Neil Kadagathur is Co-founder of loan facilitator Creditspring, based at Workspace’s Grand Union Studios in Ladbroke Grove, North Kensington. Creditspring offers people in the UK the opportunity to borrow money in times of need without breaking the bank. We asked him what challenges he faces as an entrepreneur, what’s on his bookshelf and his go-to spots near Grand Union Studios.
Where is home?
Boston is where I grew up, but London is definitely home now. I’ve been here for 17 years.
Initially, I moved to London after university for an internship on my Irish passport. I thought I’d only stay here for three months. Now I have a wife, children, a home – everything! I love it here, it’s a great city.
Creditspring in a nutshell?
Creditspring offers two cash advances per year at 0% interest, in return for a small monthly membership fee.
What motivated you to launch your own business?
I’ve always wanted to do something that has a positive effect. All the bad news about people getting into trouble with debt and payday loans encouraged me to leave my job in the City in credit derivatives and help people in this space.
Top tip for a fintech start-up?
Be mindful of the regulatory environment from the outset. This will make things easier as you grow – trust me. Contrary to general lean start-up mentality that you must simply get your idea out there, you can’t do that in a regulated environment. You need to map things out from the start.
Best place to celebrate a work deal?
Portobello Ristorante & Pizzeria near Grand Union Studios, aka the best pizza in London. We’ve celebrated a few deals here with team dinners.
Three words that best describe your work ethos...
I can give you two: forward progress. Every day when I wake up, I ask myself, “What can you do to move the ball a little bit forwards?” It has good compounding returns, for sure. If you do it every single day you realise you’re actually nudging something much bigger forwards over time.
Who has inspired you in life?
Bill Gates. He basically completely changed the world with Microsoft Windows and made it accessible for everyone to use computers. He did it out of nothing, made a bunch of money, and now he’s given it all away making another huge impact on the world by fighting malaria and improving education.
Worst work habit?
Sometimes I try to push too many things at once and I need to step back a little bit and let people do their thing.
If you were Mayor of London for the day, what would you do?
Open up all the communal gardens and – definitely! – put air conditioning on the tube.
What’s the greatest challenge you’ve faced as an entrepreneur?
Well, the odds are always against you as an entrepreneur: 95% of start-ups fail. I knew I would face challenges from the start, but you need to go in every day knowing that the odds are against you and still keep pushing. You have to have faith that you can succeed. It brings out the best in entrepreneurial spirit.
Go-to spot near Grand Union Studios?
We all go to an Italian restaurant called Panella for lunch. It’s really good! Also, our go-to pub is called The Eagle. It’s a good old-school London pub down the road from us. A few other companies from Workspace go there too, which is nice.
What’s on your bookshelf?
High Output Management by Andy Grove. Every entrepreneur should read it. And Principles by Ray Dalio – it’s about the principles he uses to run the world’s biggest hedge fund. It serves as a really good entrepreneurial grounding.
Would you like to find out what Grand Union Studios could do for your business? To have a look at what’s on offer, find out more about the stunning modern development in Ladbroke Grove. Or if you'd like to check out the other buildings in the Ladbroke Grove area, see what Westbourne Studios, Pall Mall Deposit, The Shaftesbury Centre, and Canalot Studios have to offer.