Ruchi Kalra is a name that inspires many aspiring entrepreneurs, especially women, in India. She is the co-founder and CFO of two fintech startups, OfBusiness and Oxyzo, that have achieved the coveted status of unicorns, meaning they have a valuation of at least $1 billion.
But how did she get there? What was her journey like? And what are the challenges and opportunities she faces as a female entrepreneur in a male-dominated industry?
In this blog post, we will explore the story of Ruchi Kalra, from her humble beginnings to her remarkable achievements.
Ruchi Kalra was born and brought up in Delhi. She was a bright student who excelled in academics. She did her schooling at General Raj’s School, Delhi. She then pursued chemical engineering from the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi, graduating in 2004.
She started her career as a senior business analyst at Evalueserve, a global professional services firm. After working there for about 1.5 years, she decided to pursue an MBA from the Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad, one of the top business schools in the country.
She graduated from ISB in 2007 and joined McKinsey & Company, a leading management consulting firm, as an associate. She worked in the financial services sector, specializing in insurance and retail banking. She rose through the ranks and became a partner at McKinsey in 2015.
However, she had an entrepreneurial itch that she wanted to scratch. She realized that there was a huge gap in the market for providing financing solutions to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in India, who often faced difficulties in accessing credit from traditional sources.
She also saw an opportunity to leverage technology to create a platform that could connect SMEs with lenders and suppliers, and offer them various value-added services such as procurement, logistics, and analytics.
She discussed her idea with her husband, Asish Mohapatra, who was also a partner at McKinsey and had a similar vision. They decided to quit their lucrative jobs and start their own venture.
Along with six other co-founders, they launched OfBusiness in 2016. OfBusiness is a B2B platform that provides financing and procurement services to SMEs. It uses data and algorithms to assess the creditworthiness of SMEs and offers them customized loans at competitive rates.
It also helps them source raw materials from verified suppliers at lower prices and provides them with logistics support and market insights. OfBusiness has partnered with several banks and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) to provide credit to its customers.
OfBusiness has grown rapidly since its inception. It has served over 10,000 SMEs across various sectors such as manufacturing, infrastructure, healthcare, and education. It has disbursed over Rs 10,000 crore ($1.3 billion) worth of loans and facilitated over Rs 15,000 crore ($2 billion) worth of transactions on its platform.
It has also expanded its presence to over 30 cities in India and has a team of over 800 employees. In September 2021, OfBusiness raised $207 million in a Series F funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, valuing it at $1.5 billion. This made it one of the few B2B startups in India to achieve unicorn status.
Ruchi Kalra is the co-founder and CFO of OfBusiness. She handles finance control, accounts and audit, compliance – legal and secretarial, and capital management for the company. She also oversees the risk management and underwriting functions.
She plays a key role in shaping the strategy and vision of OfBusiness and ensuring its financial stability and growth.
In 2017, Ruchi Kalra co-founded another fintech startup called Oxyzo Financial Services along with her husband and four other co-founders from OfBusiness. Oxyzo is an offshoot of OfBusiness that focuses on providing purchase financing to SMEs.
It gives out cash-flow-based loans to SMEs for their working capital and operating costs. It also offers them discounts on their purchases from its network of suppliers.
Oxyzo leverages the data and technology of OfBusiness to assess the credit profile of SMEs and offer them tailor-made solutions. It also uses blockchain technology to create smart contracts between SMEs and suppliers to ensure transparency and security.