Interview with Dev Verma | Seasoned Entrepreneur | Leader | Co-Founder at Swara Fincare Limited

Dev Verma

At BrilliantRead Media, we always strive to bring to our community some of the finest stories from the entrepreneurship world. As part of this endeavour, we invited a passionate entrepreneur – Dev Verma for an exclusive interview with us. Dev is an Entrepreneur, Leader & Consultant and Mentor. He is the Co-Founder of Swara Fincare Limited. Let’s learn more about his inspiring journey, his background and his advice for our growing community!

Excerpts from our exclusive interview with Dev:

Talk us through your background and your journey as an entrepreneur, please;

The majority of my schooling has been in Assam/Meghalaya, where I went to a hostel at the young age of four and a half years, post which I moved to Delhi for my graduation and post-graduation. Bought up as a tea planter’s kid – sports and affinity to the outdoors came naturally to me. I was a very good sportsman and excelled in multiple sports.

Besides academics, there was a lot of emphasis on overall development like music, theatre, trekking etc. When I look back now, all these were building blocks of what I am today as an individual or professional. The discipline and the respect for what you have is a core value system.

I never looked at myself as an entrepreneur, in fact, I still don’t feel like one because I continue to work with the same mindset and belief. I quit a high profile industry with a swanky office and consciously moved to a low key but high impact industry focused in financial inclusion.”

I loved travelling the length and breadth of the country, which was mostly the smaller cities and villages. I can pride myself to have visited almost all the states in the country.

Very few are fortunate to pursue their passion as a career and then as an entrepreneur. While I was working I took out time to start a homestay and farm in a remote corner of Uttarakhand, where one had to trek to reach the house. I quit corporate work and focused on establishing this.

In 2021 along with a few like-minded colleagues we started Swara Fincare, which is an NBFC focused on providing small and medium entrepreneurs easy access to credit in tier 2/3 cities and beyond.

What attracts you towards entrepreneurship instead of a corporate career?

While many would say “ I wanted to do or start my own thing ‘ – I agree, however, what I’m doing today is similar, and all of us co-founders work in the same spirit and humility as we did when we were employees.

I firmly believe that if you choose the entrepreneurial path – it has to be driven by passion and interest.”

The other aspect is the flexibility it brings to do things the way you would like. Lastly, it’s a huge mindset change and a shakeup from the comfort zone as it brings in its share of uncertainty. One has to be very patient and okay to work in a fire fighting environment.

‘Swara Fincare Limited’ is such a unique name; talk us through more about it, please. Our audience would also love to know what kind of problem you are solving?

‘Swara’ – means voice.

We wanted to be the voice of rural India. Our objective was to go beyond being another lender and create a direct impact. This means- to be a one-stop solution for those segments that always having a lack of credit access, helping them through training and linking them to supply chains.

All the co-founders worked extensively in these segments and a common burning desire to create an impact backed with passion bought us all together.

What does your company specialise in?

Swara Fincare Limited is a registered Non-Banking Financial Company – Non-Deposit (NBFC) which was incorporated as a Public Limited Company in 2020. Swara has received its RBI certificate of registration in September 2021.

We are a team of experienced professionals, who have quit lucrative positions and are pursuing our passion – by putting in all our experience and resources.

We bring to the market an ideal combination of experience, skill, execution expertise and automated systems to drive the model.

SWARA  aims to resonate with our ‘Swara’ in India, with special emphasis on Rural & Semi-urban India. Our aspiration is to play a pivotal role in the space of financial inclusion by helping each ‘stage entrepreneur’, by extending appropriate financing solutions, resulting in overall economic upliftment.

How do you manage to keep going despite the challenges? What drives you?

Passion and a positive mind frame help me to stay focused. I’ve always maintained a good work-life balance, frequently taken short breaks with my family and friends and regularly played a sport. This helped me to stay focused and work as per my strengths.

At work, I ensure proper and adequate communication, keep the team motivated and walk the talk.

Who do you believe has been the biggest source of motivation in your daily life?

Clearly my family and friends. They have been very supportive, practical and been a mirror to me. My wife is possibly the most practical person and equally critical – which only someone who cares and understands can be.

The other source of motivation has been the surroundings – people you meet during work or travel, those who have made an impact at their work. Some of my bosses and seniors were great friends too. It helped to have a candid discussion rather than just being a yes man.”

I read and watch a lot of autobiographies; most are very inspiring.

The recent ones being ‘The last dance ‘ – Michael Jordan and 14 peaks – Nirmal Purja. Both were exceptional stories of sheer grit, passion and determination, enough to give you goosebumps.

What are some of the strategies that you believe has helped you grow as a person?

I’ve worked across geographies and have worked across sectors – purely because something in each role appealed to me.

The diversity and ability to adapt to different requirements worked wonderfully for me, including the learnings which I could use at different stages.

I must add that being a sportsman helped tremendously at my work and with teams.”

A good example is – friend and camaraderie on the field is of a different level and rubbing shoulders with senior people while playing a corporate game, helped shed a lot of inhibitions and break the ice.

What are the three most important lessons you have learned while building your startup?

(1) Patience! it takes time and it can be frustrating hearing a NO several times.

(2) Find the order in the chaos. The initial build-up is chaotic as you have to manage everything. Every day is a firefight.

(3) Huge learning and discovery. You suddenly dig into all your past reserves of experiences and learn new things.

In your opinion what are the keys to success?

The key mantras for me have been:

> Keep it simple and straight

> Back your instincts

> Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and also learn from them

> A happy team is a winning team

> Less Gyan more execution

> Stay grounded

What advice would you give students and young professionals who want to have a successful career?

The first few years should be building blocks. Many tend to go wide rather than deep. Use every opportunity to learn, make friends, travel and importantly participate in projects and events. Every single experience counts in the long run.

Keep upskilling whenever opportunity knocks. These days options are huge and flexible too. For any industry – it’s a huge advantage to have a basic understanding of Finance- it gives you the edge. I realized it much later!

Lastly, always keep your head on your shoulder! Learn to appreciate, compliment, stay focused and take out time for yourself.


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Please don’t forget to read – Interview with Nithya Raghunath | Career Counselor | Founder at Holistic Career Guidance

BrilliantRead is committed to bringing stories from the startup ecosystem, stories that reshape our perspective, add value to our community and be a constant source of motivation not just for our community but also for the whole ecosystem of entrepreneurs and aspiring individuals.
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