Kunal Shah Success Story: The Inspiring Journey Of Cred CEO 

Kunal Shah is a prominent figure in the Indian startup landscape, especially in the fintech sector. As the co-founder of Freecharge, he played a vital role in revolutionising digital payments in India, making them easier and more accessible to the people. Kunal Shah success story is a perfect example of how innovation and determination can transform an industry and improve people’s lives. Later, in 2018, Kunal Shah launched Cred, a popular rewards platform that allows you to use multiple credit cards to make bill payments and get cashback. 

From a philosophy graduate to the CEO of India’s leading fintech startup, let’s talk about Kunal Shah success story. But before diving into his entrepreneurial journey, let’s take a look at his career highlights.

Name Kunal Shah
Work Profile Entrepreneur, Businessman, Investor
CompanyCred, Freecharge 
Company TypeFintech
DesignationFounder, CEO Cred
Date of BirthMay 20, 1983
Birth PlaceMumbai 
Age40 years
Marital Status Married to Bhavna Shah 

Early Life and Education

Kunal Shah was born in a business-oriented family in Mumbai on May 20, 1983. Kunal Shah success story dates back to his childhood when he developed a keen interest in entrepreneurship guided by his father. To assist his father, he started working at the age of 15. He graduated with a degree in arts and philosophy from Wilson College Mumbai in 2003. Soon after completing his graduation, he started doing an MBA from the Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies in Mumbai. However, he soon left the program to devote full time to his entrepreneurial journey. 

After years of struggle and determination, he finally launched his startup, Paisaback, in 2009. This was the first step in Kunal Shah success story, setting the stage for his future triumphs. Following his success in 2010, Kunal Shah founded Freecharge along with Sandeep Tandon. Their main focus was to simplify the way people pay their bills online. However, due to some funding issues, in 2015, he sold Freecharge to Snapdeal for $450 million. 

The Success Of Cred

In 2018, Kunal Shah founded Cred to provide rewards for responsible credit card usage. Kunal Shah success story reflects his attitude and a keen eye for innovation. He found the gap in the market and brought an innovative solution by launching Cred, which provides exclusive reward points and benefits to its members. 

CRED rapidly emerged as one of India’s premier financial apps, with over 10 million downloads, facilitating approximately 20% of the nation’s credit card transactions. Kunal Shah’s innovative credit card administration strategy resonated deeply with users nationwide, and Cred became a massive success. Presently, Cred has over 25 million worthy credit members and is one of the leading fintech companies in India. The current valuation of Cred is more than $6.5 billion. 

Also, if you want to know the net worth of Lenskart CEO Piyush Bansal. Click here 

Kunal Shah Success Story: An Inspiration for Many 

Kunal Shah success story, from co-founding Freecharge to CRED CEO, serves as an example of his exceptional leadership skills and entrepreneurial spirit. His commitment to innovation helped him develop a deep understanding of consumer behaviour and market dynamics, which put him at the forefront of the Indian fintech landscape. 

Beyond his startup ventures, Kunal Shah’s commitment resonates through his diverse angel investments in over 200 companies, including notable successes like Razorpay, Unacademy, and Innov8. Apart from his success in the business world, he also excels in providing insightful perspectives on technology, business dynamics, and human psychology. He is also a motivational leader who shares his wisdom across diverse platforms such as Ted X, offering invaluable guidance to budding entrepreneurs.

Kunal Shah Investments: Helping Future Unicorns 

You will be surprised to know that the CEO of Cred has invested in more than 259 startups. Some of his major investments include:

  • Nurturev
  • Segwise
  • Neodocs
  • My muse India
  • VRO hospitality
  • On Financial AI
  • Jugyah
  • Fresh Bus 
  • Tap Invest 

Kunal Shah Controversies 

Kunal Shah success story is not complete without mentioning the ups and downs he faced during his journey. In 2021, Cred faced backlash for being overvalued and failed to reveal the exact strategy for its money-making. Moreover, the news became viral when Kunal Shah posted on his X account that “money comes from personal efforts and dedication rather than being inherited.”

During a session on Instagram, “Ask Me Anything,” Kunal Shah revealed his monthly income. He said he earns Rs. 15000 a month and will continue to do so until the company becomes profitable. He further added that he could manage this salary because he holds a significant amount from his previous company, Freecharge.

Kunal Shah Net Worth 

As of March 2021, Kunal Shah net worth is estimated to be around Rs 15000 crores, including all assets and stocks he holds from his previous and current investments. However, there is no official information about his exact net worth as he receives a minimum salary of Rs 15000 every month from Cred. Kunal Shah success story began with Paisaback in 2009, and after years of dedication, he founded CRED in 2018, revolutionising credit card payments in India.

Awards and Achievements 

Kunal Shah success story has earned him many awards and accolades, recognising his innovative contributions to the fintech and startup ecosystem. Some of his notable achievements include: 

  • Forbes India’s Leadership Award, 2015
  • Entrepreneur of the Year, 2016
  • Top 10 Innovative CEOs of India, 2017
  • Young Business Leader, 2018
  • India’s Most Admired Entrepreneur, 2019
  • Impactful Tech Leader, 2020 

Kunal Shah success story, from founding Freecharge to CEO Cred, highlights his innovative impact on India’s fintech landscape. Despite challenges, his innovative approach and commitment to excellence have earned him recognition as one of India’s top business leaders. Through Cred, he has revolutionised credit card payments and inspired countless budding entrepreneurs throughout the country. 


1. How did Kunal Shah start his entrepreneurial journey?

Ans: Kunal Shah started with Paisaback in 2009, inspired by his father’s entrepreneurial spirit.

2. What were the key milestones in Kunal Shah’s career?

Ans: Kunal Shah Co-Founded Freecharge in 2010, revolutionising digital payments. Later in 2018, he co founded CRED, a popular rewards platform for credit card users.

3. How did Cred contribute to Kunal Shah’s success story?

Ans: Cred quickly became a leading financial app with 25 million users, establishing Kunal Shah’s prominent position in the fintech landscape.

4. What challenges did Kunal Shah face during his entrepreneurial journey?

Ans: He faced criticism for Cred’s valuation and revenue strategy, and controversy arose over his disclosure of a modest income.

5. What accolades and achievements has Kunal Shah received?

Ans: Kunal Shah’s innovative contributions to the tech and startup ecosystem have earned him numerous awards, including Forbes India’s Leadership Award, Entrepreneur of the Year, and recognition as one of India’s Top 10 Innovative CEOs. These accolades highlight his significant impact on India’s fintech landscape.

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