After experiencing the horrors of applying for a home loan, Rati Shetty decided it was time to simplify things with BankBazaar
Coming from a family of illustrious entrepreneurs, it’s not surprising Rati Shetty, co-founder of BankBazaar became one. Growing up in Chennai, Shetty wanted to gain an international experience after completing her bachelor’s degree in business administration from MOP Vaishnav College for Women. So she landed a job as a marketing intern in Kraft International in Taipei in 2004. Her company transferred her to Miami a year later, where she was entrusted with taking successful brands from one market to another.
Marriage to childhood sweetheart Arjun Shetty in 2007 brought her to Seattle, where he was working with Amazon. The genesis of BankBazaar was in the same year, when Shetty and her husband wanted to avail a home loan on one of their visits to India. “It was a horrifying experience. We had to wait endlessly at banks and, even then, there would be no proper response from the bankers. There was too much paperwork. We ended up going back without taking the loan,” she says.
But the incident opened their eyes to the hassle Indian customers are put through while applying for a loan. “Starting a company on our own was only a logical conclusion,” says Shetty. Arjun’s brother, Adhil Shetty, who was also working in the US, decided to join the couple.
The trio launched BankBazaar in 2008 to help people find the best deal on loans across banks and financial services companies. Starting with loans, BankBazaar now offers a comprehensive range of financial products including credit cards, insurance and mutual funds from over 85 partners including Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, and ICICI Bank.
Shetty, as the chief product officer, is in charge of driving the customer experience. They offer innovative solutions such as paperless transactions and instant approvals, and an intelligent interface design.
So far, the company has raised $110 million across four rounds of funding from investors such as Amazon, Experian, Fidelity Growth Partners, Sequoia Capital, and Walden International. With over 1,000 employees, BankBazaar clocked a revenue of Rs.1.18 billion in FY18. In FY19, the company hopes to see more than 400 million visitors compared to 250 million visitors in FY18.
While the professional dream is to build BankBazaar into a leading marketplace for financial products, and moving it into newer geographies and products, her personal dream is to be growing grape trees and making wine in a vineyard in Sienna. Also, she would like to build a community by teaching children art, she says, with her lopsided smile.