Monday, 28 November 2022

Validus Capital’s Goel leads in bridging the SME financing gap by leveraging technology and innovation

5 min read

By The Asian Banker

The experience and leadership of Nikhilesh Goel have enabled Validus Capital to cement its position as the largest SME lending platform in Singapore and accelerate its regional expansion through joint ventures.

  • The Goel-led Validus leveraged technology and innovation to achieve significant expansion
  • His decisive response to the challenges enabled Validus to improve its performance amid the pandemic
  • He promotes financial inclusion through innovation and job creation

Singapore, 29 July 2021– Nikhilesh Goel, co-founder and group chief executive officer at Validus Capital, was recognised for Innovation Leadership in Singapore at The Asian Banker Leadership Achievement Awards Virtual Ceremony 2021.

Goel-ledValidus leveraged technology and innovation to achieve significant expansion 

Goel held three successful rounds of capital raising for Validus and enabled it to establish partnerships with key players such as Visa, Citibank, Prudential, and Grab Financial to scale up the business. The company has cemented its position as the largest small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) lending platform in Singapore. He also promoted its regional expansion through joint ventures with marquee partners such as the Rachmat family in Indonesia, VinaCapital in Vietnam and SCG Distribution in Thailand. 

Validus uses data analytics and artificial intelligence to assess the creditworthiness of SMEs. Goel has helped drive some notable fintech innovations such as the SME-financing fund structures. It finds wider adoption as more fintechs explore similar structures. Validus is one of the leaders in supply chain financing-based models for SME lending in partnership with leading local corporations, including ST Engineering, SMRT, Keppel Group, and YTL PowerSeraya.

His decisive response to the challenges enabled Validus to improve its performance amid the pandemic

Goel was instrumental in enabling Validus to navigate the challenging times. He led the company in raising fresh equity of $14 million and strengthen its business model and credit policies. Validus is among the first fintechs to be onboarded by Enterprise Singapore as a participating financial institution. His immediate response to revise the company’s strategy enabled Validus to rebound from the fall in loan volumes. It recorded a 127% increase in loan disbursals in October 2020 compared with May 2020 and has expanded its manpower.

He promotes financial inclusion through innovation and job creation

Goel’s goal is for Validus to champion the cause of financial inclusion through innovation and job creation. Under his leadership, Validus made significant steps towards achieving this goal. Validus has disbursed over $625 million in loan financing for SMEs across Southeast Asia and has helped boost lending in key supply chains. According to a 2018/2019 study by consultancy firm Steward Redqueen, SMEs that have received Validus funding achieved a faster growth rate of an average of 19%, as compared with 5% overall.  

Goel in his acceptance speech said, “For a company that has barely been in operation for five years, this is a big achievement for us. We have just gotten started and are growing at a breakneck pace”.

For video of the Leadership Dialogue and Leadership Achievement Awards Virtual Ceremony, please click here.

About Innovation Leadership Achievement Awards

The Asian Banker conducts the Innovation Leadership Achievement Awards every three years. It is one of our most important individual award programmes to underscore the importance of sound and visionary leadership in creating and fostering an environment and culture of innovation in individual institutions and how it can also play a pivotal role in shaping the industry.  

We seek to recognise distinguished executives whose vision, efforts, and commitment inspire and champion the innovation that are already well regarded by peers in the industry. It also

recognises leaders from banks, non-banking institutions, as well as fintechs and other organisations that provide cutting-edge customer or end-user experience and have successfully managed to disrupt the market with unique products and services. 

The programme is predicated on the following belief – “Leadership in innovation is demonstrated by the ability to execute a well communicated vision as an innovation champion, by inspiring and leading a strong team, with courage and passion in overcoming specific adversities in order to deliver a solution that has the potential to disrupt the market and achieve a strong and sustainable business performance”.

About The Asian Banker International

The Asian Banker is the region’s most authoritative provider of strategic business intelligence to the financial services community. The global research company has offices in Singapore, Malaysia, Manila, Hong Kong, Beijing, and Dubai, as well as representatives in London, New York, and San Francisco. It has a business model that revolves around three core business lines: publications, research services and forums. The company’s website is

For further information, you may get in touch with:

Mobasher Zein Kazmi 

Head of Research

Tel: (+61) 452 514 145


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