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  • Writer's picturePradnya Punekar

Inspiring story of a mortgage advisor turned into entrepreneur offering tailored mortgage services

Meet this Entrepreneur from London,UK. A mortgage advisor turned into a successful entrepreneur offering tailored mortgage services in UK, UAE and India. Read her secret to securing 250 customers in a short span.

We all know that, “Home is where love resides, memories are created, friends and family belong and laughter never ends”. This year has made us realize the importance of “Home” and we are all craving for the warmth of our extended family and friends which has gone missing from our home. But with a strong faith and hope in heart we continue to create memories in our home.

And if it is our “DREAM HOME” it is all the more special for us. A Dream Home is a common dream we all dream of everyday and wish that it turns into reality someday. While some may dream of a vintage home in the countryside, others may dream of owning a contemporary home amidst the heart of the city. The mere thought of a “Dream Home” takes us into a different world altogether and we envision ourselves swinging into a dream land which is our own for a lifetime. Some envision it with an antique style library, while some with a swimming pool, for some a home is a cozy fireplace, for some a lovely kitchen overlooking a beautiful garden, for some the French windows are a must haves and for some all they need is a river flowing by the side of their home.

Owning a Dream Home comes attached with financial commitment and never ending paperwork, and for most people mortgage is the biggest financial commitment. Hence everyone looks for the best deal. Especially with the current uncertainty securing a good deal now could mean enjoying low rates in the long term. The entire process sometimes also drags us away from experiencing the sheer happiness of owning our dream home. But meet this entrepreneur from London who is carving the “Dream Home” experience to be one the of the most memorable and hassle free for her customers. Meet Renuka Phadke from London, Founder of V R Mortgage Solutions Ltd. She carries a rich banking experience for over a decade and has previously worked with leading global banks such Santander and leading brokerage firm John charcol.

Renuka is a first generation entrepreneur and has proudly built V R Mortgage Solutions Ltd with immense dedication and hard work, and has laid a strong foundation which recognizes and considers the reality of this world, that every independent professional is different and every mortgage is different, that’s why V R Mortgage Solutions Ltd services are always made to measure handmade by Renuka’s expert knowledge and her specialized skills in the field of mortgages. She is committed towards serving customers with their unique needs and strives for personalized engagement with her customers, providing unbiased advice and building lasting relationships.

V R Mortgage Solutions Ltd provides free advice on residential, buy to let, company buy to let mortgages & also on Life insurances. She is also the co-owner of V R Wills Ltd, which was founded this year in June 2020 with an aim to help customers protect their assets and offer services in this area. V R Wills Ltd also provides services for Estate planning and asset protection.

V R Mortgage solutions Ltd was founded in Jan 2017 and within a span of 4 years Renuka has served and secured 250 customers across UK, India and UAE. She envisions to expand and grow V R Mortgage Solutions Ltd to a level where each county in UK will be assigned with a dedicated mortgage advisor from V R Mortgage Solutions Ltd.

I had a wonderful and inspiring conversation with Renuka, on a cold autumn morning in London and the colorful autumn leaves added more color to our conversation.

As our conversation progressed I could visualize big dreams in her eyes and confidence in her voice. As she shared her future plans about the growth, I asked her what inspired and motivated her to start her own business?

It is said that challenges are sent to us for a reason, it was true in Renuka’s case as well. While she was working with Santander she faced various challenges, those challenges forced her to look at her career differently and rethink her career plans. As we were conversing she took a short pause and with pride in her voice she shared this incident which changed her life completely and every since then she hasn’t looked back. “I was working with Santander, Santander through its bank was not offering any mortgage products for investment properties and I was losing customers. I knew there were many other lenders and banks in the market who were offering a range of products through brokers. There was no real difference between being a mortgage broker and employed as a mortgage advisor with a bank. Hence, I was contemplating joining my previous employer John Charcol who are the leading brokers in the market. That's when my husband convinced and pushed me to become my own boss. As usual I was skeptical as I do not come from a business family nor does my husband. He persuaded me to try for 1 year and see how things go and convinced me that after 1 year I will have the option of going back to employment with a bank if things didn’t work out, but ever since then I’ve not looked back”, she says with a smile on her face.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with THE FIRST STEP”

Like many other first generation entrepreneurs Renuka too had never ending questions, doubts, initial regrets as she began on her entrepreneurial journey. She recalls that there were days she doubted her dream and reapplied for jobs. One of the biggest factors which plays a crucial role in the entrepreneurial journey and is the biggest challenge faced by all entrepreneurs is, losing your predicted monthly salary and lack of constant cash flow into your bank account, and the uncertainty which comes along brings anxiety and pressure. It teaches us that once we begin an entrepreneurial journey, we need to learn to embrace the financial uncertainty. Similarly after Renuka quit her job she didn’t have her predicted salary too, and that made her anxious and scared. But she convinced herself, took a firm stand and decided to begin her entrepreneurial journey and give her best shot. She continued her hard work and efforts and didn’t let her anxiety stop her from doing what needed to be done to set up her business and get her first customer.

She shares this incident with us, “During the initial days, honestly I prayed a lot and questioned myself, blaming my husband and being scared as there was no income flowing. There were days, I also spent time updating my CV to apply for the jobs. Sitting at home and wondering what I was doing. I hated being at home. What I realized is that experience is the best teacher”, she says.

Alongside, Renuka initiated the process of setting up her own company. UK being heavily regulated it took her around three months to get the authorization for trading. She recalls an incident, “Applying for authorization also involves providing forecasts for the business, so I worked with my accountant towards the forecast and built a business plan. While I was awaiting authorization I worked on getting the logo sorted for the company, a laptop & a printer. Once I received the authorization I opened the bank account, ordered my business cards and set up my website, I even bought a fancy box to keep all my expense receipts”.

“Start where you are, use what you have and do what you can to GROW"

As she progressed with her entrepreneurial journey, she had many doubts but she was determined to serve her customers with dedication and provide the best advice which will fetch them great results in the long term. After the first initial steps her focus now was on growing her business, she joined many entrepreneur communities such as BNI network, women in business, cuppa network and OMPEG in London, to network and understand the entrepreneur journey. Amidst various entrepreneur communities, there is one entrepreneur community which played an important role and acted as a catalyst in her entrepreneurial journey and that community is OMPEG entrepreneur community based in London. From getting her the first customer to constantly supporting and guiding her through the journey, OMPEG community has extended its support selflessly. She recalls securing her first customer and their happy and smiling faces brought along sheer happiness for her, and that moment instilled more confidence in her to progress in her entrepreneurial journey.

“We don’t grow when things are easy, we grow when we face CHALLENGES”.

Every entrepreneur faces millions of challenges and when you are a first generation entrepreneur the challenge double and sometimes may seem overwhelming. The first challenge every entrepreneur faces is “no cash flow” during the initial days. Renuka faced a similar challenge but she decided to take one step at a time and she overcame the challenges at every stage with a never give up attitude.

Also she had to wait for months to get approval for her website, and she had invested a large amount of money in building the website. The entire process was time consuming and few of her family and friends advised her to get back to work. But she took a step back and revoked her strategy and plan. “What I learnt is…. taking a step back and planning always helps to rediscover and start afresh”, she says.

She took a practical approach and relooked at her expenses. “1st thing I did was look at my outgoings and see where I can save by cutting the costs. I decided to take my website down, which was a very hard decision”, she says.

Advice to Entrepreneurs in Renuka’s own words

“Believe in what you want to do, do not stop trying, be extremely honest with your efforts. Having a negative experience is a good thing, as it gives perspective to success and eventually when you learn to say NO which can be difficult initially but eventually when do it, it gives you brutal determination and courage. Do not get disappointed when people or relatives try to frighten you, but have discipline and always take a step back, contemplate and start afresh. Discipline is key”.

Know more about Renuka and how she keeps herself inspired through tough times

How do you keep yourself motivated through difficult times- Keeping oneself motivated also comes through experience and one learns a lot as difficult time gives you the feeling of being limited. Reading the feedback from the customers, taking time out and going for the walk, watching Friends (tele series). Knowing what you want to achieve and what you have achieved till now keeps me motivated.

What is your business philosophy– Honesty & Integrity are my business philosophy

When I face a big challenge- I look at ways to mitigate by doing research and reaching out to the relevant people.

My greatest fear is – Fear of failure.

The most courageous thing I’ve ever done is- Quit my well paid job to start my own business

If I could go back in time to when I was 20 I would tell myself – Discover what you really want to do not what others expect out of you.

The biggest lesson I have ever learned is- learning to say NO and being comfortable with it.

My favourite business tool or resource is – My experience.

My favourite quote is- My Baba and Abba (my grandfather ) always kept saying to me that the key to enduring success is having a strong foundation of basics.

"Testimonials describe what has been, and are a promise of what is to come"

We wish Renuka and V R Mortgage Solutions Ltd heaps of success.

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