AI, ML pivotal in streamlining lending process: LenDenClub cofounder Dipesh Karki

The Indian peer-to-peer lending market is projected to grow to $10 billion by 2025 but that milestone is expected to be reached much sooner, says Dipesh Karki, cofounder and CTO of P2P lending platform LenDenClub. “P2P lending companies will offer a distinctive fusion of cutting-edge technologies and speedy financial solutions to strengthen the alternate investment path for investors in India as well as fulfil the unmet credit needs of Indians,” Karki told PTI. Put simply, P2P lending, or social-lending, leverages financial technology to allow people to lend or borrow money from one another without going to banks or financial institutions. The online platform connects lenders and borrowers.

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The idea of LenDenClub emerged in 2015 from seeing a friend’s struggle with traditional lending institutions, said Karki. Nine years later, the platform today has a customer base exceeding one crore with total disbursement of over Rs 13,000 crore.

“It wasn’t merely about starting another financial platform; it was a revolutionary response to the challenges faced by entry-level borrowers in India. The core idea was to address the unmet needs of individuals who found it difficult to secure financial support through conventional means,” Karki said. LenDenClub strategically incorporates technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), to optimise the platform’s efficiency, he said. This enhances the efficiency of the platform and transforms its lending operations.

“Our journey with AWS cloud technology has empowered us to operate more sustainably, flexibly, and securely,” Karki noted.

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Excerpts from the interview: Q: What was the core idea behind LenDenClub and how have your operations grown?

A: LenDenClub emerged in 2015 with a distinct purpose after I observed a friend’s struggle with traditional lending institutions. It wasn’t merely about starting another financial platform; it was a revolutionary response to the challenges faced by entry-level borrowers in India. The core idea was to address the unmet needs of individuals who found it difficult to secure financial support through conventional means.

Since its inception, LenDenClub has grown exponentially, now standing as the largest P2P lending platform in India.

With a customer base exceeding one crore and facilitating investments totalling more than Rs 13,000 crore, LenDenClub’s journey is a testament to the power of innovation and empathy in reshaping the financial landscape.

Q: What is the potential of the peer-to-peer (P2P) lending market in India, and at what rate is it growing?

A: The Indian P2P lending market is expected to grow to $10 billion by 2025. I, however, see this happening much sooner. P2P lending companies will offer a distinctive fusion of cutting-edge technologies and speedy financial solutions to strengthen the alternate investment path for investors in India as well as fulfil the unmet credit needs of Indians.

For individual investors, P2P lending allows them to diversify their portfolios with the prospect of higher returns. Leveraging technology, P2P lending platforms offer user-friendly interfaces, enabling transparent and efficient management of investments.

As the market gains wider acceptance and matures, individual investors have the opportunity to participate in a growing sector with sustained potential for innovation and financial growth. The ease of entry, choice of risk levels, and the potential for a passive income further underscore the attractiveness of the P2P lending market for individual investors.

Q: How are you leveraging technology like AI and ML for your operations?

A: At LenDenClub, we strategically incorporate cutting-edge technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), to optimise our platform’s efficiency. This enhances the efficiency of our platform and transforms our lending operations.

AI and ML play a pivotal role in streamlining the lending process, enabling data-driven decision-making. Our AI-driven risk analysis system stands out by utilising sophisticated digital footprint data for a nuanced evaluation of borrower profiles, diverging from conventional credit scoring methods. This ensures a safer and more inclusive borrower selection process.

The application of AI extends beyond risk analysis to encompass clean data processing, organisation of scattered information, and the extraction of valuable insights into borrower practices. This comprehensive approach not only monitors borrower behaviour but also empowers investors with informed decision-making capabilities.

Our commitment to ‘hyper-diversification’ through AI ensures optimal returns by distributing investments among a diverse pool of borrowers, fostering trust within our investor community.

Our cutting-edge AI algorithms for credit assessment prioritise customers with a high likelihood of timely payments, providing effective control over non-performing assets (NPA). Furthermore, we leverage advanced language models to enhance customer interactions, ensuring smoother and more efficient communication.

In the realm of tech security, we employ vision technologies to detect digital forgery and anomalies, setting a high standard for fraud prevention. This commitment to blending advanced algorithms and AI not only positions us as leaders in the financial sector but also ensures a secure and efficient experience for our valued customers.

Q: What did cloud technology allow you to do that you couldn’t do before? What benefits have you experienced running on AWS?

A: As a startup that originated in the cloud, addressing this question becomes a bit tricky, given that it has introduced capabilities that were either difficult or impossible to achieve using traditional computing methods.

Our journey with AWS cloud technology has empowered us to operate more sustainably, flexibly, and securely. The scalability, disaster recovery capabilities, and cost-efficiency provided by AWS have been instrumental in our ability to adapt to dynamic business needs and deliver a reliable and resilient service to our users.


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