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Hardika Shah

Founder & CEO, Board Director

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Pattern “It falls to us to bridge the credit gap and make an impact by driving financial inclusion by providing capital access to small business entrepreneurs.”

Hardika Shah is the Founder & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of fintech Kinara Capital that is at the forefront of driving financial inclusion of small business entrepreneurs in India.

Founded in 2011, Kinara Capital is addressing the massive MSME credit gap by providing fast and flexible collateral-free business loans with a blend of digital processes and doorstep customers service. With AI/ML based data-driven credit decisioning, the company’s multilingual myKinara App offers a quick 1-minute eligibility check and can complete the entire process from loan decisioning-to-disbursement within 24-hours.

Committed to advancing gender parity from day one, Hardika leads Kinara Capital with a women-majority management team and has made inclusivity one of the core values of the company culture. She is advancing women entrepreneurs with the company’s HerVikas program and committed to supporting women micro-entrepreneurs via the company’s CSR programs.

Kinara Capital has disbursed more than USD $300 million to 40,000+ small business entrepreneurs bringing thousands into the fold of financial inclusion. The overall impact of Kinara’s decade of driving financial inclusion has led to 250,000+ jobs supported in local economies and to over $100 million in incremental income generation for small business entrepreneurs. Headquartered in Bangalore, Kinara Capital has 125 branches serving MSMEs in 100+ cities in India.

Under Hardika’s vision and leadership, Kinara Capital is internationally recognized for its innovations and ranked among ‘Top 500 High-Growth Companies in Asia-Pacific’ by the Financial Times for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, 2022). Kinara Capital also received the prestigious ‘Bank of the Year-Asia’ global award by the IFC, among other accolades.

Prior to building Kinara Capital, Hardika spent nearly two decades as a management consultant executing complex projects for global companies across USA, Europe and Asia-Pac. She also spent nearly a decade as a pro-bono mentor with emerging social entrepreneurs at Santa Clara University, Stanford University, Accenture Development Partnerships, the Acumen Fund and Columbia Business School.

Hardika holds a B.A. in Computer Science from Knox College in Illinois, USA. She earned her MBA from a joint program between Columbia Business School and UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

Celebrated for her pioneering and tireless work towards MSME financial inclusion, Hardika Shah continues to receive high acclaim from around the world, most notably:

  • Ashoka International, Ashoka Fellow (2014)
  • Wall Street Journal Financial Inclusion Challenge, ‘Live Audience Award’ (2017)
  • Forbes India, ‘Top 20 Most Powerful Women’ (2021)
  • Govt. of India/NITI Aayog, ‘Top 75 Women Transforming India’ (2021)
  • Economic Times, ‘Fintech Woman of the Year’ Award (2021)
  • Knox College, ‘Alumni Achievement Award’ (2022)
  • PopXO, ‘Annual Power Women List’ (2022)
  • Causeartist, ‘Global Top 40 Social Entrepreneurs to Watch’ (2022)
  • BusinessWorld, ‘Business Leader Creating Social Impact’ (2022)
  • Financial Express, ‘Visionary Leadership’ Award (2022)
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Thirunavukkarasu R (Thiru R)

COO, Board Director

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