Protium, Pan India Full Stack Digital Lender with presence in 32 cities and 50+ branches crosses 750+crore in disbursements

Mumbai : Protium, the lending business founded by Ex Goldman Sachs Partner Peeyush Misra, has successfully disbursed INR 750+ Crore loans across the small and medium enterprise (SME), personal and consumer segment with an NPA of 0.02% during the most challenging period of the global pandemic necessitated lockdown. The company has closed its initial capital round at INR 1,260 Crore (USD$ 170 MN)  coming from the founder and a few marquee partners making it the largest greenfield launch in the last several years. The company has plans to advance another INR 1,000 Crore by the end of the fiscal year.

Protium is founded on the conviction that engineering is fundamentally transforming finance in India. The company is built on the foundations of “Engineering Finance” ,“Fortress Balance Sheet” & “Digital India”. Engineering in finance is only complete when Tech, Risk & Analytics work seamlessly. Protium’s proprietary Engineering Finance model has been proven in a highly stressed environment with a low NPA rate of 0.02% (the lowest in the segment) with disbursals of 750+cr and a capacity to lend more than INR 3,000 Crore a year. The philosophy of Fortress Balance Sheet helps Protium to maintain a low leverage and look at growth purely through the lens of appropriate risk/reward.

Peeyush Misra, Founder & Director, Protium, said, “We are on a mission of Fuelling Ambition of small businesses by making credit accessible in a seamless, low cost and timely manner. What we have seen so far is really just the beginning. So far most innovation has been focused on digitizing processes and data pipes – now as that as Indian financial system plumbing evolves we will see increasing product innovation. One size fits all is dead. Initiatives like Account Aggregator framework are a shot across the bow and India could be a leader in the post surveillance capitalism finance. At the same time the principles of sound risk taking don’t change. Tech can change information access and asymmetry but it can’t change the nature of risk. Credit businesses are fundamentally cyclical and tied to the fortunes of the economy. As lenders we have to remember the best case scenario for us is to get our money back – we have no further upside unlike equity. One is short a put option which gets exercised at different levels of efficiency depending on the customer segment. Our vision is to be the pre-eminent engineering led, risk focused lender in the country.  We want to “Do exciting engineering but boring finance.”

Protium(brand name of GrowthSource financial technologies) began its lending journey in early 2020 and has grown during the most difficult economic circumstances  we have seen in a generation. In this period, the company went from 6 branches to 54 branches across 30 cities in 8 states of India. The growth was steady and focused on ensuring that the company stabilised operations in these 54 branches with a talent pool of 1000+ that now has a capacity of dispensing more than INR 3,000 Crore in loans every year.

P.R. Seshadri, Ex. MD & CEO of The Karur Vysya bank who serves on board of Protium as an Independent director, said  “Protium has grown fast but in a risk managed manner in the last 18 months even when the global markets were facing uncertainty due to the pandemic. The core leadership possesses sound risk management expertise owing to their vast global exposure and deep insights into the Indian financial sector. The company has put together a best in class engineering team capable of being the torchbearers of India’s fast evolving digital lending landscape.”

Protium is led by an experienced board and management team that includes over 150 years of global finance experience & deep knowledge of Indian ecosystem. Founder and Director Peeyush Misra,  brings more than two decades of risk management experience across global markets in a variety of businesses. Before starting Protium, he was a Partner at Goldman Sachs where he ran businesses like US Interest Rates and Securitized/Mortgage products among others. Peeyush currently serves on the boards of Sam Waxman Cancer Research Foundation New York, IIM Ahmedabad Endowment & Misra Centre for Financial Markets and the Economy at IIMA.