Why I’m joining Bharti Airtel
Some thinking behind my decision
First things first, the last four years at PayU India have been the best of my career. I joined the company as the first employee to start the business of PayUMoney (then PayUPaisa) when Gurjodh joined and became my mentor and friend to start the exciting journey. Since then, we hired more than 200+ equally ambitious people to create history along with us. I’ve was lucky enough to have had the opportunity to build the business from scratch and hire 99% of the PayU SMB team (~250). It’s been quite the journey, and I owe a lot to PayU India, Naspers and the team. I’ll be forever rooting for them.
So, why Airtel?
Airtel M-Commerce Services is one of the 11 entities to which the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had granted an in-principle nod to offer payment banking services. (Read here). I strongly feel Airtel is best poised to innovate and create history in the payments bank space.
I’m beyond excited to be leading the Small & Medium Business at Airtel Payments Bank. Essentially, this team is focused on small employers and smaller and medium size companies (one of the use cases out of many possibilities) that signed up organically. We’ll be building stuff that both increases value for paying businesses and entices non-paying businesses to upgrade. Why SMB? My love towards SMB is very deep, this is the universe which can be quantified as 51 million, while today only 40% of these SMB’s are influenced by technology, the number is expected to increase to 90% of all SMB’s by 2020. India, home to 51 million small and medium businesses (SMB) is set to emerge as the largest SMB national globally. Out of the 51 million SMBs around 55% are located in urban areas while the rest 45% in the rural regions, as on date out of which at least 10 million are ready to adopt technology making their day to day business efficient and help them grow.
This is a distinctly interesting challenge as not every company was focusing on this segment while we started PayUmoney (then PayUPaisa, in 2012–13) as everyone believes that this is the segment which does not pay, guess what? SMBs pay for a product/service specifically designed for them solving pain for them. If you build an enterprise product and go on selling out to these 51 million you would get disappointed to a frustrating level. My previous experience of building PayUmoney and scaling it a level where it is right now makes me confident about the SMB space in India. (Read more here and here for more context). But to me, that’s just scratching the surface of opportunity. Looking forward at the changing paradigm of payments bank would work for SMBs. This is a deeply exciting problem to solve in the Fintech space.
So that’s it, friends. Here’s to the next chapter. Airtel Payments Bank, let’s make magic together. Hit me on twitter to chat or email: email@example.com