The Five Minute Interview with Anuj Nehra, Managing Director, Oblix Capital
By Tony Sanchez
Oblix Capital provides bespoke short-term bridging and development finance, for both residential and commercial properties, throughout England and Wales.
Their aim is to make quick decisions, whilst remaining approachable, flexible and completely transparent. We speak to managing director, Anuj Nehra:
What is the best thing about being in the bridging/development finance business?
Prior to joining Oblix Capital, a provider of bridging and development finance, my background was in specialist mortgages (commercial and residential).
There are many similarities primarily in the origination side but at the same time this is a very specialist sector that meets the requirement of astute business people requiring short to medium term finance.
Since 2008, innovative solutions have emerged, for example FinTech and structured funding options.
With these the industry can now present a credible alternative to the main and traditional suppliers of liquidity.
The regulator is keen to broaden the supply of capital so this is an exciting place to be in, as a lot is happening.
What keeps you focused?
The desire to succeed, not just at work, but in life. As I have grown in experience one learns to focus on the controllables and the bigger perspective.
Having said that seeing the results of hard work and happy colleagues is a strong motivator for me. It may sound a bit hippy but a bit of mindfulness helps as well!
What qualities do you look for in your employees or colleagues?
Over the years I can see that the ones that do the best are self motivators with the right degree of confidence and combine good technical and relationship skills – you know the ones who are there ensuring the job is done at the end of the day.
It is not easy to distinguish these qualities at the interview stage though, but I find that shared values in work and life are a good indicator.
Are you an optimist or a pessimist?
I am definitely an optimist but with a healthy degree of scepticism! It does bring one back to reality when it doesn’t go as planned, but with so much going on in the world optimism is a good way to be.
My mantra is focus on the positives and the rest will follow!
What did you want to be as a child?
A cricketer. That was all I wanted to do, to play cricket all day long.
What will be the greatest challenge facing the bridging and development finance industry in the coming months?
In the short to medium term, the current economic uncertainty following Brexit is a challenge for the whole country and for the industry, as available liquidity becomes more cautious.
However, this is also a good opportunity for established industry players to raise their game. There are also challenges posed by the new entrants with deep pockets, like the challenger banks, market place lenders, some of whom have origins in the specialist finance industry and are bringing a new approach that will shape the market in the future.
Who or what makes you laugh?
I see humour in everyday life situations – especially sharing experiences with friends and family.
My children, television shows like Benidorm, and Peter Kay, helps me to unwind and laugh at the end of a long day.
Do you dread Monday mornings?
I use the weekend to put things into perspective, by ignoring work as much as possible.
By the end I have a pretty good picture of what I want to get out of the week ahead – so no I don’t dread Mondays but look forward to starting the new week fresh and ready to go.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I wouldn’t want to change anything, having said that I wouldn’t mind some grey hair (although my wife doesn’t agree)!
With whom would you most like to have dinner?
This is a great question and the most challenging one to answer. There are so many people I can think of – sports personalities, politicians, the list really does go on.
I have a deep interest in history and if I were allowed to go back in time, it would have to be as a historical figure, so that I could understand how these people changed the world by their actions.