Work from home has increased employee productivity by 20%: Upasana Taku, MobiKwik

Upasana Taku, Co-founder & COO, MobiKwik, talks about their community initiatives #LeadBoldly & #StopTheSpread, coping during COVID-19 and the newly launched Coronavirus insurance

e4m by Anjali Thakur
Published: Apr 6, 2020 8:52 AM  | 4 min read
Upasana Taku MobiKwik

Determined to make a difference and support the community of employees as the world faces unprecedented challenges from the novel Coronavirus, a coalition with 100+ Indian CEOs and leaders have started a community movement called #LeadBoldly and #StopTheSpread.

Started by Upasana Taku, Co-founder and COO, MobiKwik, this campaign is encouraging start-up leaders to act and pledge the need for social distancing. Meeting monthly goals, reducing burn, raising money, achieving profitability are all very important, but surviving is even more important to blunt the curve means enforcing Social Distancing by enabling #WorkFromHome.

We spoke to Taku about the community movement, how the brand is coping during COVID-19, the buying patterns of consumers and the newly launched Coronavirus insurance cover.

“With this movement, we wanted to encourage leaders not to wait until the end, we need to defeat this novel disease and working from home has actually shown in the last few weeks that the productivity of our employees has increased by 20%. The time overhead associated with collaboration and coordination in working from home gets easily netted off by the savings in commute and break times at the office.”

Some of the companies who have joined the initiative are Simple, Urban Company, Kalaari Capital, SHEROES, Truly Madly and ZipLoan to name a few.

While all the industries in the business have been hit by the Coronavirus and the economic slowdown, Taku tells us about how MobiKwik is staying afloat, she said “I think all the markets are down and people are also in panic mode but eventually whatever goes down has to come back up. How fast the recovery is going to take place is the only question. Will it be in two months or six months? I think that is an open question. But of course, all sectors will bounce back. In terms of our business since we are a digital wallet company and due to the lockdown people can’t physically move out, digital payments not only for our company but for other companies are also at an all-time high right now. Overall digital payments as an ecosystem are benefiting from the fact that everybody is forced to pay online and if they pay online, then whoever are the top platforms, they'll all sort of benefit out of it.”

Taku also mentioned that the company has seen a fall in buying patterns as well. “We have seen a major drop in travel and that’s obvious because it’s a lockdown and no one is allowed to travel, the only thing happening is refunds.”

Speaking more about whether people comfortable about big-ticket transfers and the average spend per user per transaction, she remarked, “It's different for different transaction types. Some transactions are in the hundreds and some are in thousands. For example, grocery transactions and electricity payments are in thousands. Travel, grocery and payment generally has a higher ticket size and also some specific goods purchase versus many other use cases like food, short term travel on the cab, all of those have a smaller ticket size. So, people are comfortable with big-ticket transfers.”

Telling us about disruptions they are planning and what about their stand out strategy, Taku shared that the brand has interesting things planned out. We recently launched Coronavirus insurance which is available on MobiKwik app. We launched it last Saturday, I think on a daily basis about a thousand policies have been purchased in the last few days, every day. It's a one-click purchase. There are two-three different variants available, no questions asked, pay the premium and fill up a few details and Corona Virus insurance cover is available. Since there are many people in India who have medical insurance via their employers and then there are many others around us who may not have it. India only has 3% insurance, so to that extent here, we wanted to get this done in public interest quickly. My team actually worked very hard to launch it like in the first few days itself.”

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