Early in his life, Kochhouseph Chittilappilly turned down the offer of a secure banking job, choosing instead to start a business. It was the right choice: today, electrical appliance maker V-Guard Industries is one of Kerala’s largest business empires.

“I’m glad I made that decision at that time, which was courageous at that,” Chittilappilly said in an interview with mint. Four decades later, he’s ready to explore uncharted waters again as he prepares to launch his own non-bank finance company (NBFC), which he says will be built from the ground up.

Chittilappilly said the main goal of the NBFC is to work closely with small industries and traders in his home state, Kerala, to meet their day-to-day financing needs.

“It will be a small NBFC, which will provide low-cost loans in an organized fashion to small industries and self-help groups. We will however stay away from gold loans or property loans, ”he said.

Chittilappilly started V-Guard in 1977 from a modest background, with an initial capital of 1 lakh which he borrowed from his father. From just two workers, the company now boasts a turnover of nearly 3,000 crore, a workforce of 3,000 employees and diverse interests that include theme parks and real estate development.

Chittilappilly has been associated with many initiatives to support startups, including an entrepreneurial training program, Vijayee Bhava.

It has invested in many startups, including Kerala-based travel technology startup Verteil Technologies, as part of its pre-series A funding round.

With this new initiative, Chittilappilly is focusing on funding only companies that have already proven their business model, but need money to grow.

Chittilappilly’s motivation to start an NBFC stems from his own experience in the early years he had to sue a bank for a loan sanctioned, he says in his book A journey to hope. While he says the funding situation has improved dramatically now with government programs, he has seen many small businesses scramble for funding during the pandemic.

However, he is quick to clarify that he has no plans to go into full-fledged banking in the future and would prefer to keep NBFC operations small.

“For the past five years, we have promoted entrepreneurs at subsidized rates. We gave some indications, we are 500 people. We have a separate division called Vijayee Bhava. We provide training for small industries. When we analyze the issues, some of them will be good in terms of technology or product. Despite adhering to these parameters, getting a small loan even from a bank or NBFC is difficult even now. I can guarantee that our loan terms will be lower compared to banks or any other financial institution as I am able to subsidize part of it. My goal is to promote talented and needy small industries, ”he said.

Chittilappilly, who donated one of his kidneys to a stranger, is on Forbes’ list of India’s top philanthropists.

To subscribe to Mint newsletters

* Enter a valid email

* Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter.

Never miss a story! Stay connected and informed with Mint. Download our app now !!