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BW Businessworld

Pushkar Mukewar: Filling The Credit Gap

It is a global trade finance company with operations in four countries - India, the US, UAE and Mexico

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The Trade finance gap currently stands at $1.5 trillion globally, the majority of which is amongst small business exporters in emerging markets. In India, the trade finance gap stands at $80 billion. Drip Capital is focusing on addressing the trade finance gap for small businesses in emerging markets using data and technology. Co-founder & Co-CEO Pushkar Mukewar is offering finance solutions to the underserved segments of the market.

He met Co-founder, Neil Kothari, at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 2009, where they came up with the idea of a tech-driven solution that would disrupt the trade finance space. Small businesses may account for 40 per cent of international trade, but they still remain neglected by banks. This gap made it clear that international trade finance was a sector ripe for disruption by a new-age, lean, tech-driven venture, and the idea for Drip Capital was born.

Prior to Wharton, Mukewar started his career with Capital One, a pioneer in subprime consumer credit. There he saw how data and technology can be leveraged to fill credit gaps for underserved sections of the market. Following this, he spent three years at Oliver Wyman, solving strategic and operational issues faced by large companies across a number of sectors and geographies. While at Oliver Wyman, he also worked with the Acumen Fund in India, a leader in social impact investing. The time spent at Acumen Fund gave him an understanding of the difficulties faced by small businesses in developing markets, particularly when it comes to raising money. These professional experiences were eventually crucial to the idea behind Drip Capital.

Founded in 2015, Drip Capital is a global trade finance company with operations in four countries - India, the US, UAE and Mexico. It is using technology to rebuild core parts of the international trade finance infrastructure and making the underwriting and financing of international B2B transactions seamless for small businesses in emerging markets. The financing is unsecured and offered without any collateral. Exporters can apply to Drip by completing a 10-minute online application, requiring minimal paperwork. Drip uses electronic data and an automated risk assessment platform, thereby ensuring a quick turnaround of 48 to 72 hours.

Drip Capital uses technology to accelerate global trade and empower small companies and entrepreneurs in emerging markets. At one click, Drip’s solution provides small business exporters the working capital they need to grow their business. With an automated system, Drip provides a seamless customer experience. Drip integrates with multiple electronic data sources and has built proprietary algorithms to underwrite the risk of every shipment.

On the challenges faced in his entrepreneurial journey, Pushkar said: “As with any new-age business challenging the status quo, we have faced a number of challenges. The primary was making exporters aware about the potential offered by our alternative financing model. Many exporters have limited to no knowledge about alternative sources of financing beyond conventional bank lines and bridging this gap can be challenging.”

On why he deserves to be part of the BW Businessworld 40 under 40 list he says “The vision for Drip has been to drive international trade by connecting developed market investors with emerging market small businesses, who are in desperate need of finance. In the process of executing this vision, I’ve had an in-depth understanding of the varying needs of each stakeholder.”

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40 UNDER 40 Drip Capital Pushkar mukewar