“Businesses based on ethical principles last longer and do better.”
In spite of his youth, Bhuvan Rustagi has a lot to share. Lendbox, the company he founded with some friends, has been ranked as one of the best recently-created companies in India. In addition, Forbes magazine included him on its list of the 30 most outstanding people younger than 30 in the Asia financial sector.
Recognition that has now grown: he has been nominated for the EPIC prizes in the Young and Ambitious Minds category, precisely because of Lendbox, a peer-to-peer (P2P) loan platform that operates in the alternative finance sector.
Born on November 24, 1987, in Kanpur, in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Rustagi grew up in Delhi, the city his family had moved to when he was still little. When he was 17 his family moved again, this time to Dar es Salaam. In the Tanzanian capital he would earn a degree in accounting and start working for PricewaterhouseCoopers.
“I was there four years doing consulting work. Then I decided to take a break and return to Delhi. I wanted to develop some kind of social work and prepare to study for an MBA. Luckily I got into IE, where I had some of the best experience in my life.”
When he went back to India, this time to Bombay, Bhuvan Rustagi worked in an investment bank. But just a year and a half later he quit the job, and with some MBA companions he launched his own company: Lendbox.
“Our firm is a platform for P2P credits. Briefly, it’s a kind of market for loans where people can invest in other people through credits, which are not organized by the traditional banking method and that permit them to recoup their total investment.”
P2P loans are one of the fastest-growing businesses in India because they make it possible to achieve financing for people and companies that would have difficulties obtaining them through the traditional banking system.
“But this is not an exclusively Indian phenomenon. P2P credits are a global concept that already exists in the United States, China and some European countries and that is also growing in other parts of Asia and in Latin America,” Rustagi explains.
Lendbox is something more than a financing platform. This startup, the first one founded by Bhuvan Rustagi, is a way of giving back to society a part of what society gave him.
“I think someone should always share his success with the society he lives in. Apart from the fact that good deeds promote good deeds, I’m convinced that businesses built on ethical principles tend to last longer and develop better.”
If good deeds generate good results, his nomination for an EPIC prize can be understood as a just reward for the good work carried out with Lendbox.
“If I win, the prize would give Lendbox greater visibility on the global level. This would obviously be of great help to our business and would increase our value in the eyes of our users and of investors,” says Rustagi. He values the importance of the award, but at the same time says he would try not to be disappointed if he doesn’t win, because he knows that an entrepreneur doesn’t always get what he wants.
“Being an entrepreneur demands patience, a good idea, hard work, the capacity to take risks and never throwing in the towel. Failure is not the end, it’s only the beginning. That’s why it’s not worth the trouble to be afraid of failure. We’re all going to experience failure on one occasion or another, and the important thing is to keep moving forward.”