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BW Businessworld

Simplifying Lending: Akshay Mehrotra, Co-founder & CEO, EarlySalary

We have integrated into various company’s HR systems to help first jobbers and blue-grey collar employees borrow instantly.

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‘We have integrated into various company’s HR systems to help first jobbers and blue-grey collar employees borrow instantly’

EarlySalary was founded by Akshay Mehrotra and Ashish Goyal in 2016 and recently became India’s largest consumer lending application by crossing 750,000 loans and disbursing more than Rs 1,300 crore. Before starting Early Salary, Mehrotra had 16 years of experience with some of the biggest brands. His name finds itself in the deserving list of BW Businessworld 40 under 40. EarlySalary introduced the concept of instant digital salary advance for the first time in the country. Having been the leaders in the digital salary advance and instant loan space, Mehrotra stated: “We also have integrated into various company’s HR systems to help even first jobbers and blue-grey collar employees borrow instantly.” The company is focused on solving specific problems faced by customers that led to developing additional products like EMI credits for shopping and travel with leading online partners and no-cost EMIs offerings.”  

The Fintech startup uses new-age technology for lending funds and has a revolutionary new business model that is changing the lending market by introducing ultrashort-term loans. Looking back, Mehrotra said: “Four years back we set out to help millennials as enablers to attain financial independence. Today, nine million customers have downloaded EarlySalary app and nearly 400-plus corporates have signed up for the Financial Wellness Offering & Salary Advances of EarlySalary to help employees create a financial cushion in times of need.” EarlySalary, thus, becomes India’s largest mobile-first consumer lending platform for salaried individuals.

Talking about his success journey, Mehrotra added that the role of mentors had been huge in his journey. “I have learned a lot from Hemant Kaul and Kamesh Goyal, who were the Bajaj Allianz CEOs while I grew from a management trainee to ahead of marketing.” Speaking on the challenges he faced, he said, “Learning a new business model and then disrupting it with new technology was a huge challenge. EarlySalary is my dream project and in the past three and a half years we went through phrases where funding cycles were critical but came out with flying colour.” A message he would like to send across, specifically to the young entrepreneurs entering the field: ‘Dreams come in a size too big so that we may grow into them.’ “Dream big and work hard towards achieving it,” he further added. Unfolding the milestones that his company has achieved, Mehrotra said, “As a founder of an early-stage successful startup, we have helped build one of the fastest-growing FinTech startups in the country and helped in revolutionising the way lending in the country happens. We dreamt of achieving something that no financial institution even thought of in 50 years in India.” In spite of the company struggling with the recent economic slowdown since the credit cycles affect the financial companies the most, the company has managed to grow by eighteen times in the last eighteen months. He, however, added: “We have been a little fortunate because of our early hyper funding and a clear focus on building a cash positive business.”

On the unique idea behind the company, he said, it was to give a 21-year-old his first loan as he just landed a job. He could be working, he adds further, in a forging factory or delivering e-commerce packages or working in a large IT company after passing-out from an engineering college. “We wanted to make sure we help him get financial independence the day he starts working,” he stated. Today, EarlySalary has come to be India’s largest mobile-first consumer lending platform for salaried individuals and have achieved full-stack credit product portfolio to cater to all customer’s needs.  

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EarlySalary BW Businessworld 40 Under 40 EMI credits