Women’s Day: 10 Women Entrepreneurs Taking Indian Fintech By Storm

Written by: Qadir AK

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Qadir AK

Qadir Ak is the founder of Coinpedia. He has over a decade of experience writing about technology and has been covering the blockchain and cryptocurrency space since 2010. He has also interviewed a few prominent experts within the cryptocurrency space.

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Mar 8, 2020

  • Women constitute 14% of the total entrepreneurs in India.
  • About 58% of women entrepreneurs started their business between the ages of 20 and 30.
  • About 25% of women started their business even before turning 25.

We the residents of our planet have witnessed many revolutions to date. Believe me, it happened for the betterment of our mankind. So as the revolution that is happening the world of young, passionate entrepreneurs.

“Some people dream of success, while others pave their way through it”

A woman when given a free hand to follow her dreams with enough support can do miracles. So as in the Fintech sector which is the 3rd largest sector in India, women, breaking every stereotype been one of the most influential persons of all time. 

On the eve of Women’s Day, let me walk you through some aspiring Entrepreneurs.  

Lizzie Chapman, The Co-founder and CEO of ZestMoney

ZestMoney is one of India’s Largest consumer digital lending Fintech companies found in 2015. A couple of years before, Lizzie Chapman underwent the Chicken and Egg problem as many of us suffer. “Need a good score to get a loan and need a loan to get a good score”. Collaborating with Priya Sharma and Ashish Anantharaman, Lizzie Chapman laid the foundation stone of ZestMoney. Further, It uses digital EMI without any credit score. 

Fintech women of the year 2017 awardee, Lizzie Chapman, moved from UK to India in 2011. In 2013, she joined the Development Bank of Singapore to help launch ‘digibank’- mobile, only virtual bank of India. 

Further, she became an investor of The Wellcome Trust. It is one of the world’s largest endowments, focused on financial services and Indian Investments. She is also an Investment Committee member of The Early Stage Fund India Quotient and Board member of IndiaMart.

Priyanka Kanwar, Founder of Kite

Kite’s mission is to build accessible, secure, and modern finance solutions for this new digital economy. While shooting for a documentary film at the age of 17, on the Plight of Microfinance borrowers in India and Globally, Priyanka came up with the idea of Kite. She graduated in Economics from Yale University and worked with banking and consulting companies like Accenture and HSBC. In Addition, she is considered as one of the top 5 Fintech women in India.

Kite has served over 1lac customers from 1200 cities and processed over $70 Million transactions. The company has also partnered with Visa, Mastercard, and RuPay. Kite has also agreed with several banks in India in virtue to solve the distribution needs of the banks through Kite’s solutions. 

Mabel Chako, Co-Founder and COO, Open Financial Technologies

Open is Asia’s first neo banking platform for SMEs and startups. The main aim of Open was to revolutionize the way SMEs and startups bank since 2017. At present the company serves about 100000 SMEs with over $5Billion USD transactions annually. Open is backed with bank partners that offer business accounts with additional services like integrated payment gateway, automated accounting and expense management.

An alumnus of IIM Bengaluru, Mabel Chako has extensive experience of 13 years in the financial technology space.  She started her journey as an entrepreneur in 2007 with CashNxt, as a Co-founder. It which was a mobile payment app for semi urban and rural areas, . Later in 2013, she co founded Zwitch, India’s first developer focused platform, Citrus Payments later acquired which.

Mabel Chako was presented ‘Women in Fintech Award’ in February 2019.

“When you welcome opportunity, it tends to lead to new, better and exciting things that result in even more opportunities.” – Amanda Greenberg

Upasana Taku, Co-Founder, and COO, MobiKwik

Upasana Taku with her partner-husband Nipin Preet Singh, founded MobiKwik in 2009 which simplified payments in India with millions of retailers into the network. An engineering graduate from NIT Jalandhar, she has a strong background in payments working as manager with PayPal and HSBC. She also holds a Masters degree in Management Science from Stanford University.

Sayali Karanjkar, co-founder, Paysense

Sayali Karanjkar, completed her undergraduate studies in the National University of Singapore. She has worked in Sun Microsystems for a year. Then she moved to the US where she had a stint at AT&T. And later, she completed her MBA in AT Kearney, Chicago.

After relocating to India Sayali witnessed the ground situation of less accessibility of financial aid from the banks. She had a deep research in the market by talking to the common people and discussing their stories. She herself was denied any credit from the institution despite having supporting documents. Moreover, This experience led to the birth of PaySense. It is a personalized line of credit providing affordable EMI plans for purchases online or offline.

Hardika Shah, Founder and CEO of Kinara Capital 

Kinara Capital, founded in 2011, focuses on financial inclusions for the small entrepreneurs in India operating in 90 branches. 

She completed her B. A. in Computer Science from Knox College in Illinois, USA. Further, she did her MBA from Columbia Business School and UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

She worked as a Management consultant with Accenture for two decades, driving billion-dollar client projects across multiple industries around the world in the US, EU and Asia-Pac. Recognizing her innovative and pioneer work with Kinara, Hardika was honoured with Ashoka Fellow by the prestigious Ashoka Foundation.

Simmi Sareen, Founder Loans4SME

The huge credit gap that exists in the micro,small and medium enterprises finance sector led to the foundation stone of Loans4SME by Simmi Sareen in 2016. The lady with vast experience of 18 years in credit and lending, worked as rick head at Grameen Impact India and Financing firm IntelleGrow as Head-Venture Debt Business.

Loans4SME provides a platform for the SMEs, to catalyze cash flow based loans in India beyond the traditional methods. Customers they target are from the high growth companies. To date, Loans4SME has worked with more than 200 enterprises funding over $30 Million of loans.

Meghna Suryakumar, Founder and CEO, Crediwatch

Crediwatch, an information intelligence platform which was set up by Meghna Suryakumar and her better half, provides big data risk analysis to corporations. This inturn helps them to proceed with their decisions.

Meghna, a serial entrepreneur practised law and had her own international law practice based in New York and India.She is an alumnus of Columbia Law School and has a certificate of Entrepreneurship from Stanford Business School.

With $5 Million of total funding till now, Crediwatch serves the leading financial institutions like RBL Bank, SBI, KVB and NBFC like ABFL, Capital Float with early warning signals which help them to manage their credit on more dynamic basis.

Chaitra Chidanand, Co-Founder Simpl

Having the mantra, ‘Money is Simple’, Simpl was founded by Chaitra Chidanand along with Nityanand Sharma in 2016. Simpl is yet another credit wallet in your pocket that allows you to make payments of your purchases by providing you a 20 day payment cycle.

Chaitra is a MBA graduate and worked for Stanford Angels and Entrepreneurs in the Silicon Valley and moved back to India. With a no of competitors in the market like PayU, Lazy PAy and Kissht, what sets Simpl apart from them is it aims in providing a transparent financial system for everyone with no hidden charges.

Sucharita Mukherjee, Co-Founder and CEO, Kaleidofin Pvt Ltd

With a strong belief of equal access to financial solutions for everyone, Sucharita Mukherjee along with Puneet Gupta, founded Kaleidofin Pvt Ltd. The company provides financial services for 600 Million plus informal sector customers through a mobile App which is intuitive, easy to use and flexible.

She has completed her BA (Economics) from Lady Shri Ram college, Delhi University and MBA from IIM Ahmedabad. Also named amongst India’s top 20 fintech 2017, she is recipient of IIM Ahmedabad, Young Alumni  Achievers Award 2017. Further, She worked for corporates like Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank London.

Indian Women are no less in today’s world. This Women’s Day, we salute the entrepreneurship of the women who are thinking out of the box and coming out of their shell.

Do you know any such women who wants to make big in Fintech? Share us your views on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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Qadir AK

Qadir Ak is the founder of Coinpedia. He has over a decade of experience writing about technology and has been covering the blockchain and cryptocurrency space since 2010. He has also interviewed a few prominent experts within the cryptocurrency space.

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