CredAble CEO and Co-founder Nirav Choksi Shares Insights on Working Capital Management and Growth Strategies

CredAble CEO and Co-founder Nirav Choksi Shares Insights on Working Capital Management and Growth Strategies
CredAble CEO and Co-founder Nirav Choksi Shares Insights on Working Capital Management

CredAble is a leading company that specializes in working capital management solutions for businesses. As a fintech firm, CredAble is dedicated to serving the working capital requirements of large, mid-sized, and emerging corporations, MSMEs, and financial institutions.

Recently, we had the pleasure of interviewing Nirav Choksi, the CEO and co-founder of CredAble, to learn more about his company's plans, challenges, and strategies. During our conversation, we explored how CredAble has adapted to changes in the working capital management industry and how they are leveraging technology to better serve its clients. Nirav also shared some insights into the company's growth plans and how they aim to expand their customers and offerings in the future.

Let's take a look at Nirav's responses and see what we can learn from our conversation.

StartupTalky: Mr. Nirav, what does CredAble do? What was the motivation/vision with which you started?

Nirav: CredAble is an award-winning AI-powered technology company that is entirely focused on solving the working capital financing challenges of enterprise ecosystems and SMEs. We do this through our working capital financing & SaaS solutions across ecosystems using state-of-the-art technology platforms, deep ERP, and bank integrations.

Eco-systems we cater to include:

  • Enterprise: We enable liquidity for vendor/customer ecosystems of Enterprise clients through the CredAble Working Capital Platform.
  • Financial Institutions: API-based co-branded, white-labelled working capital platform, and embedded credit solutions for financial institutions and their customers.
  • Small Businesses: We provide an all-in-one credit, trade, and cash management platform for small businesses to manage and grow their business.
  • Trade: We intermediate supply chains within the ecosystem creating liquidity and enabling better working capital cycles.

At the genesis of it all, CredAble was built with the single vision to revolutionize the world of working capital financing. We set out on this journey with ground-level experience of the significant struggles that businesses face in managing working capital. We understand the pain points of businesses in accessing timely credit and managing their finances, like no other.

CredAble is centered around digitizing working capital accessibility entirely, to help businesses of all sizes meet their goals and achieve forecasted growth.

We are on a mission to build scalable products that will transform working capital and financial management for the better and guarantee business growth. In the last few years, we have carved out a space for ourselves on the world stage by focusing on holistic financial inclusion. By leveraging our extensive domain skills, trade finance expertise, key partnerships, and a world-class technology platform, we have been providing innovative working capital and liquidity programs for enterprise supply chains.

StartupTalky: What is/are the USP/s of your products?

Nirav: CredAble is the only player in the market with a 360° tech-enabled working capital product suite for all stakeholders involved. CredAble has managed to build scalable products that will transform working capital and financial management for large enterprises, small and medium businesses, and financial institutions and guarantee business growth.

  • For Enterprises: We are uniquely positioned to provide solutions across the entire working capital cycle i.e. procurement and receivables.
  • For MSMEs: We are a one-stop solution for AR/AP Management, business intelligence, and working capital financing.
  • For Banks: We provide a tech suite that helps banks automate and digitize processes right from KYC and onboarding to disbursements of working capital.

StartupTalky: How has the working capital management industry changed in recent years and how has CredAble adapted to these changes?

Nirav: The working capital industry, in recent years, has witnessed a massive boost thanks to the timely government initiatives aimed at making affordable working capital easily accessible to MSMEs.

Some of the key initiatives in recent times are:

  • OCEN (Open Credit Enablement Network): To standardize the loan journeys across Financial Institutions and marketplaces
  • Account Aggregator Network: To provide individuals with greater access and control over their financial records
  • ONDC (Open Network for Digital Commerce): To standardize operations like cataloguing, inventory management, order management, and order fulfillment

In line with these government objectives, CredAble has built technologies for better implementation of initiatives. For OCEN, CredAble acts as an LSP and based on the new lending protocol infrastructure enables the digital origination, underwriting, and servicing process of loans. With ONDC, CredAble is defining a protocol over which SMEs can avail of quick financing over the ONDC network. This will help the SME in discovering the right credit product for themselves and availing the same through a completely digital process.

Nirav:

  • Reading and absorbing content from some of the leading journals, like Harvard Business Review
  • Interacting with industry peers and thought leaders at business conferences and events
  • Keeping a close watch on government initiatives and implementations

StartupTalky: What key metrics do you track to check the company's growth and performance?

Nirav: The key metrics vary from business to business. We track metrics across functions; some of the important ones are tied to our enterprise business.

For the enterprise business, we monitor the invoice flows (value and volume wise) on the platform at a daily frequency. Additionally, we track client conversations on an ongoing, newly added, and closed basis every week. This is done for the number of vendors and dealers being added at a mandate level and overall business level. On the embedded credit front, we track ecosystems that we have advanced discussions with for the white label of our platform. On the cross-sell side, where CredAble finances through its own book—we track growth in AUM, interest and fee charges and debt raises. Lastly, on the BaaS side, we track new, advanced, and live clients weekly.

StartupTalky: What were the most significant challenges your company faced in the past year and how did you overcome them?

Nirav: Despite the turbulent times that we are up against, we did not get weighed down by the storm. We have stayed true to our fundamental value system that has been paramount in building highly productive and successful teams across our functions be it product, tech, sales, support, marketing, or human resource.

We have had to tread new frontiers and increase our operational intensity with the introduction of new regulatory guidelines for Fintech companies. This has, in turn, helped in ensuring a regulated growth of better credit products in the market.

We have experienced and successfully overcome many challenging situations such as the funding winter, by coming together as a team, intensifying our investments in transformative technologies, and implementing agile methodologies. All this has helped us accelerate our momentum and make remarkable strides forward to ensure that CredAble remains at the forefront of shaping the future of working capital management.

StartupTalky: What are the different strategies you use for marketing? Tell us about any growth hack which you pulled off.

Nirav: For marketing, due to the plethora of products that we have as well as long lead nurturing periods—our focus for marketing is bifurcated into two core aspects, which are content and brand marketing as well as lifecycle marketing. The ‘business as usual’ activities such as paid ads, etc. keep running through and through.

In terms of content and brand, our focus lies on content gaps that competitors seldom explore with off-beat topics and further aligning that with working capital financing. We have grouped working capital and done an in-depth analysis of NEOM, ISRO, Reliance Petroleum, Whisky Production and to the extent, even the Taliban.

These research pieces are pushing us up on our social visibility as well as through our growing readership, we’re getting the brand name shared and known to a great extent. We do not hard sell our products in content marketing to help readers gain value from our content.

We have employed extensive lifecycle marketing initiatives as well. Our core focus here is to nurture the user from the minute they become a contact, all the way till we reactivate them when they become dormant. At each stage of the user journey as well as lifecycle, we have tailored communication to either keep a lead hot, nurture cold leads, cross-sell products, activate dormant customers, and a lot more.

StartupTalky: What are the important tools and software you use to run your business smoothly?

Nirav: As a technology company, we leverage multiple different tools and software to ensure our products remain state-of-the-art. Some of the tools we deploy are as follows:

Area of Deployment Tools
Customer analytics and lifecycle management solutions to improve customer engagement Mixpanel, WebEngage, Firebase, Google Analytics
Business analytics solutions to provide our customers with dynamic business intelligence solutions Metabase & Knowage
Open source programming stack used for building our software products without having any specific vendor lock-in Java, Angular, React Native, MySql
Customer identity and financial information verification solutions Several integrations such as NSDL, GST service providers, Hunter, CIBIL, Experian, MCA, etc. to provide digital-first solutions to fetch customer information faster
Application and infrastructure monitoring solution New relic, Elastic Logstash Kibana (ELK)

StartupTalky: What opportunities do you see for future growth in the working capital management industry in India and the world? What kind of difference in market behavior have you seen within states in India?

Nirav: Recently, there has been a significant push from the Government towards MSME growth and funding aid. In light of that, we see future growth coming from embedded finance platforms providing integrated offerings to MSMEs including access to financing.

Platforms that provide MSMEs with growth tools such as PAN/GST verification, AR/AP management software, business intelligence tools, and integrated payment solutions will see a huge upside in terms of growth and innovation.

Furthermore, an integrated payments platform offering a powerful collection engine to collect payments & enable payouts, digital e-invoice generation, payment reminders, and automated reconciliation will see a significant uptick.

Lastly, with the Indian economy poised for growth, working capital financing is an untapped market with a huge upside. Over the next 5-10 years, the need for working capital is only likely to grow and as a result, the technologies to support such growth will see a rise in terms of players, products, and offerings.

StartupTalky: What lessons did your team learn in the past year and how will these inform your future plans and strategies?

Nirav: 2022 did not come without its challenges to overcome, but our penchant for hard work and unparalleled commitment have helped CredAble in making a mark on the global stage. The last year was exceptional for us in all aspects of our business.

In times like these, where we are witnessing an unprecedented economic slowdown and the talks of a global recession are gathering steam—we have learned that business continuity is key.

We are focusing on critical areas such as ensuring strategic customer alignment, building revenue-focused teams, accelerating digital transformation, and expediting innovation to keep up with changing market conditions.

StartupTalky: How do you plan to expand the customers, product, and team base in the future?

Nirav: We have realized that success comes by recognizing key opportunities to serve an untapped segment of the market. We have re-aligned our teams and have mapped roles to achieve greater efficiency and we are well-positioned for the long-term win. Our teams have been pivotal in helping CredAble not only remain resilient and maintain our steady success rate but raise it to even greater heights in recent times.

While we have a strong pipeline, we’re gearing up to seize future growth opportunities and expand our global footprint by playing to our strengths and setting clear priorities to redefine the working capital landscape. Backed by a growing customer base, key global partnerships, and a customer-focused organization, we are all set to take on the new year with sharper focus and greater zeal.

StartupTalky: One tip that you would like to share with people reading this article who want to get into entrepreneurship?

Nirav: We often tend to romanticize the idea of launching a tech startup. Building CredAble has been a long and arduous journey marked by a steep learning curve. That said, it has been rewarding in every way.

Hiring the right people with strong skill sets is crucial to smoothly navigate the ups and downs of the journey. Cultivating a thriving culture will help you stay on the right course and achieve benchmark goals. Additionally, while success does favor those that can come up with an innovative idea—in today’s competitive market, it takes more than just having a great idea. It’s imperative to build a shared vision, where everyone on the team is working towards putting that winning idea into action. Never stop innovating—the goal is to always treat customers to superior digital experiences. Your offerings need to constantly evolve alongside shifting market demand and advancements in technology.

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