While working in London for an international telecom company, she shared her vision of building a global product company in Chennai. The father-daughter duo jointly conducted their research and arrived at a product idea that had the potential to touch a billion lives globally.
That is when they came across NFC (Near Field Communications) technology and how it could be used for cashless payment transactions. Ra. Arjunamurthy, Founder and CMD, YELDI Softcom and Lakshmideepa discovered immense potential in the ‘tap and pay’ capabilities of NFC – as it has a lot of versatility to address the needs of everyone from a daily wages labourer to an upper-middle income shopper. In 2012, Lakshmideepa relocated to India and took the idea forward and launched their product in 2012
“I would say that entrepreneurship is in my DNA, it comes very naturally to me. My family’s a third-generation business family. I grew up watching my father setting up various companies and run them. So my decision to become an entrepreneur stems primarily from the environment I grew up in,” said Lakshmideepa.
This is what product offers you
The product does not offer just the convenience of cashless transactions but it also ensures that their B2C customers save money every time they use a YELDI product. Retailers on the other hand, will get a host of benefits like Customer Loyalty Solutions, Business Intelligence Analytics and so on.
“After I finished my Masters, I wanted to start a company that touched a billion lives across the globe. I Discussed my r aspirations with my father and we immediately knew that our product had to penetrate all sections of the socio-economic pyramid. To illustrate this point, my father would often tell me that our product should be usable even by the roadside chaiwala,” said Lakshmideepa.
Funds Rolling In
For the sole reason of not wanting to be a proprietorship concern, Ra. Arjunamurthy (Founder & CMD) has funded the company from its launch. They have recently raised some funding from a Private Equity company and they are channelizing these funds into the development of their upcoming products.
“The investor was influenced mostly by the fact that our core offering is very versatile and could be used for a multitude of applications. Across various industries and various income segments,” said Lakshmideepa.
To create a separate entity called YELDI Labs, they are in talks with some of the industry bigges in Engineering & Technology space.
There is No Undo button for this
For every venture, there are certain business facets which are made of stone for them. They firmly believe in them and would never want to change the. When asked to Lakshmideepa about her business fundamental she said, “There are three fundamentals that we believe in. Innovate, never ever go to the market with a me-too product and the core focus of our business is the customer. Everything else comes afterwards.”
Tackling challenges in her own style
Every venture has to face challenges. Founder has to go through numerous sleepless nights to make his venture a profitable one. “Professional challenges seldom give me sleepless nights. I have learnt to sleep over them and this is probably my way of giving me time to address them more efficiently. I don’t believe that panic can help solve any challenge,” said Lakshmideepa.
Evolving as a person
From working as a CRM and admin executive in London, to setting up her venture, Lakshmideepa has evolved as a person over the years.
“I am basically an introvert. But heading YELDI from the front has helped me evolve. I am a lot more forthcoming now and have learned to take challenges in my stride without taking them personally. I have learned to differentiate between challenges and understand where they are stemming from, rather than looking for on-the-surface solutions,” said Lakshmideepa.
With the team size of about 80 people, the venture plans to ramp up this figure to 300 people by the end of this financial year. As an organisation, they are currently valued at $ 200 million. They plan to become a $ 2 billion company by FY 2018-19.
“We are about to launch a multitude of payment products in both the Indian and International markets. One clear segment for us is the NFC prepaid payment card in association with large banks. We have already launched iTapIt in Sri Lanka, as a joint initiative with National Development Bank PLC. We are looking to market about 10 million cards in the current financial year. We will soon be launching such products in India, Qatar and Philippines,” informed Lakshmideepa.
They are also in the process of launching YELDI BIZ, their cloud-based business management suites for restaurants, retailers, academic institutions and even corporates. There are a bunch of other highly disruptive offerings that are currently in their prelaunch phase which they will announce soon.
The digital payment space is still in its formative stages. Over the past few years, we have witnessed that the number of digital payments has been increasing as compared to cash and card payments. As of 2015, there has been a transaction of nearly $70 billion via digital payment and is expected to reach $230 billion by the end of 2020. Not all this, investors are all showing there keen interest in backing these digital payment startups.