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Fintech has been dubbed as one of the hottest sectors to operate in by investors in India owing to the growing digital spread and nudge by demonetization. But long before the term Fintech made waves through India's startup eco-system, Sharad Hegde who was the first employee of Infosys in 1981 and CS Prasad who led Finacle, Infosys’ most successful digital banking solution,mastered the nuances of payment and lending in the digital space.
Hegde, a former CTO of Infosys along with Prasad joined hands with Ritesh Agarwal, another veteran in the industry, to launch fonePaisa, India’s only omni-channel payment platform. The product was born after the trio observed the current Fintech products in the market felt there was too much clutter. They realised that often customers as well as merchants feel confused on what platform to opt for.
“It’s essentially agnostic to all electronic wallets as we wanted a solution that can be used universally,” said Agarwal. “We have separate apps for merchants and consumers and have provision or merchants to install the system at their POS as well,” he added.
How it works
Unlike the existing wallets like Paytm or OlaMoney, fonePaisa ties up with payment gateway companies who establish the link between digital wallets and banks and create a package around all payment interfaces. This is done to simplify transactions for the consumer, who has to use only one app.
These non-cash payment modes include all major credit/debit cards, netbanking and over 15 prominent mobile wallets, including Paytm, Freecharge, Mobikwik and Oxigen. The platform is also be integrated with BharatQR, the universal quick response code that India is adopting to enable digital payments without the use of payment machines.
Why Experience Matters
While most startup founders in India, including those in Fintech are below 30, the three veterans feel their experience makes up abundantly for their entrepreneurial journey. Unlike first timers, they emphasise on taking calculated risks, rather than impulsive ones, on account of their prolonged experience.
When asked about funding, the one element startup founders in India have been obsessing about Agarwal says, “We want to build a good business model, that is our priority. It’s important for revenues to come through, break even and accrue profits in any successful venture before pouring in more funds,” he added.