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BW Businessworld

Cloud Lending Solutions CEO Upbeat About Growth Prospects

The company sees huge opportunities for cloud lending services in India's vast consumer finance market

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Snehal Fulzele, CEO and co-founder of Cloud Lending Solutions, spoke to BW Businessworld about the future of cloud lending services in India. He views the overall potential market opportunity India to be worth $38.7 billion.

What is your mode of operation, lending?
Cloud Lending Solutions is a cloud-based, end-to-end lending platform delivering innovation to the global lending community. We digitize origination, underwriting, servicing and collections, creating a single system of record for lending operations. Our clients include banks, traditional finance companies, online lenders, and marketplace platforms.

While the company’s core customer base consists of alternative finance companies, online and marketplace lenders, traditional finance institutions such as banks are also jumping into the online and marketplace lending market. We view the overall potential market opportunity to be $38.7 billion.

What is unique about Cloud Lending Technologies?
Cloud Lending Solutions’ clients take back control of their business by quickly implementing, extending and digitizing the entire lending lifecycle. Our single system of record is the only solution supporting both consumer and commercial lending that scales for the needs of lenders of all sizes.

Over the past 12 months, we have grown at a rate of 300 per cent and are  now working with over 80 customers in 23 countries across the world. Since its inception in 2012, Cloud Lending Solution customers have processed over $10 billion in loan applications and originated over $1 billion in loans.

How do you visualize India in this concept?

According to a recent report, the Indian consumer finance market, at $1.2 trillion, is estimated to be one of the largest in the world, behind US and China. Interestingly, it is also one of the least evolved markets for lending, with close to 70 per cent of the market being underserved by institutional lenders. Recent research shows that over 400 million people borrowed money in India in 2014, but fewer than one in seven were approved for a formal loan.

However, 2015 seems to have brought in rapid growth in the alternative lending sector in India. According to Tracxn, about $27 million was invested into alternative lending companies. There are now about 30 companies across the peer-to-peer lending and SME lending verticals, with more than half of them established in the last 18 months. Hence, in our view, the Indian market, although nascent, is rapidly evolving and growing as an alternative finance market.

Who are you partnering with in India?
We are building a strong partner community to help us take our platform and services to the next level. We have broadly two categories of partners - resellers and implementation partners. We have partnered with Cloud Kaptan, Happiest Minds, Trantor, and ET Marlabs. These partners are helping us scale the business and improve our delivery at customer engagements.

Cloud-enabled services are at a nascent stage in India. Is it a hindrance for your business model?

Yes, but that's where we see the opportunity as well. Cloud-based services are really picking up fast in India. As per Gartner, the cloud services revenue in India is projected to have a five-year projected CAGR of 33.2 per cent from 2012 through 2017 across all segments of the cloud computing market.

Financial technology organizations are no different and are beginning to mushroom across the financial services landscape in India. They are playing the important role of educating the masses about the benefits of their cloud-based services and making their services more accessible. We have ready platforms that can enable several of these fintech firms to achieve their lending objectives as the market opens up.

What are your expansions plans in India?

We have an office in Bangalore where majority of our employees are based. We are hiring some of the best talent in the industry through lateral hiring as well as campus drives. We plan to continue hiring and increase our current India-based strength by at least 50 per cent by end of this year. Along with this, we will continue to grow the partner network in India and elsewhere in Asia.

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