We’re thrilled to introduce you to some of the remarkable talents behind Klarna’s success. Kicking off our series is our Lead of the Year from our recent Smoooth Week annual conference in Stockholm. A true trailblazer in our Klarna family, discover Arvind’s inspiring journey and insights below.
Hey Arvind! Please can you tell us a bit about your team at Klarna?
Hello! Of course, our group is called the Global Consumer Credit Risk and the teams are spread out across the world including Stockholm, London, Milan, Berlin and New York. We are responsible for all lending decisions at Klarna including managing credit losses. Our group consists of lots of amazing people including credit analytics, data scientists, product managers and engineers.
What does your day-to-day work look like?
Problems solving, writing documents, stand-ups and weekly tacticals. I spend a lot of time on customer case reviews as I always believe the best processes are built by solving problems of one customer at a time!
What inspired you to come and work at Klarna?
While working at American Express, I was inspired by Klarna’s innovative approach to solving customer’s needs, whether it was finding great deals through its extensive merchant network or providing interest free short term credit facility. It was fascinating to see consumer adoption of Klarna’s products across the globe, especially in the US, where very limited cost effective lending options existed in a broader segment of the marketplace. I wanted to be part of this transformation in the consumer finance space rather than just observing from the sidelines. When the opportunity came by, I grabbed it with two hands!
Can you describe working at Klarna in 3 words?
Passionate, creative and customer centric.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a Pilot flying airplanes. I used to sit on the balcony of my apartment in Mumbai looking at the airlines flying over and hoping one day I would fly them. I instead did engineering, worked on constructing dams in the early part of my career and then switched to consumer finance.
What do you love most about your job?
We are reinventing the way consumer finance should work in the interest of the consumer and merchant. Consumers should make everyday purchases using the money they have in the bank account and occasionally, for larger purchases, use short term credit payment options. This philosophy is at the heart of how we have designed our credit underwriting process, and not surprisingly we have been able to steer the risk in our portfolios in a very fast and effective manner which most other lenders would be unable to accomplish (more than 40% reduction in credit losses in less than a year!). I love the speed of decision making at Klarna, agility in implementing new concepts, and customer obsession in developing products and services.
What are you working on at the moment?
Our goal in credit risk is to make sure we deliver on the best in class experience when customers use the Klarna payment method. We want the experience to be smoooth and consistent while ensuring that the outcomes do not come as a surprise to the customer. We are building on the strengths of our real-time underwriting capability while transforming our credit infrastructure to build in customer centricity in every step of our lending decision. We will accomplish this while keeping in mind our global product offering across more than 20 markets.
What’s your biggest accomplishment to date?
Being part of the group that helped steer the company toward profitability by reducing losses by more than 40% while still helping the company grow by more than 15% in H1 2023.
Congratulations on your recent win, what did you do to win the lead of the year award?
I am humbled to have been considered for such a coveted award so early in my tenure at Klarna. I feel satisfied that Klarnauts have embraced me as a colleague and a leader in the credit risk space while helping me define the scope and future of credit within Klarna. We are clear on the direction we want to take in the coming years and I am happy for being recognized in shaping the future vision.
What is the best thing about being a team lead at Klarna?
Being part of highly talented and motivated colleagues who will not stop at anything short of delivering excellence.
If you could have 3 dinner guests, who would you pick and why?
- Roger Federer
- Sachin Tendulkar
- Nassim Taleb
Federer and Sachin have been my sports icons over the years, and Taleb taught me, through his book ‘Fooled by Randomness’, how to think about data, patterns and causality.
What’s your favourite purchase you’ve ever made using Klarna?
I bought a bracelet for my wife on our anniversary using Pay in 3. My wife and children are also big fans of Klarna!
Who is your role model?
My mentor from my previous employer under whom I worked for over 15 years learning about various aspects of consumer finance.
What’s your favourite Klarna memory?
Smoooth week, I have never ever experienced anything so electric in my previous work life!