After exiting Flipkart with a billion dollars in the bank, it was expected that Sachin Bansal would sit back and invest in other firms. But just a year after his mega exit, he’s back in the entrepreneurship game.
Sachin Bansal has invested Rs. 740 crore in Non Banking Finance Company Chaitanya Rural Intermediation Development Services Private Limited (CRIDS), and has also become the firm’s CEO. CRIDS’s founders Samit Shetty and Anand Rao will continue in their respective roles of growing the existing business segments, and there will be no significant management changes, the company said in a statement.
“This acquisition is our entry into financial services,” said Sachin Bansal. “Samit and Anand have built a great company that provides much needed financial access to people who don’t have access to other formal finance. I look forward to working closely with Samit and Anand and building further on the solid work they have done.”
“Sachin brings with him the ability to build huge scale grounds up to CRIDS,” said Samit Shetty, co-founder of CRIDS. “We are looking forward to benefiting from his insights and experience with technology, and how that can be leveraged for improving access to financial services, financial inclusion and making our business better, more sustainable and customer-centric.”
CRIDS isn’t exactly a household name in urban India, and for good reason — it was founded in 2012, and its target market consists of low and middle income families who have traditionally stayed away from the formal banking sector. CRIDS provides loans to these families, including loans for loans for two-wheelers, housing, small business, and education. The company currently operates in Karnataka, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh. Its operations are nowhere as large as Flipkart, where Bansal was last CEO — its assets under management last year were Rs. 405 crore, and it made an overall loss of Rs. 5.9 crore.
CRIDS will be a bit of a switch of industries for Sachin Bansal, who had previously headed Flipkart, the very public-facing company which had heralded India’s e-commerce revolution. But Bansal had been indicating that he was interested in the financial space ever since he’d left Flipkart — he’d also become an independent director at Ujjivan Small Finance Bank. CRIDS isn’t the only company that’s looking at financial solutions for the under-banked — there are a bevy of startups that are chasing the same market — but with Bansal and the helm, and his Rs. 7000 crore warchest at its disposal, CRIDS could end up becoming the most prominent. And if CRIDS can end up being even half as successful as Flipkart was, it might just end up disrupting the entire rural credit space in India.