BankBazaar CEO and Founder Adhil Shetty talks about the lessons he’s learned that he’s been able to put to good use over the last 10 years, managing and running BankBazaar.
When you identify a need in the market for a service and no one has stepped up to address that need, you stop and think, “Hey, why don’t I do it?” That’s exactly what Rati and Arjun (my co-founders at BankBazaar) thought when they came up with the idea of creating a neutral financial marketplace where people could search, compare, and apply for or invest in financial products. They approached me with the idea and it hit home immediately. It started us on our quest to help people access the right financial products and make better financial decisions.
Additional reading: The BankBazaar Story
It’s been 10 wonderful years that have seen BankBazaar grow from a small 6-member team to close to 2,000 employees today! These years have, no doubt, been filled with challenges but there have also been innumerable lessons that I’ve learned.
The BankBazaar Founding Team
Here are some of them. I hope they encourage anyone who has a dream to take that dream and turn it into reality.
Experience? Trust me, it matters
I’m an engineer who moved into a consulting role before leaving it all behind to start BankBazaar. I’ve learned that nothing that you ever do is wasted. All the experience I gained in my years working for big corporations, I was able to use in my role at BankBazaar. The skills I picked up, especially as a management consultant, were of tremendous use to me when pitching to our banking partners.
If you want to get somewhere, be disciplined
All of us are working hard to achieve something – it might be moving ahead in our careers, achieving a financial goal or a personal target that we’ve set for ourselves. What I’ve learned really matters, when it comes to achieving any goal, is discipline. In my years working for other organisations, I worked hard and worked towards achieving my goals and I’ve carried that same discipline and that same focus with me into this venture (BankBazaar) too.
Relationships are important
I’ve learned that the relationships you build, with your employees, partners, investors and management team are one of the most valuable things you’ll ever have when you run a company. Trust and respect are the foundation on which my relationships are based.
Having the right people around you makes all the difference
Over the years, I’ve learned just how important it is to be surrounded by the right people. At every stage, it’s important to have the right team with you. At BankBazaar, a lot of thought goes into getting the right people on board and attracting top industry talent to help us get to the next level. All the members on my team have worked for a long time and been successful in their careers prior to joining us and the insights that they bring to the table are invaluable.
Being solution oriented will help you sail through challenges
Any venture is bound to have challenges. I’ve learned that looking forward and focusing on solutions is the way to go. You may be faced with a challenging situation but what’s important is to look at the available options and identify which option is the best for the company in the long run. Chart out the next steps and think about what you can do to solve the problem.
Hard work will take you places
This may sound a little clichéd, but it’s true, nevertheless. There is no substitute for hard work. Anyone who has ever decided to start a venture on their own, and met with a modicum of success, will tell you that this is a lesson that they learned very early on. Identify your goal, stay focused on it and work hard to get there.
People want great experiences
Offering value to customers is paramount. This is why, at BankBazaar, we work closely with our partners to ensure that the right financial products are being delivered to customers. As a customer, your experience with a product needs to be more convenient and less painful than any other channel – either online or offline.
When you use BankBazaar, irrespective of what financial product you’re looking for, you don’t need to go from bank to bank, you don’t need to negotiate, you don’t need to worry about whether you’ve understood the pre-closure fee or processing fee on a loan. All of that information is available on one device for all the 85+ institutions that have partnered with us.
It doesn’t stop there. We don’t just give you information about financial products, the service we provide is end-to-end. So, should you choose to, you can go ahead and apply for or invest in a product on the BankBazaar site or app and our team will handhold you until you get your product from the bank or your investment process is complete.
Research is key
Whether you’re building a fintech company or applying for a loan, research will pay off. Let’s get a little deeper into this. BankBazaar is where it is today – that is, able to provide customers financial products instantly and offer them a paperless application process because of the research and engineering that has gone into developing the platform. This is true of anything you do. So, don’t skip the research.
I’ve learned that taking responsibility for what you do is something that should go without saying for every individual, no matter what your role is at your workplace. This is a surefire way to build an environment of trust. Our investors, for example, have put their faith in us and we have a serious responsibility to judiciously manage the funds we have received.
Being open to feedback
And finally, a great way to improve yourself is to actively seek feedback. If you were to observe any top-performing individual, you would notice that they always take their best and then look for ways to make it even better based on feedback they receive. I’ve learned that being open to feedback is essential to growing and learning. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the CEO or if it’s your first job. This applies to everyone.
Additional Reading: Being The Best Version Of You
Looking back, I think about how challenging the years have been but I have to admit that they have been equally rewarding and filled with learning.
On BankBazaar’s 10th anniversary, I’d like to give a shout out to every person who has already taken or plans to take that leap of faith and venture into the world of entrepreneurship. It’s never an easy decision but most people would say that it’s one that’s worth it!
Additional Reading: A Leap Of Faith That Paid Off
I’d like to end by saying that irrespective of whether you succeed or fail at any task that you take up, what’s important is that you gave it your best shot!