Manish Khera

  • Manish Khera

    CEO & Founder, Arth Impact

    Manish Khera is an entrepreneur, investor and an experienced banker with comprehensive and vast knowledge in micro-finance and micro payments, particularly in India. Manish is a visionary with an out-of-box thinking, having developed and pioneered many ventures and policy initiatives serving the needs of customers at base of pyramid and leading to new business models for the industry. Manish is an Electrical Engineer from Delhi College Of Engineering, having a Master's degree in Business Administration (Finance) from FMS Delhi, along with an M. Phil in Environment and Development from Cambridge University UK. He is also a DFID Scholar. Manish started his career in 1993 with ICICI the leading industrial financing entity in the country with history of developing new entities in the financial sector. He learnt the basics of corporate finance and fundamentals of core industries of paper, sugar, petrochemicals, fertilizer, power, etc. As part of the big change in India in 1990s with opening of the economy and transformation of the financial services world led by ICICI with the retail revolution brought in the country Manish learnt transactional banking focusing particularly on government business and delivery to citizens (customers) leveraging technology. He led the initiatives in railway ticket booking, online tax payment and reporting and e-gov initiatives of state governments. Manish also took a sabbatical in this period and did his MPhil in environment and development learning the issues faced by developing economies specializing in the area of climate change, its impact on developing countries and mitigation technologies and policies.

    In 2004 in line with the growing need and opportunity in the country to take banking deeper to vast unbanked customers in the country, Manish was tasked by ICICI to develop offering and business model for base of pyramid customers. Learning from the experience of the global models, Manish founded FINO a technology company offering a common backend for 200 micro finance organisations in India and a smart card biometric and hand held devices based front end architecture to serve the needs of micro customers. Manish worked with the regulator (RBI) to get the Business Correspondent guidelines passed in India in 2006 allowing for the first time banks to service customers not from licensed branches but through remotely located agent. Manish transformed FINO into the world’s largest business correspondent entity with over 50000 agents serving over 70 mn customers deep in Indian geography, the industry serving over 200 mn customers. Manish worked with the government and launched insurance for the below poverty line customers opening a health insurance market of over Rs 5000 crore for the industry. The fundamentals of Aaadhar and Jan Dhan Yojna were laid in the work done by FINO. Though the banking services went wide in the ten years, it did not go deep. Following the policy shift towards allowing institutions already working with micro customer to take financial services deeper, Manish joined a new venture in this space –YTS – Yatra Tatra Sarvatra (here, there, everywhere) symbolising ‘ubiquity’ in meeting all customer life-cycle requirements and being present everywhere to fulfil those requirements. Manish wanted to take the objective of Financial Inclusion to the next level by engaging the rural and micro customers directly using his insights into the customer requirements, processes and risk handling while retaining the principles of scale and profitability. He applied for a Small Bank license under the professionally experienced category to RBI under the new policy framework in 2014. YTS had laid good foundation working with the migrant population who migrate from rural to urban India.

    Looking at the good solution set developed by YTS, Airtel acquired the remittance and payments business of YTS. Manish joined as CEO of Airtel Money Services Limited and in a short period of 10 months tripled the business volumes and revenues which had been stagnant for last 2 years with a significantly lower manpower through sharp strategy and better business processes and controls. Manish worked towards setting up of Airtel Payments Bank under in-principle license granted by RBI to Airtel in partnership with Kotak Bank. Airtel Payments Bank is the only and the first entity to be granted Section 22 approval by RBI amongst the 11 successful applicants. Airtel Payments Bank would be launched soon. Manish has now decided to pursue his journey in the micro customer segment on his own leveraging his years of rich experience of working in this segment across all the business segments of liabilities, assets and payments, possibly with a global scope. Manish has started a new venture – Arth Impact Finserve. ArthImpact (Arth) is a new finance company in India dedicated to helping families and small businesses manage money as easily and enjoyably as messaging or entertainment on a mobile. Our initial focus is on fast, affordable credit for small businesses and families. Manish is a strong advocate of socially relevant businesses that are also financially viable. Manish continues to invest in socially important ventures both financially and through advising new entrepreneurs in setting up their ventures. He has invested in the past in DhanaX (now defunct) – a P@P platform, Mera doctor – a platform to provide medical advise in emergency, YTS – remittance platform for domestic migrants, Farmart – agri machinery platform to provide farm equipment to marginalized farmers and Ambee – a platform to provide quality ambulance services.

    He has received much praise for his role as one of the thought leaders in the Indian Financial Inclusion space and has been honored and recognized as “Young Global Leader-2011” by World Economic Forum. Manish has been recognized by E&Y as the “Entrepreneur of the Year” and has been awarded the Forbes India Leadership Award 2012 for the “Outstanding Start-up”.