Upasana Taku, Founder, MobiKwik, kicked off Goafest 2017 on Thursday by sharing her thoughts on ‘Brands that have played a role in transforming India.’
Recalling that MobiKwik was launched eight years ago with the initial promise of a small product appealing to a niche audience, she said that MobiKwik has grown to cater to 55 million users and 1.4 million retailers.
Calling the government’s move to demonetize high value currency a humbling yet fortunate opportunity, Taku said that demonetization has changed the mindset of the majority of Indians who were averse to going cashless. She added that she expects the fraction of Indians who were going cashless to carry out most of their transactions to double in this category going from 14 per cent in November 2016 to 30 per cent by the end of 2017.
Taku said that she has observed a massive increase in cashless transactions over the last four months. “Banks and e-wallet companies have seen a 1000 per cent increase in user transactions,” she said. Taku said that she expects the number of cashless transactions to grow and reach 35-40 per cent by the end of 2018. “Even if India moves from 14-40 per cent in two years it will be a huge undertaking,” she said.
Speaking about MobiKwik’s branding journey from 2015 to 2016, Taku said that overnight the brand had to create a new strategy to attract and serve half of India—500 million users—as compared to serving just 100 million users. The brand had to shift gears from addressing tech-savvy, upwardly mobile, urban audience to addressing a large spectrum of audiences. Taku said that the brand moved its messaging from a cheeky ad that relates to an urban audience to creating an ad that spoke about a ‘desh ka wallet’ to all of ‘Bharat’ rather than just India.
In addition, Mobikwik opened up its app to around 12 regional languages by creating MobiKwik Lite. Her team also set up camps to educate people about using the app and create brand awareness by collaborating with Google Internet Saathi along with Tata Trust. The MobiKwik Lite app which is available in regional languages now serves five million users in addition to the 55 million users on the English language app, Taku said.
Taku concluded by saying that brands have a duty to change and have the opportunity to do so, especially in the fin-tech sector, to create huge impact. “While consumer choices are demanding more and more in terms of products, it lies upon brands to create larger impact.”