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We are one of the leading digital payment platforms for online & offline: Upasana Taku

In an interaction with Retailer media, Upasana Taku, co-founder, MobiKwik shares the USP of MobiKwik.

Tags: MobiKwik, Start-up, CoD, Demonetization

BY Joyshree Saha  |  December 03, 2016  |  comments ( 0 )  | 

Upasana Taku

Tell us about your entrepreneurial journey.

In 2009, Bipin Preet Singh, my husband was at a crucial stage in his career, where he had to decide whether to spend on further education or not. He had two options; one to invest in MBA and other to start his  own business. Entrepreneurship fascinated him since he was studying at IIT and seemed a natural choice. Entrepreneurship has not been easy. When we started, there were many new areas that we had  to learn about and explore. For instance, being a technology professional, my husband was never exposed to business development or legal or finance functions, and was just engrossed in coding and developing products. Within the first few months, he spent time  acquiring these much needed skills and learning about the payments ecosystem. It would be true to say that  learning never ends for an entrepreneur. As we grew, marketing and human resources became equally important and I learnt  these areas. There was also a lot of learning from the errors we made, in product or business development or hiring.

Then I joined as a co-founder in 2009 and we bootstrapped for the first 3 years. Till now, MobiKwik has received three rounds of funding. The journey has been wonderful. Along the way, we realised the potential of MobiKwik in serving unbanked and under banked. With a vision to promote financial inclusion, we launched cash loading for our wallet and became the only mobile wallet in India to  offer cash pick up and cash deposit. We have also launched m-gullak, a special initiative for urban poor that helps them save as little as 2 rupees a day for their mobile recharges and other expenses. They can also transfer this money to their family and friends.

Thus, MobiKwik was founded in 2009, with a vision to digitise and simplify payments for mobile recharges. The idea was conceived on the background of the fact that in 2009, even for a Rs. 10 recharge, one had to visit a nearby shop and make the payment. In the age of technology and digitisation, India was still paying primitively. MobiKwik significantly changed this scenario by introducing online recharges and bill payments for both mobile phones and DTH, and subsequently we introduced merchant payments, for both online and offline. We officially received the license from RBI to launch our wallet in 2013 and there has been no looking back since. We have been growing at the rate of 250 per cent year on year. Today, MobiKwik is accepted by over 250000 merchants and is trusted by 40 million users.

We have a vision to make MobiKwik payments ubiquitous in India, and this will soon become a reality as we are launching virtual credit cards. This technology will make MobiKwik an accepted payment method wherever a credit card is accepted. The next chapter of growth for MobiKwik will be driven solely by innovation and as the founder, I am excited about the initiatives that we have planned for the next few years, with the vision and the determination to transform India into a cashless nation.

What Is the USP of your brand?

We are a digital payments solution provider and fulfill payment needs across platforms for our users. In a nutshell, users can pay their phone, data and DTH connection bills, electricity bills, gas bills, insurance premiums etc. at MobiKwik. At the same time, they can pay using MobiKwik, both online and offline across 250000 merchants pan India.

One of the leading digital payments platforms for online and offline merchants, MobiKwik is powering payments for IRCTC, Uber, Meru Cabs, Big Bazaar, OYO Rooms, Zomato, PVR, Archies, WHSmith India, BookMyShow, Grofers, Big Basket, Domino's, Burger King, Pizza Hut, eBay, ShopClues, Myntra, Jabong, Pepperfry, Barista, Food Panda, nearbuy, Van Heusen, Allen Solly, Louis Phillipe, GoDaddy, MakeMyTrip, Cleartrip, and Yatra among others.

We have the simplest UI, a robust security network and  the only wallet that offers cash loading in the wallet. Once registered, users can load money in their wallet through net banking, credit or debit card and cash. Cash loading is available at 100000 outlets across 10000 cities and users can request for cash pick up in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Surat and Jaipur.

What is your business model? How do you deal with distribution?

MobiKwik facilitates payments happen across sectors and we take a small fee, upto 2 per cent to do the same. However, in the current times of demonetisation, where as an Indian wallet company it’s our responsibility to promote the adoption of digital wallet transactions in India, we have 0 per cent TDR and 0 per cent bank transfer fee.

Our network is spread across the length and breadth of the country.

While number of consumers opting for e-commerce apps is increasing, how was the initial response for you?

Initially when we started in 2009, we solved a real issue. People realised that it is convenient to recharge their phone and pay bills from home than  travelling to a shop. From there, the model has evolved  to now replace cash, be it paying for vegetables or making donations in a temple, or eating out in a restaurant, all can be done with MobiKwik.  Now we have 40 million users.

How much growth do you see in this industry?

The potential of wallet industry as a whole is enormous. With demonetisation, the industry has already grown manifold within this month and will further grow undoubtedly and realise its true potential by next year or sooner.

Put some light on the investment front?

We have raised three rounds of funding from Sequoia Capital, American Express, Tree Line Asia, MediaTek, GMO Payment Gateway, Cisco Investments and Net1

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