Podcast: Hard Truths by Vertex | Episode 9 - Truths About Empowering SEA's 71M MSMEs Through Financial Inclusion with Nikhilesh Goel, Validus

Elise TAN | 19 Apr 2023

Validus co-founder and Group CEO Nikhilesh Goel left behind a comfortable career in Private Equity and Investment Banking to join Vikas Nahata in building Validus. According to Nikhilesh, “it's been one hell of a ride.”

What prompted him to do this? How did he know it was the right time to build Validus? How has Validus changed the lives of MSME founders? And what are the Hard Truths Nikhilesh has learned along the way?

Tune in to HTBV9 to find out!

Our Guest

Nikhilesh Goel is the Group CEO and co-founder of Validus Capital. Prior to founding Validus, he worked in private equity and corporate finance in Southeast Asia for the previous 14 years. His experience includes debt and equity financing in a variety of industries, as well as portfolio management and value creation in SMEs. He also established Taipan Partners' M&A advisory practice, which focuses on consumer and technology sector transactions throughout Southeast Asia.

He holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Nagpur University as well as an MBA in Finance from the University of Delhi's Faculty of Management Studies. He contributes to the fintech ecosystem by sharing insights on alternative lending, small business financing, and peer-to-peer platforms at fintech and SME conferences on a regular basis.

He was recently named one of the 'Top 10 Fintech Leaders in 2019 and 2020 - Singapore Fintech Association Awards', as well as the 'Innovation Leadership Achievement in Singapore Award 2021 - The Asian Banker'.

In This Episode

(01:45) Nikhilesh’ story

(03:42) The inception of Validus

(06:02) Moving from mass to premium positioning

(08:04) Localisation of their model

(10:35) Hards truths about expansion

(12:32) Pressing the accelerator

(15:55) Getting to profitability

(17:10) Making SMEs’ lives better

(21:46) Current scale

(22:56) Hard truths about financial digitization

(24:46) Validus is secretly an impact business

(27:13) A happy childhood

(28:34) Hard truths about being a founder


Notes and Full Transcript for Episode 9.

Listen on Apple, Spotify and Google.

Or watch our other episodes here on YouTube.

If you like what you hear please follow or subscribe to the show so you don’t miss out on any of our upcoming discussions.

Your Host

Elise Tan is the Director of Communications and Community at Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India. Prior to joining Vertex, she has had extensive experience in investor relations and partnership at global venture funds and accelerators with more than $100m in AUM. Elise also currently runs a Southeast Asia-based startup community of nearly 800 entrepreneurs called the Asia Startup network and actively supports their startup journey through panels, meet-ups, and mentoring programs.

Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia & India is a pioneer in investing in tech start-ups in this region and has helped to build a number of unicorns. In this podcast, we seek to share and uncover the Hard Truth - raw, unfiltered insights and venture capital knowledge from across Southeast Asia and India. Tune in to learn from leading founders, innovators, venture capitalists, and industry experts in the region and to gain industry insights from those in the know.

If you enjoyed our podcast, please click follow or subscribe and share it with entrepreneurs or investors in your circle so we can all grow, succeed and build the future of SEA and India together.

This podcast is powered by CrazyTok: They help experts become influencers.

Find them on their Website, LinkedIn or Instagram

Find and follow us for new Podcast episodes on the other platforms:

Follow us to get notified whenever new episodes are shared.

For the latest news on Vertex Ventures SE Asia and India and our portfolio companies, follow us on Linkedin or subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India is part of the global Vertex Ventures network of funds.

In addition to Southeast Asia and India, the Vertex Global Network is comprised of affiliates in Silicon Valley, China and Israel. This provides a unique platform for our portfolio companies to realize their full potential by leveraging the combined experience and resources of our extensive network of global partners.

250 North Bridge Road, #09-01

Raffles City Tower,

Singapore 179101

+65 6828 8088

© 2022 by Vertex. All rights reserved. Legal