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Andy Mukherjee

Tech Is Collecting Loans It Helped Create

India’s booming digital-lending business is stoking demand for a new breed of startups even as the global outlook deteriorates.

Credit bonanza.

Credit bonanza.

Photographer: Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg

It is becoming something of a post-pandemic mantra in India: A lender whose portfolio of unsecured retail loans is not increasing by 50% annually is simply not trying hard enough.

All kinds of bank and nonbank lenders are heaping credit on household balance sheets even though the consumer economy is fragile: A tiny minority that can afford luxury goods is in great financial shape, but low-income earners, especially outside large cities, are struggling with two-wheeler purchases and smartphone upgrades.