Sunday, April 11, 2021

Financing innovation turns former employee into CEO


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Innovation drives not just productivity, but also entrepreneurship, the inclination to start your own business. Fintech — short for financial technology — is the latest breeding ground for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Ruchell Salas, 23-year-old chief executive officer of startup CashFinder, is a case in point. I first met Ruchell as a marketing executive for a PR agency where I contributed write-ups every now and then for the past two years. We were work-related passing acquaintances, with me at the receiving end of her email invites a press conferences and she, the gregarious face at the reception table of the press con venue.

It must have been awhile since we got in touch so I was surprised to receive earlier this month a message from her to help pass the word around about her new company, Cash Finder. The company’s tagline, “Loan at usapang pera? Try Cash Finder,” got me immediately interested.

Okay, it’s not really about the chance to get my hands on some extra cash but more so on the opportunity to get first-hand information on fintech. To me, it’s right up there in the nebulous sphere of value chain financing, equity crowdfunding and the like.

In an exchange of emails, Ruchell said, “I’ve seen the rise of fintech platforms and the increase in the demand for loan acquisition. But what I’ve noticed is the lack of commitment and urgency to deliver the request of a customer.

“With Cash Finder, we have an ecosystem where one could exclusively get offers with trusted creditors. Whether it’s about home renovations, business expansion or simply upgrading to a new car model, me and my partner creditors could offer the most competitive rates in the market. You could be sure, we focus on helping the client get the loan that fits his needs well.”


Clients could apply from P20,000 up to millions for business loans with monthly interest rates ranging from 1.2 percent to 2.5 percent. The basic requirements for personal loan include two valid IDs, proof of income like pay slip and bank statement and proof of billing preferably utility bills.

Like most aspiring entrepreneurs, Ruchell always wanted to start her own business. She just couldn’t find the right industry where her technology-inclined background and growing marketing savvy could be an advantage, until she got employed in a company that inspired her entrepreneurial journey.

“About a year or so ago, I joined a fintech firm,” she related. “My work in sales and digital marketing was not particularly challenging there, but I told myself it would be my stepping stone to achieve my dreams.

“As I faced clients every day, I started to see different models and systems. I was actually meeting with one of my eventual partners when the idea of starting my own leads generation platform dawned on me. Now, I couldn’t believe I’m starting to get traction three months into this business!”

CashFinder, Ruchell’s new venture, is the full expression of that idea. She explained, “Cash Finder is a performance-based platform primarily responsible for providing leads to its partners. We match a client’s needs with the resources of our trusted financiers.

“Right now, personal loans are our core service and we hope to offer more product offerings that would allow other segments like farmers, startups, franchisees, etc., to avail of our financing services. We expect to expand our reach yet remain easy to deal with.”

Ruchell is working with money and she only has kind advice to her fellow millennials: “My personal advocacy is to promote financial literacy among my generation. Young professionals should maximize the use of loans, avail of an insurance, or even start with a small credit limit to experience credit card transaction and help them manage their own funds. All of these, they could try, just don’t abuse the opportunity.”

Well said from wizened financial pro at 23. In CashFinder, former marketing executive now rising businesswoman Ruchell Salas has discovered the stepladder to bigger dreams.



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