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Vishal Rupela, founder of Uniko Capital, on how he set up his loans business and grew it into a household name

If you ask Vishal Rupela, founder of Uniko Capital, how he built the company, he would tell you it was by working night and day. Literally.

Vishal arrived in Sydney 14 years ago and moved to Melbourne six years ago. His first job in Australia was at retail store Clive Peeters selling computers. “I loved meeting new people,” he says. After that, Vishal worked his way up to business developement and then business management in the automotive industry. It was then that he decided to start his company Uniko Capital.

Vishal says he did not have the luxury of leaving his job and devoting his time in setting up the business. “I set up this business at night, working every night till 1AM, while working a full-time job during the day. I did that for four months. I wanted to make sure I was confident before I could leave my decent income job. Like any small business, it has its ups and downs. While running the business, the only aim is to make sure I can provide good healthy environment to my family and friends,” he says.

“It is a bit of a task to set up your own business, starting from coming up with a name, logo etc all the way to settling

yourself in so you can pay your bills and support your family,” says Vishal. “I have had huge support from people around me and I am thankful to them. Uniko Capital is a sole venture and we specialise in helping small businesses save money and grow through commercial lending.”

Given a choice, would he work or run a business? “Work and business have their pros and cons. Personally, running my own business gives me extra flexibility around kids and so forth. My two lovely daughters were the biggest inspiration for me to start my own business. I am really thankful to god that I can spend some time with my family when I want to.”

Vishal talks to The Indian Sun about the property and loans market.

Tell us about your customer base.

Uniko Capital is slowly becoming a household name in the commercial world. We specialise in small businesses’ commercial lending. More than 95% of our customer base is commercial that includes financing business vehicles, trucks, equipment and assets. We have also been helping people in arranging residential loans. Some of the other products that we offer are personal loans and business loans. With changes in the dynamics of loan application processes, there is high chance of being short in terms of house deposits; this is where personal loans come in handy. If a small business needs a bit of help with cash-flow, we are able to provide them with business loans in that instance. We have been very successful so far in delivering seamless experience to our clients with quick turn-around times and mostly with no requirement of confusing financial paperwork.

We are a solution-based finance company. We have helped numerous businesses grow by tweaking their financial arrangements that included re-financing their current assets and arranging a business loan for them at the same time. This helps them reduce their monthly liabilities, ease-up their cash-flow and gives them an opportunity to expand their business further by investing that extra cash in the right direction.

Our client base is spread out all over Australia. We have clients in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane and even In Darwin.

Your thoughts on the current property market?

The current property market is moving away from being stagnant. We have already seen some activity out there. I think for first home buyers, there has never been a better time to buy but they need to hurry before it’s too late. The property market graph has already shown upward trend in the last quarter. This turnaround in Australian property market is stronger than expected.

How about car loans?

We are the largest car and truck loan specialists in the country. Car/asset loans give you the flexibility to maximise your tax deductions and allow you to spend your hard earned cash towards investments where it appreciates rather than using it for a depreciating asset such as car. In this day and age, rates depend upon various factors related to an individual’s scenario. The best case scenario can be as low as 3.75% for a car.

Any predictions for 2020? Boom or bust?

House prices are expected to grow over 2020/21 across all our capital cities. The combination of lower interest rates, easing lending serviceability buffers and increased consumer sentiments will bring more buyers into the market. Growth in prices will also gain more confidence in sellers and the stock levels will rise. On the other hand, Reserve bank is working towards decreasing the unemployment that will also have an impact on the property prices.

Tell us some basic rules for a first home buyer. What should a family do to procure their first home loan to buy their first home?

Buying a first home is an exciting phase for everyone’s life and you want to make sure you have someone who is there for you along the way so the whole experience is pleasant. Some basic rules for a first home buyer are: If you are buying a house in Victoria that costs under $600,000, there is no stamp duty component. Anything beyond 600K mark will attract stamp duty. If you are the first occupier of a new home, you get 10,000 dollars (in the metropolitan area) and $20,000 (in the regional area) grant from the government. Government costs in general are very low for the first home buyer.

It is always a good idea to have 20% deposit in hand because it does not attract a lender’s mortgage insurance, whether you save up or have some help from family in terms of gift. It also gives you a bit more relaxed lending policy and cheaper rates. Otherwise, you should have at the very least 5% deposit plus costs. More than 10% deposit is great because the LMI is very generous. In the LMI territory, financial institutions start to look at credit scores too.

It is never advisable to apply for any credit until you really need it. Having a small credit card doesn’t do much harm. Although credit card transactions, pay-back on time and so forth can help improve your credit score yet we can’t just rely on that. One thing we can definitely advise is to try and stay away from afterPay or anything like that. Having such credit relationships can have a significant impact on the borrowing capacity. Multiple loan applications can affect the credit decisions made by lenders. Please try and contact your broker before putting in any application as such.

The relationship between income and the amount of loan really depends upon an individual’s circumstances. There are so many factors involved such as expenses, no. of dependents, existing commitments etc. It also depends upon the lender your situation best matches to as every lender has its own way to calculate serviceability.

It is important to research the market, to see what the property is actually worth. Most properties in Victoria are sold through auctions and it can be daunting for a first home buyer. My advice would be to attend some auctions beforehand to gain confidence, to get the hang of it and see how it works. It is a no brainer to get your loan pre-approved so you can buy property at auction with confidence. Engage a conveyancer in the early stages to look over the contract. Last but not the least, building and pest inspection is something we should not avoid getting done. It is money well spent to get some insights of the property.

A few of my favourite things

  • Favourite book: Not a huge reader; but probably my favourite – “The Secret”
  • Favourite quote: If you help someone succeed, you will not be far behind them. – anonymous
  • Hottest location for property investment in Melbourne: Werribee
  • Your hang out in Melbourne: I love a nice brunch with my friends; So any nice café in the inner city suburbs.
  • Best holiday destination: So far, GOA, India. Yet to discover many.
  • Community Work: Not many people know this about me but I am heavily involved in community work/charity. I sponsor kids’ education at my friend’s school back home. At the minute, there are four kids that I pay for and I want to grow this number. My dream is to have the whole school providing free education to the kids whose parents can’t afford to send them to school. This is a commitment I have made to myself that I want to keep giving back to the community till my last breath.

 

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