With salaries averaging Rs. 40,000 for young adults in India, coupled with 69% of millennials having less than Rs. 10,000 in their savings account and student debt soaring to Rs. 11,00,000 on average per person, adept money management is a core tenet for a large chunk of the Indian population.
Yet somehow, Indian schooling doesn’t really prepare us to be masters of finance. If anything, much of it “protects” us from learning these skills until we’ve already made decisions that will impact us well into our adulthood (eg. student loans or getting married).
Many individuals and couples hack together their financial education with advice from their parents (warranted or not), their friends or Google searches.
2 years ago, we started teaching personal finance to young Indian adults. We weren’t trying to start a movement — just trying to help a few people get smarter about how they spent and more importantly saved their money.
What blew us away wasn’t just how little Indian millennials knew about personal finance but also how well the financial industry had taken basic concepts and turned them into fancy terms that made people nervous.
Many young people would later tell us how our classes had helped them see how “less scary” personal finance could be.
A few months ago, we decided to focus on this idea full-time and kicked off a journey to better understand how Indians, millennials or older, approached their personal finances.
What we learned was that young Indians are looking for better ways to budget, save and invest their money.
Yet most of us either avoid thinking through our financial plans or are offered fragmented tools and sales-heavy services that don’t fully meet our needs or garner our trust.
Thoughtful financial planning is usually reserved for high-net-worth individuals through traditional banks or advisors.
We’re founding Bachat to change that. At Bachat, we believe that personal finance is a core life skill. With a combination of education, advice and accountability, we want to help each and everyone of the 440 million Indian millennials to get ahead of their finances and start growing their money.
From planning for your first paycheck to paying for college loans, saving for your first house to prepping for child #1, Bachat’s mission is to help Indian’s get smarter about money.
While these are our early days, we Are really excited at the prospect of empowering many millions of people with the skills to achieve financial freedom — whatever that may mean to each of them.