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One to One: Pradeep Raman, chief executive, Dwell Mortgages

Raman-Pradeep-Dwell-Mortgages-2015-edit

A proposition as a ‘part-human, part-machine’ fee-free online broker, ironing out inefficiencies in the user journey – and building a happy new life in the UK

Dwell Mortgages is a recent entrant to the market. What can you tell us about your proposition?
We’ve put the modern consumer at the heart of everything. Our tech is designed to bring optimal and compliant automation to the mortgage process.

We’ve brought key information into our user journey at the relevant stages and ironed out the inefficient ‘creases’ in that experience.

We believe intelligent technology coupled with a human expert is the key to building an efficient, reliable journey for consumers who increasingly want to make informed decisions and then have those decisions sense checked by an adviser – not just click a few buttons on a phone with no real advice before borrowing huge amounts of money.

What can the market expect to see from Dwell this year?
A lot of our value is in the underlying tech that drives our service.

Without giving away how it works, a huge amount of market and user data is constantly fed into our algorithm and that helps us to continuously improve our customer outcomes.

That is part of the business model itself; it’s never complete. User outcomes are great at the moment but we strive to get it perfect.

Ultimately, we are building a user journey based on convenience, transparency and speed.

If you were not in your current role, what would you like to be doing?
Venture capital. For five years before starting Dwell I was in VC, initially at Piton Capital and then at Forward Partners.

Being an entrepreneur or working with entrepreneurs are the only two things that excite me, career-wise.

As a child, what was your dream job?
To be Indian cricketer and team captain Sachin Tendulkar.

You don’t even need to be a cricket fan to understand that carrying the hopes of a billion people every time you step out onto a pitch and still delivering phenomenal results is just a stunning achievement.

Do you have any secret talents?
I’m a pretty decent artist. Some of my works still hang in the Engineering building at the University of Auckland, where I did my undergraduate degree.

I’m not sure if that qualifies as a total secret but I’m definitely proud of it.

What are your hobbies?
Gym, movies, hanging out with my four-month-old son. I also breed discus fish – an Amazonian variety that’s notoriously hard to keep.

What is the best advice you have received?
You can’t win if you don’t play. It seems such a clichéd and simple concept but taking part really is the key to life.

Winning is great, but getting involved and making yourself count is such a big part of getting the most out of life.

Who is your all-time hero, and why?
No single person. There are a lot of people I take inspiration from.

My mom, for her enterprising nature. Jim Carrey, for his ability to make people laugh and think at the same time. Steve Jobs, for his passion. Sadhguru, for his wisdom. Indian cricket captain Dhoni, for his leadership. It’s a long list.

What is the toughest decision you’ve ever had to make?
Leaving my home and family in New Zealand to move to the UK was really hard but necessary at the time, and I haven’t regretted it. Fast-forward eight years and London is now home to my young family, and we love it here.

If you were chancellor for a day, what would you do?
Reverse the recent changes to stamp duty.

Buying a second home is one thing, but landlords provide a vital function in the economy and, fundamentally, homes for those who do not want to or cannot buy their own property.

Suddenly announcing an extra 3 per cent levy on all additional purchases is too blunt a tool to tackle a complex issue.

COMPANY PROFILE

Year established: 2016
Headcount: 7
Address (co-working space):
The Trampery Republic, 9th Floor
Anchorage House, 2 Clove Crescent
London E14 2BE
Tel: Users contact Dwell via its website and get a callback from a mortgage expert
Web: www.dwellmortgages.com

HISTORY
Dwell launched last year after spotting a gap in the market for a digital mortgage broker, following months of consumer research and tech building.

It brands its proposition as a ‘part-human, part-machine’ fee-free online broker.

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