Bhupinder SinghFounder and CEO ‐ InCred

Mr. Singh is the Founder and CEO of InCred, a new-age, technology led, retail lending platform focused on education, affordable housing, SME and consumer loans.

Mr. Singh worked at Deutsche Bank for 16 years in various capacities and across different geographies. Prior to setting up InCred in early 2016, Mr. Singh co-headed the Corporate Banking and Securities (‘CB&S’) of Deutsche Bank for the Asia Pacific region. In this capacity, he managed Deutsche Bank’s Fixed Income, Equities and Investment Banking divisions and was a member of the global CB&S executive committee.

He was also the head of Corporate Finance division for Deutsche Bank in the Asia Pacific region managing the bank’s corporate coverage, investment banking, capital markets, advisory and treasury solutions businesses.

Before joining Deutsche Bank, he had worked in the investment banking teams of Jardine Fleming and DSP Merrill Lynch.

Mr. Singh has an undergraduate degree in engineering and holds a post graduate diploma in management from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

1. What was the mandate given to you by the Board when you took over in your role?

To promote Financial Inclusion in India by creating a Financial Services platform to serve those who are currently excluded from Financial Services.  To create India’s first, new-age, technology led Financial Services company which takes the cost, effort and complexity out of the loan approval/disbursal process. To create a consumer brand that represents friendly, simple, and human financial transactions.

2. How much of that has been achieved? What were the challenges faced?

While such ambitious and disruptive goals take time to achieve, we are well on our way to our destination. Our goal requires us to create novel, innovative and non-traditional ways to gather data, assess risk and make credit decisions. The framework for delivering such a simple, fast, and friendly credit service has been built, and we are due to launch in the month of January.

3. What are the key challenges your organization is facing currently? And what are the steps you are taking?

Demonetisation and other policy changes have impacted everything from income, to transactions, to value of underlying collateral (real estate) – the uncertainty about the future is a clear challenge for our organisation and strategy going forward.  While we are investing heavily in research and strategic thought, we will be treading carefully for the first few months of the year.

4. How How have the changes in technology/globalization/economy affected your sector?

Widespread technology adoption from smartphones, and mobile internet to aadhaar, eKYC and Internet Banking, is the key trend that drives our existence and enables us to build India’s first technology first Financial Services company. We will ride this wave and take the dream of a digital Financial Services company to fruition.

5. What is your talent strategy? How do you draw the balance between home grown vs lateral hiring at the leadership level?

One cannot truly disrupt if one hires, talks to, and learns only from incumbent players in the industry. Our strategy is to mix and form a complimentary team. Half my management team are veterans in Indian Financial Services while the other half have technology, entrepreneurship background with no prior financial services experience. Half my management team has over 10 years of experience outside India, and the other half as 15+ years of experience in India.  All in, we want to get a complimentary mix of experiences and skills to create a winning team.

6. How does your organization identify and develop future leaders?

We will be constantly looking to identify and groom champions for the future. No matter what level of the organisation they may be at, we will be looking out for people with passion, and a vision for the future, as well as the ability to inspire others to support that vision.

7. In a world full of volatility, Uncertainty, complexity & Ambiguity (VUCA), innovation has become one of the most important factor to transform a crisis into an opportunity. How do you promote Innovation?

We promote innovation by recruiting people from different walks of life, and promoting conversations where differing viewpoints are shared in a constructive manner. Each person views an idea through a different lens colored by their own past experiences. We remain open to new ideas generated by those new to our domain, while attempting to view them through the lens of those with years of experience in our domain.  We constantly seek opinions and ideas, but do not feel compelled to adopt methodologies just because they have been successful traditionally, or those that come from people with years of experience.  We judge each idea on their merit, and promote open dialogue and critique of each idea.

8. How do you define & practice leadership?

Leadership is the ability to boldly express and carry out your business vision – it is the ability to see a problem and yet be the solution. For me, leading from the front means not only understanding and utilising my own intrinsic talents but also effectively leveraging the natural strengths of my team to accomplish our mission.

9. How Indian leaders can become Global Leaders?

There are many examples of very successful Indian leaders who have reached the pinnacle of their respective global organisation proving that Indians have in in the them to mix with the best.

10. What are the 3 most pivotal moments in your career that you either learned from and/or that got you where you are today?

A key moment that I look back at was my decision at the height of the global financial crisis in 2008 to move away from a division of Deutsche bank in London where I’d spent a decade to a completely different division of the bank in Asia – a move that took me completely out of my comfort zone and a move that would have appeared completely insane to the outside world. This move turned out to be the single most challenging, exciting and ultimately fulfilling one of my career.

11. What message would you like to share with young professionals at the start of their career?

My message to everyone is to not hold back on their dreams or to allow their vision to be constrained by circumstances. India has enormous opportunities to offer to those with passion, courage and out of the box thinking.