Meet The SHEROES: Sukanya Kumar, Retaillending
Coming from a family of salaried employees, starting my own venture didn’t seem like the best idea. My father was a central government employee, and none of my close relatives were into business.
I was born and brought up in Kolkata. After college, I gained my financial independence working for The Statesman, an English daily. Eventually, I developed an interest in mortgage and wanted to do something on my own.
I am not sure if I was inclined to it since childhood. I would rather say that my interest, and later my passion, drove me to start my venture.
I was sure I wanted to start my venture, but I wasn’t sure which idea to work on. Looking at many people around me, I realised that quitting a job and starting on your own does not happen simultaneously, nor can you start off while working. You have to quit first to start afresh. Or else, the comfort of the mundane never lets you take the step.
So I did quit first, and then started thinking of what I can do. I realised that in discussing property sales with my clients and assisting them borrow from banks, I had gained quite a lot of experience and gathered contacts to be starting something in the mortgage sector.
Retaillending: Bringing real estate and mortgage together
I worked in real estate even before I started on my own. So, I am deep into real estate sales for almost 18 years now. It is really scarce in the industry to find a person who understands both real estate and mortgages as deeply as I do.
At Retaillending, we get the best deal designed for our clients. Super class service and transparent offers without borrowers having any hassle of negotiating with the lenders, makes our clients feel reassured." We do moderate and large ticket loans only, and can devote quality time to our demanding, precious clientele.
We are going to expand to eight cities. Our partner network is already very strong. Finance brokers, wealth managers, big insurance agents and property consultants find our mortgage service best suited for their top high net worth individual (HNI) clients. They earn extra revenue via referrals, and their clients get the best deals. It's a win-win situation.
We look forward to partner with many more such quality professionals and expand our network to be able to reach more HNIs. In the market today, there are online players who offer all sorts of products and categories, but we are mostly into a niche market which is pretty difficult to capture. With a strong financial boost, we hope we reach our goal faster--just waiting for the right partnership!
Love taking on challenges, blessed to have the support of my family
I am self-driven and I love taking on challenges. I like to stay ahead in the industry by doing new things.
When we started what we call online loan counseling--without meeting clients face-to-face--many warned us that it would never work. Today, I am proud to say that we haven't met any clients for counseling a home loan product in years. People do not need to meet anyone if they get the clarity and transparency in the offer, and can get good references. Half of our clientele in Mumbai are bankers themselves!
A woman faces maximum challenges when her family does not support her, and I am blessed on that front. My husband is a director of the company, and handles the technology bit of it. He completely understands the requirement for me to be part of endless discussions over the phone with lenders, or my constant negotiations with the banks for a great deal for my clients. Sometimes, I do not look at what time is it and he obliges.
Things had changed a bit since last year, when I had twins. My travel schedule has also changed. But I am glad that it didn't affect the work at all, and it proves that we have achieved success in dealing online with HNI clients. I visit the office whenever I want to, and work five days a week; I’m sure not many people in my business can afford to do that.
Be careful: Credit score is like character
One must be careful with their spending habits and build a credit score over time. A credit score, in my opinion, is like character--it takes the time to establish and can get tarnished in a whizz. A poor credit score will affect your family and future generations too. So, do not take it lightly.
Do not apply with multiple lenders. Take educated decisions in liaison with your mortgage adviser, and then apply with the one you have chosen. I always advise people not to go by just the price tag, as the cheapest are mostly not the best.
Professionally, having a good team who understands the value of your offering and shares the same outlook in client and partner servicing, is most important. I'm a tough boss, so I'm lucky to have a few like me in my team who's there with us for decade plus.
Personally, as mentioned, for a woman to be successful, the support from the family is pivotal. Other than that the skill to handle lenders as well as borrowers and also keeping the partners satisfied is a big job. You need to feel for each parties to be able to keep such balance. Integrity is the topmost important aspect in my chart as well.