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The Cross-Border Banker: Virender Bisht, Co-founder and CTO, Niyo FY23 has been phenomenal for Bisht and the startup as its revenue surged 2.8X to INR 139 crore

By Paromita Gupta

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Virender Bisht, Co-founder and CTO, Niyo

At Niyo, founders Virender Bisht and Vinay Bagri understand and work on the pulse of their customers. The duo founded the fintech startup, in 2015, with a vision of simplifying the banking experience for salaried employees. The first offering was a tax benefits savings solution "to help users take home as much of their salaries as possible." Bisht and Niyo are at the forefront of the digital banking revolution in the country exclusively for the white collar and blue collar workers. "In our early stages, we simplified banking for salaried employees and brought India's blue-collar workers under financial inclusion. After resolving these challenges, for the last couple of years, we have been working towards addressing financial needs for individuals while travelling abroad and making crossborder payments," shares Virender Bisht, Co-founder and CTO, Niyo. It partnered with YES Bank to roll out the "YES BANK NiYO Benefits Card."

In 2018, the startup underwent a rebranding and launched its flagship product 'Niyo Global' to simplify the banking experience for Indian outbound international travellers. It became a travel-banking entity. The 2-in-1 product offers debit and credit cards with zero forex markup spending overseas. Claiming to be a market leader in the 'travel-banking fintech' space', Niyo have catered to about two million international travellers holding Indian passports.

Having previously worked with MobiKwik, MakeMyTrip, StudyPlaces.com, Exponential Inc., GE Medical Systems, and Tata Consultancy Services, Bisht knows the importance of partnerships and that's why Niyo has partnered with regulated banks to offer banking experiences.

"Niyo is not a regulated entity, we partner with regulated banks to bring these world-class products to our customers. Now, back in 2015, partnership-led banking products were unheard of. Also, banks' own technology stacks were not ready for integration with external systems. Niyo had to navigate a lot of these business and technical challenges in its early days," he shares. Working in a regulatory space has its own challenges admits the CTO. Calling fintech a long-term business, one should approach the business and the challenges that it poses with a long-term lens. He feels grateful that fintech customers are willing to experiment and will give the product a chance, "The demand side, in my view, is not a problem. It's the execution where the challenges and choices that one makes will define the eventual success."

"In my experience, the highest level of trust is trusting someone with your money and hence the single most important factor while creating a Fintech is building trust. And this should not stop at the user, you also need to build trust with your employees and your leaders- make them feel empowered, give them autonomy and provide the right environment to create- the results are as good as we see every day," he adds.

FY23 has been phenomenal for Bisht and the startup as its revenue surged 2.8X to INR 139 crore, "We are confident that we will close FY24 with a similar growth rate." Bisht shares that the startup aims to achieve profitability in this calendar year and plans to go public in 2025."

Factsheet:

Amount of funding received: $179mn

Year of inception: 2015

No. of employees: 450- 500

Paromita Gupta

Features Writer with Entrepreneur India

Covering news and trends in AI and Metaverse segments. An avid book reader running her personal blog on the side. You may reach me at paromita@entrepreneurindia.com. 
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