Upasana Taku, Co-founder, MobiKwik manages Merchant Partnerships, Finance & Talent Acquisition at MobiKwik. Taku spent her early professional years as a senior product manager with PayPal (an eBay company) in Silicon Valley. She has a BTech degree in Engineering from NIT Jalandhar and a Masters in Management Science from Stanford University. She is interested in web products, start-ups, offbeat travel and triathlons.
In conversation with exchange4media, Taku spoke about the focus area for the company, expansion plans and targeted growth for this year and more...
What is the focus area for MobiKwik?
What we run is called a mobile wallet. We enable users to put money in the wallet and then use it in 5000 different locations. This feature is called ‘The MobiKwik Wallet’ where users can use the wallet for their payments, bookings or anything on-the-go. Users find it difficult to make their payments digitally and we have made it simpler by providing a digital wallet where by users can do a one- click transaction. So, users park their money in the MobiKwik wallet once a month and then they use it during the month for at least 10-15 transactions. These transactions are for travel, bus ticketing, hotels, food ordering and shopping etc.
In order to achieve this, last year in July we got a semi-closed wallet license from RBI, which allowed us to open up our wallet to third-party merchants. Those merchants are basically the third-party businesses selling their products and services to our users and these include both online and offline merchants.
In India, people always are worried about fraud and phishing when they transact online. MobiKwik wallet has built a trust factor among the users, which has helped us grow exponentially.
So for the last one year, we have been focusing on acquiring e-commerce merchants in different categories. In April 2014, MobiKwik users did shopping worth Rs 20 lakh and in October 2014 users did shopping worth Rs 12 crore. We want to continue this growth and grab the merchant landscape by adding more brands.
India's mobile money industry stands at approximately Rs 2,000 crore. What is your target growth by the end of 2014?
In 2013-14 FY we did a top-line of Rs 200 crore and by March we are expecting to achieve a top-line of Rs 1200 crore. We get one million new users on a monthly basis. Currently we have 10 million users in India and by March 2015 we are targeting to have 15 million users.
How big is the online recharge market in India? What would be the total number of transactions done via recharge sites in India?
Gross revenue for the telecom sector for the quarter march 2014 was Rs 60,716.21 crore according to TRAI report. So Rs 20,000 crore per month of which max 5-8 per cent is happening online so far.
How different is MobiKwik from competitors such as FreeCharge, JustRechargeIT etc?
FreeCharge for an instance, is not a direct competitor as they are a mobile recharge company whose focus is to do recharge and will give an equivalent amount of coupon that the user can use later. So it is more like a lead generation company, where the brands pay the company for driving customer via their site.
But at MobiKwik, users can use the wallet anywhere and everywhere. We don’t charge the brands for bringing in customers for them. For example, if there is an offer for EBay for our users, and out of 10000 users who have visited the EBay site only 3000 shop, we charge a percentage from the company for only 3000 users who have shopped. We are the mobile wallet of the country, we want to become like the PayPal of India. So ours is a payment model where, on one side we are building a large user base of wallet holders, and on the other hand, a larger network of merchants where users can pay using their MobiKwik wallet.
You have not opted for a National campaign yet, what is the reason behind that?
We have acquired a sizeable number of users organically, which means people are finding us through the Google Playstore, Windowsphone store, Apple appstore... Our apps have the highest ratings and we remain in the top 10 shopping apps in India on the back of our product quality and user ratings. We have been able to grow fast without advertising because our apps provide an amazingly quick payment experience, which users love.
That said, it’s not that we do not believe in the power of marketing. Soon you will see us doing interesting and unconventional advertising.
Please talk about your wallet-to-wallet service.
Wallet to wallet transfer, which is also known as send money and receive money in our platform, is enabled in Android, IOS and Windows app and we have achieved a scale of about two to three crores per month in terms of money transfer.
What does your media mix look like? What are your future plans?
We want to continuously work on making payments simpler and we are trying to see how users can use the wallet. We are constantly adding features to benefit our users and looking at any use case where our users want to shop frequently. Future plans include enabling wallet payments for taxis, buses, trains, food chains, etc.