deep-rooted understanding of the banking industry, Sumit Sharma and Sanjiv Bhasin explored various avenues. 

They concluded that the gold loan lending vertical aligned perfectly with their risk appetite and market opportunities. With a clear vision in mind, they set out to transform their ideas into reality.

One of the initial milestones was securing a lending license, a process that Radian Finserv navigated diligently within a year. Opting to operate as a Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC), rather than a pure play aggregator, they laid the groundwork for their journey.

Addressing Market Needs

One pivotal observation that drove their mission was the vast untapped potential in the gold loan market. 

Industry reports estimated its size at a staggering 6 lakh crores, with a significant portion of loans belonging to the unorganized sector. 

Radian identified a unique niche in this space, distinct from both traditional banking giants and emerging fintech players.

Radian Finserv adopted a hybrid approach, and distinguishes itself in the market:

  1. NBFC Foundation: Opting for an NBFC at the start of their journey allowed Radian to focus on the core offering. The founders’ background in banking helps them navigate and work effectively within the regulatory framework, ensuring smooth operations.
  2. Physical Branch Network: In a digital era, Radian Finserv surprisingly opted for a physical branch network, while also using top-end technology and offering doorstep service to customers. They believed it offered a superior customer experience, a key factor in building trust.
  3. Tech-Enhanced Customer Journey: Recognizing the scope for elevating customer experience, the company embraced technology to remain competitive in a fast-evolving landscape.

Loan Options for Every Need

Radian Finserv has taken a customer-centric approach in all its offerings:

– Branch Visit or Home Service: Customers can either visit a branch or request agents to visit their homes for a seamless experience.

– Streamlined Process: The process begins with KYC verification, followed by the evaluation of the customer’s gold. The value of the gold is then communicated to the customer, and after obtaining the account details, funds are swiftly transferred. The gold is securely transported to their branch.

– Flexible Loan Schemes: Radian Finserv offers various schemes, including monthly interest plans or bullet loans, where the entire amount is repaid at the end of the tenure.

Currently, Radian Finserv operates in the  Indian states of Andhra Pradesh. Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana boasting an impressive network of 35 branches strategically placed across them.

Radian Finserv is on a mission to educate people about the advantages of gold loans. 

While traditionally associated with the low to middle-income classes, the company seeks to expand its reach to the economically stronger demographic.

Financial Sustainability

Despite being a bootstrapped company without significant external funding, Radian Finserv has showcased strong fiscal performance. Their journey toward breaking even and achieving profitability is well on track.

With assets under management (AUM) of less than 100 crores, Radian Finserv has already served thousands of customers, numbering at 4,500, with an eye on reaching upwards of 100,000 customers in the next two and a half years.

Future Plans

Looking ahead, Radian Finserv aims to establish itself as a sustainable, long-term player in the financial services industry, positioning itself to compete with industry giants within the next 7 to 8 years. 

While it began as a gold loan company, the company is exploring opportunities to diversify into selling financial products, capitalizing on its strong physical customer network. 

Sumit and Sanjiv also envision leveraging AI and technology to enable customers to retain possession of their gold even while securing a loan, disrupting conventional norms in the process.

 

FAQ

1. Who are the founders of Radian Finserv?

Radian Finserv was co-founded by Sumit Sharma and Sanjiv Bhasin. Sumit Sharma, an alumnus of XLRI and INSEAD, has 25 years of experience in banking and financial services. Sanjiv Bhasin, also from XLRI, boasts a 40-year tenure in banking, including leadership roles in various countries and over 22 years as a CEO.

2. What makes Radian Finserv’s approach to gold loan lending unique?

Radian Finserv stands out due to its hybrid approach, blending traditional banking expertise with modern technology. Its founders’ extensive experience in the financial sector, combined with a physical branch network supported by advanced technology, ensures a seamless and customer-centric gold loan lending experience.

3. What is the revenue of Radian Finserv?

As of the current information available, specific revenue figures for Radian Finserv have not been disclosed. However, despite being a bootstrapped company without significant external funding, Radian Finserv has showcased strong fiscal performance, serving thousands of customers and aiming to reach upwards of 100,000 customers in the next two and a half years, with a focus on achieving profitability and sustainability.

4. What expansion plans does Radian Finserv have beyond gold loans?

While starting as a gold loan company, Radian Finserv aims to diversify its offerings by venturing into selling other financial products. Leveraging its robust physical customer network, the company seeks to introduce a broader range of financial services while maintaining a strong foothold in the industry.