Born and raised in Raipur, Chhattisgarh, Chitresh Sharma graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Christ College, Bengaluru, in 2009. At the age of 19, Chitresh founded his first enterprise, an IT outsourcing and marketing company in Bengaluru.
The business witnessed rapid growth and put Chitresh on the map as a budding entrepreneur. However, after introspecting and being encouraged by his family to build a venture with wide-ranging social impact, in 2012, Chitresh decided to study overseas to explore new possibilities.
While pursuing a Master’s Degree in International Marketing at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Chitresh found himself surrounded by new-age business ideas and concepts. The combination inspired him to research his dissertation subject, which ultimately led to his next project.
In 2013, Chitresh co-founded Glasgow-based Swipii, a digital cashback reward platform for shoppers. During the subsequent seven years, he learned the importance of staying focussed on core goals and, more critically, work culture. He concluded that pursuing a sustainable growth trajectory centred around people strategy was the key to building a successful business.
In early 2020, Chitresh returned to India to revisit the idea proposed ten years ago – creating a business that would leave a positive social impact. Chitresh’s initial research revealed a stark lack of awareness about personal finance in India. The findings inspired him to combine this observation with his learnings about the benefits of Earned Wage Access (EWA) during his time in the UK, which led to the establishment of Refyne.
Chitresh noticed India’s fintech landscape broadly has two options – UPI and lending, a duopoly with rampant exploitative service prices.
India historically lacked a standard credit score system. Chitresh began investigating how this affects the unbanked and underbanked population, which are not the primary focus of premium banks and lenders. His research uncovered that the absence of formal education on personal finance, among other factors, has led to masses often falling prey to predatory loan sharks and payday lenders, exposing themselves to a quick but costly solution.
Chitresh, via Refyne, aims to empower companies and their employees and transform them into active promoters of financial resilience and independence. Chitresh envisioned building a company where team members have an aligned vision for popularising EWA and fostering a culture of collective growth.
When he’s not working, Chitresh enjoys spending time with his family and reading to sharpen his skills.
11th August, 2019 11:30 AM