Shore Amid The Ocean Of Fetters

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Shore Amid The Ocean Of Fetters
Rajat Mishra - 06 March 2020

Hardika takes out a bottle of Slovenian wine and places it gently on the dining table beside the delectable platter of salad garnished with diced lettuce from her roof-top organic garden. The clock strikes seven. She has prepared a savoury new dish especially for tonight. It’s February 14. 

Raising a toast, Shah remembers how she longed for this moment with her husband sitting across the table with a smile on his face enjoying the sumptuous meal. She could not recollect the last time she felt so relaxed. Her days are workaholic.

She is Hardika Shah (48), CEO, Kinara Capital.

Founded in 2011, Kinara Capital is a new age non-banking financial company that offers small business loans without property collateral. So far, the amount disbursed stands at Rs1624 crore; with the network of 110 branches in India and field-staff in 83 cities to offer personalised support in regional languages. This network testifies the success of Kinara.

Shah’s day begins quite early at Indiranagar (east Bengaluru) bungalow. The morning coffee exudes an aroma strong enough to kick-start her untiring day as she catches a glimpse of the muggy skyline of the tranquil morning.

Shah flips through the newspaper and checks her phone for unread e-mails simultaneously. She makes note of all that is in a day’s work - meeting delegates, attending meetings, tasks to assign and other formalities. Her position of an empowered woman is demanding to say the least—she has to be deft at multitasking.

The four-storied building of Kinara Capital is a ten-minute ride from her residence. Her phone says, “20 new recruits are ready to join today in various capacities. The CEO is expected to preside over the orientation.”

Soon Shah addresses the new entrants: “It took two months to finalise the name. ‘Kinara’ it was, primarily because it was easy to pronounce for any Indian. Second, kinara, in Hindi means ‘shoreline’.   We intended to extend a helping hand to those who were looking for a shore amid the ocean of difficulties.”

Shah refers to her own struggles as she came from a middle-class family in Mumbai. She cites how tough it was for her parents to send her abroad for further studies. She invites all to work together for a financially inclusive world where every entrepreneur has equal access to capital. She adds, “Entrepreneurship is in my DNA. While studying at Columbia Business School, I knew my classmates liked roasted chiwda. So, I started preparing and selling the same at my college cafeteria. It was all about keep on keeping on.”

An important meet with tech officers and IT professionals is scheduled next. Shah speaks about implementing some decisive tech-reforms at Kinara. In her words, her training her a technology expert, as well as, a management professional and that helped her run Kinara efficiently.

The conference room reverberates with applause.


1.30 PM: MeEting WRAPS UP Soon, Shah joins her young employees at the cafeteria. The ongoing discussion on Bengaluru metro escalates into a healthy debate when Shah chimes in. Post-lunch, she is to leave for an outdoor customer visit.

It is already 30 minutes past two. Despite the crazy traffic, she meets two customers, Kanigodi and Devraj in Naranpura. They have taken loans for setting up their business. They share favourable views on the disbursal process and seem satisfied with Kinara as they say, “We need more kinaras in order to give a fresh lease of life to our dreams.”

On her way back, Shah plans the dinner menu and answers messages  on phone. Finally, around 5:30pm she heads to her abode.


7 pm: Dinner Time

There’s delectable platter of salad garnished with diced lettuce accompanied by Slovenian wine.


It’s Valentine’s Day. It’s time for rejuvenation before the new dawn illumines the horizon of a new day.


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