HashChing CEO details “total refresh strategy”

by Madison Utley26 Jun 2019

Several weeks ago, digital mortgage marketplace HashChing experienced an executive shakeup that saw both founder and CEO Mandeep Sodhi and COO Siobhan Hayden abruptly step down from their roles, among other members of the senior team.

Yesterday, new CEO Arun Maharaj shared his vision for where the company will go next with Australian Broker.

“We’re launching a total refresh strategy for HashChing. The focus isn’t going to be on just getting a home loan. It will be on other things now as well,” he explained.

Currently, the focus is being directed towards diversification. At the moment, HashChing provides a single white label zero-deposit home loan, but is looking to expand its offerings into the SME, asset finance, property and construction loan spaces.   

However, HashChing is also looking to diversify its audience and the professionals who utilise the service. 

Maharaj explained, “The idea for the future is to enlarge our distribution through other intermediaries, like accountants, legal firms, product providers, the actual leads themselves. A lot of the products all these people require, we will offer. It’ll be a true marketplace in that sense.

“It could be that an accountant has a client who’s looking for a small business loan. Our platform will make it easier because the client will be able to see what the accountant’s doing, the products being offered and get constant feedback from the accountant,” he added.

The revamped HashChing is also positioning itself to complement the CRMs made available to brokers through their aggregators, which provide support for mortgage applications once they’ve already been filled. Instead, the digital mortgage marketplace will drill down and flesh out their lead management tools for the pre-application process.

According to Maharaj, “Before, HashChing never went down that path, because HashChing only wanted brokers to manage their HashChing leads, which meant brokers weren’t seeing any value out of the service. Now allowing brokers to consolidate all their leads into the one platform has had a great response.

“The founders and the previous management focused more on what HashChing was set up for. They probably saw the value of all this, but never really thought they could turn and sell it as a solution. Then, to put products on there and to tell the mortgage brokers, ‘Hey look, you’re using the CRM. How about you click on this button and see all these different products we offer as well?’”

According to the CEO, focusing on increasing revenue has helped take the urgency out of the fundraising struggle HashChing has experienced of late.

“We’ve cut a lot of costs. The funding was really for those costs, and I think we’ve managed to contain that and we’re much better about focusing on the revenues of the platform,” said Maharaj.

However, he went on to confirm that fundraising is “going to be something to look at in the coming months for sure.”

In 2018, HashChing was granted a $700,000 loan from Jobs for NSW at an annual interest rate of 9.2% to be used towards the creation of 46 new jobs.

As part of the standard terms and conditions, Jobs for NSW placed a general security over the current and future assets of the business.

A Department of Industry spokesperson told Australian Broker, “Jobs for NSW is working with the company as it manages the transition of its management team.”

Maintaining that HashChing has a “good relationship” with Jobs for NSW, Maharaj said, “We have told them our strategy, what’s going to happen, and they’re very excited.”

However, he didn't confirm how many of the 46 new team members have been recruited to date.

While he admitted that the firm's recent leadership transition has been “overhwleming,” Maharaj remains optimistic about the future of HashChing.

“At the moment, we’ve got people coming back in droves, and a lot of people who are actually [joining] because they see the value in the CRM for the pre-lead management stage. They are happy to have different products. They know the brand.”

He concluded, “They know that things go through changes, and they agree that this is for the better.”