On this episode of Bridging The Gap, Matt is joined by Rohit Agarwal, innovative entrepreneur and Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Sora Finance.
Rohit begins by sharing his journey, his fascination with life events, and how his diverse career has shaped his passion for making a positive impact and improving the human condition.
Rohit then dives into the problem of Americans being taken advantage of when it comes to debt, which he shares is part of what led to the creation of Sora Finance. His platform offers a credit management solution and debt optimization to support financial advisors and RIAs in working with their clients.
Rohit also discusses the potential of generative AI in tasks like proposal creation and communication, and how he lives that technology should augment financial advisors and automate time-consuming tasks rather than replace human advisors completely.
Rohit Agarwal Bio:
Rohit Agarwal lives in San Francisco with his wife, Candice, and two daughters, Anjali (4) and Anika (2). He is currently the co-founder and co-CEO of Sora Finance, a fintech company providing liability optimization as a service to financial advisors. Previously, Rohit was the Head of Kiva USA where he was responsible for all lending across the country to small businesses. Rohit also worked as a consultant in McKinsey & Company’s San Francisco office and is the former Generation USA CEO, a job training program for unemployed youth. Additionally, Rohit was a public high school teacher in Harlem, NY via the Teach For America program and spent two years as an investment banker with Banc of America Securities. In terms of education, Rohit holds the following:
- JD from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law
- MBA from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management
- Bachelors in Economics from Emory University
Timestamps From This Episode
[00:02:01] Rohit shares how wanted to be a soccer player at 13 but became more interested in business since he was influenced by his parents’ medical background and his father’s small business. He shares that he was also interested in politics and learned leadership through running his own business.
[00:03:52] Rohit discusses how his career has been characterized by curiosity, switching sectors, and a focus on impact. The problem of Americans being taken advantage of with debt led to the creation of a new venture called Sora, which aimed to be a platform similar to Betterment, but for managing debt. The idea came together while working at Kiva.
[00:07:10] Rohit shares that Sora Finance offers a credit management solution for financial advisors, providing tools for client onboarding, analytics, and loan execution. They differentiate themselves from rate aggregators by prioritizing client interests, providing a white glove service, and avoiding spam communications.
[00:12:46] Rohit talks through the challenges of acquiring advisors for their software platform.
[00:16:19] Rohit shares his opinions on how robo advisors won’t take over and the RIA segment will grow. Millennials want human advisors. Tech can automate tasks. Specialized companies may need to integrate or struggle to survive, and the venture market is tough.
[00:19:22] Rohit shares how he became more interested in hiring a human financial advisor after having kids, believing that money matters are emotional and complicated. He also discuss their company’s business model focusing on home loans and the importance of having both technology and human interaction for clients.
[00:22:38] Rohit shares that the focus is on advisors being part of the mortgage experience, with potential use cases for generative AI in proposal creation and saving time, while predictive AI is more trusted and used for previous data analysis.
[00:26:10] Rohit shares that the company wants to expand into enterprise customers and improve software through more advisors and clients. They may offer innovative financial products in the future.
[00:29:17] Rohit shares this actionable takeaway: “Be open to trying new things, even if it’s uncomfortable.”
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About the Show
Bridging the Gap is a financial podcast hosted by CEO Matt Reiner focused on bringing together leaders from the finance and the technology industries to focus on innovating the financial services industry.