Careers at Bankbazaar
BankBazaar operates an online baking marketplace through which it sells third-party personal finance products to consumers, offering customised rate quotes on loans, credit cards and insurance policies.
BankBazaar was founded in 2007 by Adhil Shetty alongside his brother Arjun Shetty and sister in-law Rati Shetty. The idea for the Company developed after Arjun and Rati Shetty had trouble finding a good deal on a home loan when they returned to Chennai from the US. The couple found that the long-winded process of finding a suitable loan – including visiting banks, standing in queues and filling in paperwork – was difficult to fit into their busy schedules, and that once they had received a range of quotes, each with different fees and rates, there was no simple way of comparing them. They also realised that banks did not initially offer their best rates, instead offering a higher rate and expecting some negotiation.
Still unsure as to whether they had received a reasonable quote, and having discussed similar experiences with a number of friends and coworkers, the couple began to develop the concept behind a more efficient and time-effective process. Adhil Shetty, a former Deloitte consultant, was brought on board and the Company was officially launched in 2008 with INR 4.5 million in capital. The Company completed its Series A round of funding in 2011, raising $6 million from global venture capital firm Walden International. This was followed by Series B and Series C rounds in 2014 and 2015 respectively, raising a further $73 million from investors such as Amazon, Fidelity Growth Partners India, Sequoia Capital and Mousse Partners.
Business model of Bankbazaar
BankBazaar’s products are aimed at the general consumer market. According to its own information it serves more than 50,000 individual customers across 1,300 of India’s cities and towns, with India accounting for more than 96% of the Company’s web traffic. A reported 27% of BankBazaar’s total applications come from non-metro cities, predominantly via mobiles. The Company recently established a subsidiary in Singapore, through which it will begin serving international markets. The Company operates separate web pages for customers in Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, the UAE and Mexico.
In addition to its consumer services, BankBazaar is also reported to serve banking clients by maintaining white-label websites through which third-parties provide personal finance products. Among its banking customers are several of India’s most established banks, including HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, and ICICI Bank, as well as personal finance specialist Magma Fincorp.
The BankBazaar platform allows consumers to browse and compare personal finance products from a range of providers, enabling them to more easily find the right product for their individual needs. The platform makes the process of purchasing finance products simpler and more accessible, with customers also able to apply for loans and insurance products directly through BankBazaar website and mobile app. BankBazaar’s platform often provides cheaper rates than would be available elsewhere and does not charge fees to its customers. For its banking partners, selling via BankBazaar is a cheaper alternative to traditional sales methods, with minimal overheads compared to in-store sales and lower processing fees than other sales channels.
The BankBazaar marketplace can be accessed via mobile and desktop browsers at www.bankbazaar.com. The Company also offers iOS and Android mobile apps, through which customers can access the online marketplace and receive news updates, give ratings and reviews, and receive support.
BankBazaar is a self-service marketplace, with users able to browse and apply for personal finance products directly via the BankBazaar website and mobile application. This process requires customers to enter personal information into the site in order to receive a customised quote. After receiving a quote, consumers can purchase products directly with no interaction with BankBazaar or third-party representatives.
BankBazaar provides a range of support resources to its customers and hosts a community forum where customers can discuss queries and concerns, post reviews and ratings, and provide feedback directly to the Company. BankBazaar also provides service updates and interacts directly with customers via its blog and social media accounts, including with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
BankBazaar operates and maintains an online marketplace that allows consumers to browse and apply for third-party personal finance products, including personal loans, home loans, car loans, and credit cards, as well as health, car and life insurance products. The Company also lists a range of investment and savings products on its website.
The BankBazaar platform provides customers with instant customised quotes, free of charge. BankBazaar is also reported to provide operate and maintain white-label personal finance solutions websites on behalf of banking customers. However, it is unclear whether this remains a significant aspect of the Company’s activities.
BankBazaar's key partners are banking institutions, personal finance providers and lenders across India. The Company’s first partner bank was ING Vysya Bank, which was shortly joined by ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Standard Chartered, Axis Bank and mortgage finance provider HDFC Ltd. The Company states on its website that it now has more than 35 partners across the country, including SBI, India’s largest bank, IndusInd Bank and CitiBank.
The Company most recently added banking partner to its network this month in the form of YES Bank. In addition to traditional banking partners, BankBazaar also agreed tie-ups with insurance providers in India such as Bajaj Alliance, Aegon Religare, L&T, Bharti Axa, Appollo Munich and Iffco Tokio.
BankBazaar’s key resources are its online platform, its IT infrastructure – including servers and data centres – its network of banking and insurance partners, and its personnel. BankBazaar Chief Executive Officer Adhil Shetty has stated in interviews that much of the Company’s spending is focused on employing financial and technology experts.
BankBazaar incurs costs primarily in relation to the development and maintenance of its online marketplace, maintenance of its IT infrastructure, retention of its personnel, and advertising and marketing. The Company has more than 800 employees, all of whom represent costs in the form of salaries and benefits, and operates offices across Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore, Gurgaon and Singapore, which accrue fixed cost in the form of rent and utilities.
BankBazaar is reported to generate approximately $90 million in annual revenue. It operates under a commission-based business model, primarily generating revenue through commissions paid by its lending partners on every product sale. The Company’s home and personal loan products are reported to be its largest revenue generators. BankBazaar does not charge fees to its customers and does not monetise customer information, which is a common revenue stream for online financial intermediaries.
BankBazaar has also been reported to generate revenue through the maintenance of white-label websites for banking clients, operating a platform under the customer’s branding for the online sale of personal finance products. It is unclear whether this remains a significant revenue stream, considering the expansion of the Company’s core business operations.
info: Adhil has served as BankBazaar’s Chief Executive Officer since 2007. He graduated from Anna University in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communication, following which he joined software giant Cisco as an engineer. He left Cisco in 2003 and returned to education, completing a master’s degree in International Relations, International Finance and Business between 2003 and 2004. From 2004 until co-founding BankBazaar in 2007 Adhil Shetty worked as a senior consultant at Deloitte Consulting.
info: Arjun has been BankBazaar’s Chief Operating Officer since 2008. In 2002 he received a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the College of Engineering, Guindy in Chennai. He went on to earn a master’s degree in Operations Research from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2003, before completing a short internship at the United Nations Population Fund that same year. In 2004 Arjun Shetty joined Capital One Financial, where he served for 18 months as an analyst. Prior to joining BankBazaar Arjun Shetty served for three years as senior product manager at Amazon.
info: Rati has served as BankBazaar’s Chief Product Officer since 2008. She received a bachelor’s degree in Business from the University of Madras in 2002, following which she joined Kraft Foods as a marketing analyst for Taipei. She was promoted after just over a year to serve as Marketing Assistant at Kraft International Commerce and Exports in Miami, Florida. She held this position for 18 months, leaving in 2006. It is unclear what her activities were between 2006 and 2008.
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