Interview with Harish Parmar – Founder of SingleDebt, a Debt Management Solution Provider
Harish Parmar is a Founder of SingleDebt, a Debt Management Solution Provider. He was born in Surat, Gujarat, India in 1954 and he is the oldest of four siblings.
In 1960, his family and Harish migrated to the UK, where he completed his education and earned a postgraduate degree from The University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) in 1979. He is married and have two sons who are involved in his family business in India and the UK.
Please tell us a little about your entrepreneurial journey
Harish Parmar: I began my career working in the family business, where we focused on crude oil and by-product trading. Working alongside my late father gave me valuable experience in the industry.
However, my passion for marketing and promoting financial products led me to explore the financial world in the mid-1990s. I became one of the pioneers in introducing debt management to the UK.
In the late 1990s, I started a BPO business in India, with my first call centre in Ahmedabad and Pune. Our business employed over 700 agents who serviced UK and USA bank clients. After the global financial crisis of 2008, we shifted our focus to debt management in the UK.
In 2018, we made history as the first pioneers to introduce the first debt management company in India called SingleDebt.
Kindly brief us about SingleDebt, its specialization, and the services that it offers
Harish Parmar: SingleDebt is a company with 35 years of experience specializing in financial solutions for individuals in India who may be facing debt-related difficulties.
Our team comprises professional financial advisors, paralegal agents, and advocates who provide a range of customized services and products to cater to the specific needs of each client.
Our services include Debt Management, Loan Settlements, Paralegal & Legal Advisory, and Business Debt Management, all of which are Non-Borrowing Solutions.
Due to the unique collection methods in India, we offer a personalized plan called the Personal Debt Program (PDP) to help individuals who have missed their EMI payments and are struggling to make payments.
When individuals miss EMI payments, creditors such as banks and NBFCs often resort to illegal tactics during the collection process.
In such cases, a Debt Management Plan (DMP) may not be enough to satisfy creditors, and that’s where our legal services and creditors call re-direction services come in handy. We ensure that our clients are protected against any illegal action taken by creditors.
What inspired you to start your company?
Harish Parmar: It’s unfortunate to read about the struggles of individuals burdened with debt in India, especially those unable to access professional assistance.
Tragically, this debt trap has resulted in the loss of life for many farmers and urban residents, who were relentlessly hounded by debt collectors employing illicit tactics.
Given our expertise, I am confident that we can provide aid to both debtors and banks in a lawful and ethical manner, helping them escape the debt trap and efficiently manage their debts.
How has your company helped people get out of debt?
Harish Parmar: Our focus is on providing our customers with feasible payment plans that enable them to repay their loans while also ensuring that they can meet their essential expenses, such as rent or home loans, utilities, food, education, medication, and commuting to work.
In addition to this, we offer a range of related services that safeguard our customers from creditor harassment and legal actions, allowing them to be free from stress and begin rebuilding their financial stability.
Over the years, we have successfully managed tens of thousands of debt accounts, helping individuals achieve a debt-free life and return to normalcy.
What are some tips you can give people for managing their finances?
Harish Parmar: Here are some suggestions to assist individuals in managing their finances.
To begin, create a comprehensive list of all income sources and expenses. Prioritize your expenditures and attempt to adhere to your budget as closely as possible.
To reduce expenses, consider reducing dining out, cancelling unnecessary subscriptions, and purchasing items on sale.
Set aside funds for emergencies such as unforeseen medical bills, vehicle repairs, or job loss. Additionally, consider investing in retirement plans, as there are several options available to ensure financial security in retirement.
It is advisable to pay off credit card debt, car loans, and other loans as soon as possible. Avoid taking on new debt unless it is necessary.
Your credit score influences your ability to obtain loans and the interest rate you will pay. Regularly review your credit report for errors.
If you are struggling to manage your debts, consider seeking assistance from professionals such as SingleDebt, who can create a financial plan, establish goals, and assist you in becoming debt-free.
Remember that managing your finances is a lifelong process that requires discipline and consistency. Begin with small steps and gradually work toward your financial objectives.
What are some common misconceptions about debt management?
Harish Parmar: There are various misconceptions regarding managing debt, one of which is the belief that only individuals with low incomes face debt issues. However, debt can impact anyone, irrespective of their income level.
Debt consolidation may prove beneficial for certain individuals, but it may not always be the most suitable alternative.
Consolidating debt could result in higher interest rates and fees, ultimately increasing the overall cost of the debt.
Although paying off debt requires some funds, it doesn’t necessarily mandate a large sum. Consistent, small payments can accumulate over time and aid in gradually paying off debt.
Debt settlement may seem appealing to those with significant debt, but it may not be the optimal choice.
Debt settlement may negatively affect one’s credit score and might not result in a complete resolution of debt-related problems.
While filing for bankruptcy should be the last option, it may be a viable choice for those struggling with unmanageable debt.
Bankruptcy can provide a fresh start and assist in stabilizing one’s finances. However, it also has significant consequences and requires careful consideration.
Additionally, the Indian government has introduced several measures to promote financial inclusion and increase access to credit.
This has led to a significant increase in the number of people taking on loans and credit cards, which in turn has created a growing demand for debt management services.
However, the future of debt management companies in India will depend on how well they can adapt to changing market conditions and evolving consumer needs.
As the financial landscape in India continues to evolve, debt management companies will need to stay abreast of the latest trends and technologies in order to remain competitive and relevant.
Overall, the outlook for debt management companies in India for household debts is positive, provided they can keep pace with the changing demands of consumers and the market.
What was the inspiration behind turning an entrepreneur?
Harish Parmar: The driving forces behind my decision to become an entrepreneur are my passion for innovation, particularly in financial marketing, my desire for independence as my own boss, the potential for financial freedom, and the flexibility that entrepreneurship offers in terms of work hours and location.
Additionally, I am inspired by the opportunity to make a positive impact on society by creating jobs, improving people’s lives, and addressing financial literacy and debt issues.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Harish Parmar: Focus on solving a problem or addressing a need. Start by identifying a problem that people have and finding a way to solve it in a way that’s better, faster, or cheaper than existing solutions.
This could be anything from a new product or service to a process improvement or a better customer experience.
Once you have a clear idea of what you’re trying to solve, make sure you do your research. Understand your target market, your competitors, and your industry as a whole.
Talk to potential customers and get feedback on your ideas. This will help you refine your offering and make sure it’s something people actually want.
Finally, don’t be afraid to take risks and be persistent. Starting a business is never easy, and there will be plenty of challenges along the way.
But if you’re passionate about what you’re doing and you’re willing to put in the work, you can succeed. Remember to stay focused on your goals, stay flexible, and keep learning and growing as you go. Good luck!
What is your success tips for young and aspiring entrepreneurs?
Harish Parmar: It’s essential to follow your passion as it makes it easier to work hard and achieve success. A well-crafted business plan is crucial to outline your objectives, strategies, and tactics, keeping you motivated and on track.
Be open to adapting and revising your plan as needed, as successful entrepreneurs are flexible and can pivot their business when required.
Networking is key to success, so attend events, join online communities, and seek out mentors for guidance and support.
It’s important to embrace failure as an opportunity to learn, grow, and improve since it’s a natural part of the learning process.
Entrepreneurship involves taking risks, but it’s crucial to take calculated risks and avoid endangering your business.
Stay focused on your objectives and avoid distractions that can steer you away from your goals. Remember that success takes time and persistence, and setbacks should not discourage you.
Continuous learning and staying up-to-date on industry trends and best practices are essential to improve your skills and knowledge. Consider reading books, attending seminars, and taking courses to enhance your expertise.
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