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UdChalo: udChalo – Financial Services for Defence Personnel | Pune-based Startup | Pune News

Pune: What started as an air travel ticketing platform for defence personnel for Pune-based startup udChalo has now expanded to offer financial services to defence personnel with fintech NBFCs.
“Typically, many defence personnel take loans from moneylenders in their villages at a staggering 36% to 40%. Our lending partners offer loans at comparatively lower interest rate of 18% to 20%.We recommend the loan product to our users only if they have an existing loan at a higher interest rate,” Ravi Kumar, founder of the startup, said.
Havildar Dinesh Singh Tomar said that he needed money for a family member during a critical medical emergency. “udChalo came to my aid, providing a loan without any complications or delays. Their immediate response during my time of dire need was helpful,” Tomar added.
The startup has a 32 lakh user base comprising defence personnel and around 3-4 lakh users have moved to the financial services platform, ‘Fauji Family’.
The company plans to start offering mutual funds and insurance products to users.
Founded in 2012 by Ravi Kumar, the company also offers consumer electronics, utility bill payment and income tax filing services to defence officials.
Lt Col RR Jadhav (retd), deputy director of Sainik Welfare Department of Maharashtra, said the startup has been helping a significant number of retired and serving armed forces by facilitating air tickets for the last few years. “Their seamless service has been helpful,” he added.
Former army chief Manoj Naravane is on its advisory board. “As this endeavour grows, udChalo has to ensure that the principles on which it was founded are not diluted. Sometimes, when growth happens, it is easy to lose sight of the principles. I am sure that I will be able to contribute to these aspects. The employees can approach me for sounding their ideas. It is useful to have a dispassionate view not related to the company,” he said at a recent event.
Havaldar Charanjit Singh said that his personal loan was processed without much delay.
“Earlier, they provided us with reasonable tickets and made income-tax records accessible at one place. Now, the company is facilitating loans at a reasonable interest rate and instant funds,” he added.
The startup also offers investment opportunities to defence personnel by collaborating with real estate developers to build townships at discounted rates.
The investing defence officials can rent it out during their time in service or stay post retirement.
The company has facilitated projects in several cities including Jaipur, Chandigarh, Noida and Chennai. In Pune, it has developed at least five projects in Lohegaon, Undri and Dighi.