Mayank Batheja is co-founder and director of Delhi-based fintech startup, Credenc Web Technologies Pvt. Ltd (estb.2017) which offers higher education loans to students. Over the past four years, Credenc has disbursed education loans valued at Rs.160 crore to over 3,000 students.
Newspeg. Recently, Credenc received equity and debt investment of $25 million (Rs.187 crore) from Capital India Finance Ltd to expand the organised sector education loans market in India. Moreover, Credenc has bought digital content platform ObserveNow.
History. A commerce and business graduate of Delhi University, Batheja served as student-president of AIESEC, the well-known international youth non-profit organisation, and after graduation was appointed its director. Subsequently, he signed up with Mirabilis Advisory, an economics advisory firm, for about a year before the entrepreneurial bug bit him. In 2010, he promoted Envisage Solutions, alongside letsintern.com, one of the world’s largest student internship portals (acquired by Aspiring Minds, Delhi). Next stop in his eventful career was a 14-month stint as associate vice president and business head at Lenskart, an Indian optical prescription eyewear retail chain, followed by another successful sojourn with GirnarSoft, the parent company of cardekho.com. In October 2017, together with Avinash Kumar, a colleague at GirnarSoft, he co-founded Credenc.
Direct talk. “Students spend around $50 billion (Rs.3.5 lakh crore) on higher education in India. Of this, only 5 percent is financed by organised sector banks and non-banking financial institutions. Moreover, while the study abroad loans segment is heavily serviced, the same is not true of domestic education. Banks are reluctant to provide loans to students admitted into non Top 100 ranked colleges of professional education in India. Though I was aware of this reality and the hardship many students faced while securing higher education loans during my days at letsintern.com, it was during my stint at cardekho.com and after I met Avinash that we discussed this problem and decided to resolve it. The outcome is Credenc, a tech-enabled education loans provider,” says Batheja.
The USP of Credenc is its “superbly engineered website” which rigorously evaluates student loan applications using a proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) model, which tracks 15 million data points to predict students’ future incomes. “In Credenc, we have created an excellent online system which assesses student loans applications and employability potential followed by individualised loan processing and approval guidance by our executives,” says Batheja.
Future plans. On average, the company pays out 5,000 education loans per month. “We are currently disbursing loans valued at Rs.30 crore per month and our plan is to increase it to Rs.100 crore by the end of this year, and Rs.3,000 crore by 2025.
Thus far, our loans recovery record is excellent. Our objective is to ensure that no deserving student is deprived of higher education because of lack of finance,” he says.
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Autar Nehru (Delhi)
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