Inspired by his exposure to entrepreneurship during his stint in Silicon Valley, Vinod Nair was determined to come back and start a business in Singapore.
When his first startup, a real estate search engine, failed he started what would become the MoneySmart Group in 2009. The idea was initially borne out of the problem that banks were not transparent about mortgage rates offered and that many consumers were being taken advantage of because they didn’t know any better.
As the company grew, he diversified an applied the same concept to other personal finance products like credit cards, personal loans and insurance. Vinod realized soon that people who came to the site to compare products had no reason to come back after they had found what they needed. In order to combat that, the company needed to find a way to engage consumers more frequently. After studying many options, Vinod settled on content as the strategy that the company needed to commit to. There was no local source for money related content. Finance was generally regarded as boring topic so the approach had to be humorous and had to reflect that we’re not a bank.
In recent years, Vinod spends most of his time on strategy and culture, thinking ahead and solving problems ahead of them arising to ensuring that the company scales well as the operations and headcount grows.
Prior to MoneySmart, Vinod also co-founded e27, a regional tech media & events company.