NIT Tiruchy students’ BharatX comes under Forbes’ radar

Getting a loan is one of the biggest problems faced by many in India, especially the lower middle class, and those living in rural areas.

Published: 19th February 2022 06:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th February 2022 06:58 AM   |  A+A-

Eeshan Sharma, Mehul Nath Jindal, Shyam Murugan, and Siddharth Venu

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Getting a loan is one of the biggest problems faced by many in India, especially the lower middle class, and those living in rural areas. To address this ordeal, four students from NIT Tiruchy set out to provide credit to people through their start-up, BharatX. Eeshan Sharma, Mehul Nath Jindal, Shyam Murugan and Siddharth Venu — all final-year undergraduate students at NIT-Tiruchy — started the fintech company in 2020. Their Bengaluru-based start-up, for which they raised an additional investment of $ 2,50,000 in December 2021, has gone on to get them featured in the Forbes India 30 Under 30, 2022 list.

“I noticed that I was getting a lot of messages on the transactions I did. In 2018-19, I transformed completely to one who does digital transactions. Inside NIT, every shop has a UPI scanner and a POS machine. I realised that due to increased online transactions, a lot of financial data can be used to find out a person’s financial stability,” says Mehul.

He then came up with an idea of using this to help merchants offer credit to customers. “Credit is a huge problem for the middle class. We thought of making it accessible to them via BharatX. We enable credit as a feature on apps and websites. People can use them and get credit. It is white-labelled (a company’s product is rebranded by another to make it appear as if the latter had made it) inside the app,” he adds.

Simply put, when one pays via UPI or a merchant, instead of paying immediately, some of them offer an option to pay later. BharatX provides such a service to the merchants. Shyam and Siddharth, who are from Chennai, handle the technology.

Work on the platform started in November 2019 and it wasn’t easy. “We spent the initial few months doing market research. We had to learn a lot of legal terms. Senior alumni of the college helped us. We developed our first prototype in November 2020 and started raising funds,” says Eeshan.

The COVID-19 pandemic, however, came as a blessing in disguise for them, as they got time to work on their start-up as they attended online classes. While they are now chasing their dream “to provide credit to millions of Indians”, Mehul says it is the plug-and-play edge that their platform has over their competitors. “We can enable our service in our client’s app in a matter of three hours. Also, we solve risk end-to-end. In the case of our competitors, the merchants have to figure out issues,” he says. Eeshan notes that plans for developing technology that would simplify the lending process are in the pipeline. 



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