Financial literacy is the ability to use skills and knowledge to take effective and informed money-management decisions. For a country like India, this plays a bigger role as it is considered an important adjunct in the promotion of financial inclusion and ultimately financial stability.
As per a global survey by Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC (S&P) less than 25 per cent of adults are financially literate in South Asian countries. For an average Indian, financial literacy is yet to become a priority. India is home to 17.5 per cent of the world’s population but nearly 76 per cent of its adult population does not understand even the basic financial concepts.
Yes. Lack of financial literacy is a sad reality in India. However, some bright minds are tapping into this very space and investing their time and energy in educating Indians. Three young souls, Vivek Bajaj, Vineet Patwari and Vinay Pagaria are exactly doing the same through their fintech organisation named Kredent InfoEdge. Their aim is to build a complete ecosystem of financial management, which would guide a user to learn, analyse and participate in various financial products in the right manner.
Kredent’s story started back in 2006 when Bajaj, armed with an experience in trading in the derivatives market and working as a commodities analyst at JM Financials, set up an exchange desk for trading in equities and commodities.
When began recruiting for the trading desk, he got acquainted with the lack of financial literacy among young Indians. This prompted him to set up Kredent Academy in 2008 where he offered courses in financial markets largely targeting students who pursued higher education in commerce, economics, management and business studies. “Our main objective was to train people on financial markets and enhance financial literacy as much as possible,” said Bajaj, the current MD of the organisation.
Vineet Patawari, the current CEO at Kredent InfoEdge, joined the bandwagon on 2010. So far, the fintech has successfully trained more than 150,000 students all across the country.
However, being driven in life, Bajaj craved for more and felt the need to reach out to students via the online medium. He knew that he had to leverage the online space if he had to taste success. Thus he ended up launching a completely new venture named Elearnmarkets. This particular endeavour was aimed at offering exclusive courses on finances through video-based sessions as well as offer live courses via interactive web conferences. This is when the third partner, Vinay Pagaria stepped in to lead the technology aspect of the organisation. Gradually, as its courses started gaining popularity, the trio thought of further strengthening the certifications. In order to do so, they tied up with a half-a-dozen financial institutions including NSE Academy, NCDEX and MCX. They even went on to tie-up with the city’s top-notch educational institution, St. Xavier’s College in order to impart financial education to young minds, through full-fledged certification courses. The latter has already witnessed participation from more than 40,000 individuals including both students and young professionals.
With the success of Kredent Academy and Elearnmarkets, the trio was further motivated to tap into more finance markets. An analysis of the markets led them to realise that there is a need for a basic analytical tool that could help people comprehend market data properly. This led them to launch their third wing of the organisation named StockEdge.
StockEdge is a self-help market analytics app designed to help investors and even novices comprehend stock market dynamics with ease. In three years’ time, the app has been downloaded a million times and needless to say millions across the country are benefitting from the same. It has recently introduced a premium plan and the StockEdge Club, a community of stock market investors, which focuses on providing education and networking opportunities. Gradually, in the journey of StockEdge, the founders apprehended financial data, including market data and other corporate data undergoing phenomenal evolution with technology like XBRL and online unstructured social data.
On its expansion of StockEdge, its founder, Bajaj was quoted saying, “now we are working on building exhaustive database of structured and unstructured information related to the small and medium size listed companies in India.”
When it comes to the users of the various segments of Kredent InfoEdge, the main target audience happens to be college and university students as well as young professionals who wish to enhance their financial skills and investors and traders interested in stock markets. The age group ranges anywhere between 20 and 36. “We wish to simplify financial needs across age profile by meeting their learning, analytics and execution or advisory need at different phases of life,” Bajaj further added. Kredent Venture’s steady growth in the space from offline to online and then to a successful mobile app online highlights the increasing demand for financial education and the need for more innovation in the space.