|Bold Steps| Entrepreneurship can’t be outsourced

|Bold Steps| Entrepreneurship can’t be outsourced

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Rocket Internet’s crown jewel Jabong was bought by Flipkart at a ridiculously low valuation of $70 million, 95% lower than the $1.2 billion which it was asking for a little more than a year ago

Rocket Internet’s crown jewel Jabong was bought by Flipkart at a ridiculously low valuation of $70 million, 95% lower than the $1.2 billion which it was asking for a little more than a year ago. Photo: Reuters
Rocket Internet—Europe’s most well-known start-up incubator, which has made billions of dollars by building and flipping copycats of successful Silicon Valley start-ups—had one very hard lesson to learn from its experience in India: you can copy the business models, but you cannot outsource entrepreneurship.

Founded in 2007 by three German brothers, Rocket’s business strategy is to fund clones of Silicon Valley start-ups, grow them at lightning speed in top Internet markets in Europe, South America and Asia and, after achieving a significant market share, sell them invariably to the companies they were cloned from.

Rocket had been able to do this successfully in various markets and so was valued at €6.7 billion (Rs.49,800 crore) in its listing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in October 2014. But this strategy has come a cropper in India, mainly due to the management challenges it faced in its various companies in the country.

The most recent is the fire sale of its crown jewel—Jabong, which was bought by Flipkart at a ridiculously low valuation of $70 million, 95% lower than the $1.2 billion which it was asking for a little more than a year ago.

With its flagship going for a song, Rocket has now failed in India with every venture. True, it entered with a big bang and picked the right—well, mostly right—spaces to be in like fashion, food, furniture and logistics, but now most of the ventures have either been sold, become irrelevant or are just chugging along.

Its online furniture brand, Fabfurnish, was sold to Future Retail for “almost the same money that there was in the bank”, said a person directly involved, on condition of anonymity.

Its food delivery company, Foodpanda, is just coming back from the brink with a new management team. But it’s not in a sweet spot yet with aggressive competition from companies like Swiggy and the food-tech sector itself mired in its own business model issues.

Of Rocket’s other ventures, 21Diamonds was shut down, HeavenandHome got internally merged with FabFurnish and OfficeYes is struggling for traction.

Besides, Rocket also incubated a captive logistics arm GoJavas, which was snatched away from right under its nose by the company’s locally hired founders. GoJavas, which sold a minority stake to Snapdeal in 2015, is no longer owned by Rocket, while an investigation is currently on into how the company’s shares were transferred to a different company promoted by local management without the knowledge of the parent.

So why has Rocket had such a rough time in India and what are the lessons to be learnt from it? It’s simple. Rocket expected its founders to play entrepreneurs while they were mere employees, remotely managed from Berlin.

Rocket hired its founding staff from top-notch consulting firms like McKinsey, paying them far-higher-than-market salaries believing that these people would automatically develop founder-like motivations.

Now, it turns out that this template did not play out well in India. Ultimately, companies are built by founders and founders only, and not by founders-on-hire. The golden rule of entrepreneurship is passion, which comes naturally to a founder for a business he founded. Either you have it or you don’t. It can’t be forced.

Rocket believed it could turn its managers into entrepreneurs (interestingly, they were even designated as co-founders and managing directors). But these managing directors had no “skin in the game”, which left little room for staying motivated in a high pressure environment for the long haul. There was no alignment of interest between the founders and the funders, which resulted in a quick churn among its founding staff.

“You can’t put MNC-like deliverables and expect us to behave like founders. If you want me to work like an employee, I will work as an employee,” said a former managing director at one of Rocket Internet’s companies. “We were working 24×7 with no equity while we were also getting pulled up for missing a 2am call.”

For Rocket, its so-called founders in India are no better than employees. So, little wonder that were major slippages.

There was a time when Jabong sent shivers down the spine of the reigning online fashion leader Myntra, commanding a huge market share compared to Myntra’s. Jabong was the most prized possession of Rocket in India. “We were always told to be like Jabong… ‘look how Jabong is doing’,” said the former employee cited above.

But Jabong’s fall has been quick. Its market share has plummeted to a mere 25% as of 2016 and it burns $10 million a month. There have also been huge corporate governance issues unearthed in the company. After the Foodpanda trouble last year, a forensic audit commissioned by Rocket Internet had also revealed several governance-related violations at the fashion portal.

Jabong’s former managing director Praveen Sinha, the company’s ex-CEO Arun Chandra Mohan and former Rocket Internet India managing director Heavent Malhotra were the individuals investigated by Rocket after allegations of financial impropriety were made by a whistle-blower in August 2015. Sinha and Mohan left Jabong around the same time.

The report found “conflict of interest” on the part of Sinha in one of the main aspects of the investigation, mainly to do with the alleged fraudulent transfer of Jabong’s logistics unit GoJavas to an entity controlled by Sinha. Shares in GoJavas were later sold to Jasper Infotech, the parent company of Snapdeal.

Corporate governance issues in the private investment world are not new but have been seen in the case of more mature companies as well. For instance, promoters of Biotor Industries Ltd siphoned off $30 million of Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia funds, kids fashion retailer Lilliput, backed by TPG Capital, faced corporate governance issues, and retailer Subhiksha Trading Services Ltd drew flak from its investor Premji Invest for its accounting practices.

Such cases are a rarity at younger technology companies and it’s strange that two such instances have happened and both at Rocket Internet companies.

Again, just because a large incubator like Rocket failed in India doesn’t necessarily mean that the incubator model will not work here. It’s about doing it smartly and keeping in mind Indian sensibilities. For instance, Growth Story, a home-grown incubator started by serial entrepreneurs K. Ganesh and Meena Ganesh built along the lines of US-based Y Combinator, has also rolled out a factory model for start-ups. Some of their earlier portfolio companies include BigBasket, an online grocery business, and BlueStone, a custom jewellery e-commerce site, both of which went on to raise substantial amounts of money. In this model, the founder-management also has skin in the game.

So the point is that you can’t buy entrepreneurship, and if you are attempting to, make sure that it’s aligned well

Shrija Agrawal is Mint’s deals editor. Due Diligence will run every week and cover issues in India’s venture capital, private equity and deals space.

Shrija Agrawal

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95% discount coupon! biggrin Did they get any CB too?
Many mergers these days. Verizon took over Yahoo for $5 Billion.

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95% discount coupon! biggrin Did they get any CB too?
Many mergers these days. Verizon took over Yahoo for $5 Billion.

Well, Yahoo was also on the brink of bankruptcy for quiet a long time and this was the best thing that could happen to them.

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The fun part of Google’s earnings call is seeing Sundar Pichai in a wild hat and shorts

http://www.businessinsider.in/The-fun-part-of-G...

Making billions of dollars is exciting stuff, but listening to CEOs talk about it to Wall Street analysts about it can be surprisingly dull. CEOs are cautious with their words. Analysts are wonky with their questions.

So Google does something fun with its quarterly conference call that most other public companies don’t.

It uses its own online service YouTube to do a live audio broadcast. Since YouTube is mostly a video platform, that means that Google has YouTube as a canvas to post charts, graphs, videos, whatever it wants as part of its quarterly call.

So, it has some fun with these. It posts a photo collage of the Google executives speaking.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s collage is still pretty conservative. There’s corporate-collared Pichai, Pichai on stage speaking, wearing a hoodie (that’s code for saying he’s just an ordinary geek, same as any coder).

And then there’s the fun shot, where he’s wearing a wacky hat and shorts on a beach somewhere.

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CFO Ruth Porat’s is a bit more fun. Besides the standard corporate photos, there are pics of her and her family through the ages.

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But former CFO Patrick Pichette had them both beat with photos of him tandem skydiving, in ski helmet, bike helmet, and on a safari. He looked like The Most Interesting Man in the World.

When he retired from Google in March 2015 to travel the world, his farewell memo shared on Google+ sparked a worldwide debate about work/life balance.

In it he called himself “a member of FWIO, the noble Fraternity of Worldwide Insecure Over-achievers” and looking at the photos, you get a sense of it.

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Two chartered accountants shed their finance background to start a content creation platform
for companies and individuals
SINDHU KASHYAP

Every organsation has a story to tell. While for some the process of articulating it is easy, for others their narrative may be fraught with hardships and challenges. Many have the misconception that the art of storytelling for a company lies with the marketing team. But what they fail to realise is that the organisation’s or even an individual’s story needs to be reinforced internally whenever the opportunity arises.
This is where a company like Ahsomeness comes into the picture. A creative enterprise, Ahsomeness helps transform a thought, emotion, or communication into a storybased narrative, presented in a blend of films or videos.

The beginnings
While the thought behind Ahsomeness was born towards the end of 2014, the creative enterprise came to be in early 2015. It all started when chartered accountants Ashish Chawla and Shivani Kaul while working at KPMG, were approached by their colleague for help in creating a unique gift for his daughter that she would cherish for a lifetime. Ashish and Shivani, along with the parents, then put their heads together and figured out a beautiful narrative that depicts the daughter’s life, which became a hit with anyone who saw it.

After their respective stints at KPMG, the two moved onto roles in other companies—Ashish worked with GE before becoming a part of the core team of one of India’s first few funded e-commerce companies, while Shivani worked with WNS Accenture, before becoming the Content Head for Aspire—before revisiting their earlier project. Hence, after more than 13 years in the corporate finance world, Ashish (35) and Shivani (35) chose to finally pursue their professional dream of creating content based on moments, and built Ahsomeness.
The ah! moments
The team works with varied audiences – from billion-dollar corporates to startups, event management companies, wedding planners, kids and their parents, to schools, individuals and social groups.

“‘Ahsomeness’ is a belief that a thought or an emotion that comes from an honest mind carries a ‘hero’ in it which has the power to create an ‘Ah!’ moment for the creator of the thought, its user, the general audience and perhaps the world at large,” notes Ashish. This would help craft a new product, an ethical or even a brand value.

The business of creativity

The core idea of Ahsomeness is bringing in quality in primary execution, visualisation, music and writing. Apart from Ashish and Shivani, who are the startup’s creative heads, the team comprises of a strong and vastly experienced set of writers, illustrators, animators, videographers, video editors, musicians and sound engineers.
Ahsomeness has worked with brands like Canon, Goibibo, Viom Networks, Max Insurance, IndiHire, Pearl Academy and GSK to name a few.

The makings
The team first gets a brief from the client. Based on the key takeaways to be presented, the team designs a creative script, including a story, poem and lyrics, which reveal the most telling aspects behind a thought or a message an individual or a company is wishing to get across.
Then the team brainstorms on the best way to depict the concept. This involves a combination of animation, live shoots and still shots depending on the requirement.

Simultaneously, the team comes up with original music to create an emphatic emotional connect with the audiences, while striving to keep the commercial aspects of a business at bay.
“As a result, the core message of our adverts, videos, animation and jingles have a lasting appeal in the minds of the audiences,” says Ashish.

The challenge of explaining creativity
The team initially found it a challenge to explain the massive amount of creative work that goes into crafting a narrative, be it is using original music written specifically for a particular idea, or using a uniquely designed storyline and innovative visuals to establish the right connect with the audiences.
“That apart, we had to surpass tons of big fish in the market,” adds Ashish.
Changing the status quo
However, he notes that it is difficult to find a professionally organised agency such like theirs, which makes music-based video content available to corporate, event companies and to end B2C segment (individuals, schools, social groups, kids and parents) directly.

Mostly, musicians function separately. Even video and animation production houses are different from the creative agency. Ahsomeness, on the other hand, is one-stop shop as far as core idea generation, script and lyric writing, music composition and video visualisation and direction are concerned.
The team plans to beef up its marketing efforts by targeting more corporates. It also intends to build a stronger sales and business development team to get larger reach.
While the team refused to share its revenue details, it claims to be cash-flow positive. For the corporate clients, the startup charges on a project-to-project basis of an approximate cost of Rs 2 lakh per project, the team also works on television commercials for which they charge approximately Rs. 50 lakh and the individual client projects are priced at anywhere between Rs 50,000 and 70,000.
“Ahsomeness plans to foray aggressively into schools and intends to make learning voluntary, enjoyable and awesome using a blend of story-telling, music and creative visuals,” says Ashish.
Market
The market for video content and advertising is fast growing. There are several advertising agencies and a dime a dozen digital agencies that take up and create videos for internal communication or marketing. The individual clients is another market, where, in many cases, people prefer using help from family and friends.
A report by Cisco suggests that by 2017 over 70 percent of the world’s mobile Internet traffic will be made of videos. In the Indian context by 2017, the country’s video traffic is expected to touch 1.8 exabytes per month. Thus making it close to 66 percent of all IP traffic of that year. Online video reach today is about 100-120 million from platforms like YouTube.

Sindhu Kashyap
Sindhu believes that everyone has a story to tell, all you have to do is listen. She likes learning new things and believes that there can never be an end to learning.


A Basic Concept Design: Your trash is this designer’s treasure
SINDHU KASHYAP

It was late 2007. Raahul Khadaliya was studying Accessory Design at NIFT, Bangalore. On one of his excursions to an old market near Avenue Road, he saw something in a small gully that was imprinted in his mind forever.

Sipping chai at a tea stall, he saw a baby rolled in a dirty cloth lying on the pavement. Curious, he looked around to figure out to whom the baby belonged. He saw a lady come out of the other side of the tea stall, wearing muddy clothes, face covered in dirt and hair loosely tied.

She had two small plastic glasses – one with a little milk and the other with some water. Quickly picking up the baby, and leaving the cups carefully on one side, she began to feed the baby by dipping her fingers first in the milk and then the water. In all, barely two drops in each feed.

In contrast, he stopped by for coffee at a restaurant on his way back to his campus in HSR Layout. Here again, he saw a mother and child at a table laden with snacks. A while later, they left, leaving wasting food that would easily have fed the lady and her kid for the next two days.
The duality of the two similar situations struck Raahul, and he knew that he needed to incorporate sustainable methods that avoided waste in his designs. While he had some ideas in place, he was unsure how to execute it. Coincidently, in the same year, he studied sustainability and sustainable development, and this led him to explore different ideas of sustainable development and design.

Building A Basic Concept Design
Finally, in 2011, while working with a design consultancy, Raahul decided to start on his own and founded ABCD (A Basic Concept Design). “Since then it has been a lot of ups and downs, but most have left me with the right frame of mind, every time pushing a little further towards the core goal of sustainable thinking and design for sustainability,” says 34-year-old Raahul.
He adds that the idea behind ABCD was survival, using various means. It has a different meaning and perspective for every individual – emotionally, socially, economically, and culturally. The original goal of the agency was to work in the area of sustainable intentions across products and services in any area possible.

Raahul adds that the market is still evolving to adopt ideas that are not economy-centric, but sustainable innovations centric. There are many ideas in the market that can be explored or redesigned to benefit sustainably.
“The idea is to build brands that are sustainable not only through CSR activities but from the core strategy of business, even if that means re-strategising the business policies,” adds Raahul.

Breathing in The Second Life
ABCD is a two part organisation – the design services and products under The Second Life. Funding for The Second Life – a self-initiated project – comes from the revenue generated from design services.

Raahul started ‘The Second Life’ as an initiative to build awareness of sustainability through products and services. “In a way, we are trying to create a case study of a small-scale business that can learn to be sustainable from the core with an ability to scale up and become a self-sufficient business model that is sustainable and transparent,” adds Raahul.
The materials are sourced from various waste vendors around Bengaluru. There are a few regular vendors who understand the need and get the team materials that fit the requirements, such as discarded film posters, white papers, and one-sided papers among others.

Scouting for treasures in waste
Raahul frequently visits vendors to see if they have anything interesting to be up cycled, such as document boxes. “These boxes were found at local waste vendors, which we have up cycled using our wrapping papers. The boxes initially came from Malaysia carrying corporate documents, which were discarded after a single use. We identify such waste and try to save them before recycling and put the story out with the product. Such cases are limited-range products and totally based on availability,” adds Raahul.
For inspiration, Raahul says that initially it was people and their interesting behaviour patterns when they found themselves in different situations. But now, he says he is inspired by just observing and learning of people, their behavior, and their connections with other people, situations and systems

“The human element, without any reference to gender, caste, religion, social barriers, economical status, greed, does exist, which is why the most systems work. But the constant influence of the so-called economic development policies are tempering the humane element,” adds Raahul.
On The Second Life, the team is planning the next set of products made from different materials than our current rage. Recently, the team has stared exploring wholesale orders looking at opportunities in the international market towards to the products.

For the current range of products, they are looking at scaling up to the next level to create more employment opportunities into a new area of crafts especially handmade and upcycled products. “We are in the process of raising funds from various possible sources,” says Raahul.
The team has made a revenue of close to Rs 1 crore till date.

The market
With the growing focus on sustainability, there has been increased awareness on using recycled products. Some other organisations in a similar space creating green products are Arora Fibres, Green Power, Liquid Gold, Cleaning E-Wasteland among others.

Furthermore, there is also a focus by governments and states. According to a study by Recycle Trade India, more than 10 per cent of Gujarat’s plastic products are recycled and close to 4.4 billion pounds of plastic are recycled annually in the country. However, there is a belief that recycled products are yet to touch the mainstream market.
Apart from recycled products, there also is growing market space for upcycled products, like what A Basic Design Concept does. Global players like Hipcycle, TerraCycle and Playback Clothing are some popular names. In India, there also is the famous Haathi Chaap, or more famous as Elephant Poo products. However, these too are yet to touch mainstream market. Only time will tell how ABCD will fare.

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Let’s fly over the seas: Kerala to welcome country’s first high-speed hydrofoil ferry service..the service will connect Kochi with Kozhikode..Two 130-seater air-conditioned double-engine ships will be used for the services..The ship will have all modern facilities including pantry and entertainment facilities. The vessels can cruise at a speed of 30-40 knots..

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8 Qualities Of The World’s First Michelin-Starred Street Food Chef

For 30 years, he worked 100 hours a week and, in the last 8 years, he has been selling chicken noodle for less than US$2 a plate. Today, Mr Chan Hon Meng’s small and modest soya sauce chicken noodle stall made dining history as it became

the first street food stall in the world to be awarded a Michelin star.
From Ipoh Malaysia, Mr Chan came to Singapore to learn how to cook soya sauce chicken from Hong Kong masters in the 1980s. In 2009, he decided to open in a hawker stall in Singapore Chinatown. I believe he has 8 qualities which attributed to his winning of the coveted award.

1. Efficient
Behind the hot and stuffy stall, Mr Chan turns himself into an ultrasonic chopping machine churning out plate after plate of savoury soya sauce chicken noodle. The not-very-tall chef customised his workspace to ensure the chopping board and cooking table top are at the optimal height for him. It is his super high efficiency that allows him to sell 150 chicken a day. If we are to do his job, most of us would have dislocated our shoulder or wrist in less than a day.

2. Hardworking
“I see no daylight!” said Mr Chan who goes to work early morning when the sky is still pitch-dark and ends each day well after dinner time. For 5 hours, he prepares the chicken, roasts the pork and cooks the rice before opening for business at around 10am. Once he starts serving his first customer, it is non-stop till last chicken is sold. Describing Mr Chan who works 100 hours a week as a hardworking man is an understatement.

3. Professional
Most street food vendors wear T-shirt to work given the hot and oily working environment but not Mr Chan who puts on white uniform everyday. He has 6 of these uniforms and one with logo for special occasion. He takes pride in his trade and this is being professional.

4. Friendly
Despite a tiring routine and occasional confusion with customers’ orders, he maintains a friendly attitude and breaks into a smile every now and then.

5. Positive
It would take the friendly chef a full day of earnings to afford a meal at any Joël Robuchon 3-star restaurants but he said he is happy and contented with his current situation. He would like to dine at a Joël Robuchon restaurant one day but what really catches his fancy is Hong Kong’s Yung Kee Restaurant famous for its roast goose.

6. Passionate
Talked about his food, Mr Chan eyes lit up. “My chickens are from Malaysia and are leaner compared to chickens from colder countries. If I use chicken from other countries, the taste will be not be as good.”. He also shared with me his recipe which I promised not to reveal in this article.

7. Integrity
Asked him why he sells his food so cheap, he said that is the fair price for the location of the hawker centre where he operates. He hesitates to take advantage of his recent fame to charge more. Maximising short-term profit is not his top agenda but treating customers well is. He puts many people, including myself, in the banking industry to shame.

8. Humility
Media and customers congratulated him on award but Mr Chan didn’t talk about how good his food is. Instead, he expressed his appreciation for the recognition and publicity that Michelin has given him. To him, this award is not just for him but for the hawkers in Singapore. I am not sure if he had heard of the Michelin Guide before the award announcement but today, he is in the Guide!

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*Women acid attack victims ‘too ugly’ to be employed join forces to open own cafe, Sheroes Hangout, close to the iconic Taj Mahal in India ..The start-up capital was given by the organisation ‘Stop Acid Attack’ .

.The five acid attack survivors manage accounts, take orders, and at the end of the day, mop the place clean. The cafe also houses a library and features some of the work of other survivors that clients can purchase.. It is about rehabilitating and providing job opportunities to those at the receiving end of society’s violence!!*

@Magus @Plato @sharma_ji @varsha thanooj @devashi @prebhartia

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Managing Director and CEO of National Payments Corporation India, A.P. Hota, discusses moving India towards an electronic payments economy.

Managing Director and CEO of National Payments Corporation India, A.P. Hota, discusses moving India towards an electronic payments economy.

Bad decision good life favim.com 3475531
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@Alpha.Barood wrote:

Managing Director and CEO of National Payments Corporation India, A.P. Hota, discusses moving India towards an electronic payments economy.

Managing Director and CEO of National Payments Corporation India, A.P. Hota, discusses moving India towards an electronic payments economy.


@Alpha.Barood

bhai few opening was open if any one need then Recommendation

http://career.npci.o...n/

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Reserve Bank of India, after setting up of the Board for Payment and Settlement Systems in 2005, released a vision document incorporating a proposal to set up an umbrella institution for all the RETAIL PAYMENT SYSTEMS in the country. The core objective was to consolidate and integrate the Read more »
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@Alpha.Barood wrote:

Managing Director and CEO of National Payments Corporation India, A.P. Hota, discusses moving India towards an electronic payments economy.

Managing Director and CEO of National Payments Corporation India, A.P. Hota, discusses moving India towards an electronic payments economy.


A.P. Hota
MD & CEO of National Payments Corporation India

Managing Director and CEO of National Payments Corporation India, A.P. Hota, discusses moving India towards an electronic payments economy.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

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@Alpha.Barood wrote:

Managing Director and CEO of National Payments Corporation India, A.P. Hota, discusses moving India towards an electronic payments economy.

Managing Director and CEO of National Payments Corporation India, A.P. Hota, discusses moving India towards an electronic payments economy.


A.P. Hota, MD & CEO of National Payments Corporation India

A.P. Hota
Managing Director and CEO of National Payments Corporation India, A.P. Hota, discusses moving India towards an electronic payments economy.

Check This

http://cdn2.hubspot.net/hubfs/552104/2016/Augus...

In 2005, the Reserve Bank of India published a vision document suggesting a series of action plans, including the idea of setting up an umbrella institution that would be responsible for producing and managing all retail payment systems in India. At that time, there were several different payment mechanisms, all with varying levels of service.

The Reserve Bank believed that it would be beneficial for the people of India to have these integrated and consolidated under one payment system organisation as the high volumes would bring down costs considerably.
A.P. Hota had been with the Reserve Bank of India working hands-on in various departments, but perhaps most significantly he spent 27 years, between 1982-2009, in its department for the design and implementation of payment systems in India. Not surprisingly, the Reserve Bank chose Hota to lead the team to establish the new umbrella institution, which was to be called National Payments Corporation India (NPCI). “I was invited to do the initial work for starting up the organisation, getting regulatory clearances, formation of the board, creating the organisation structure, building the business plan and hiring the right staff,” Hota says. “I laid the basic foundation work for eighteen months and then the organisation decided it wanted a permanent CEO, so they appointed me in August 2010.”

NPCI started operations on a small scale — processing 1.6 million transactions per day, mostly the interbank ATM transactions. “Over six years, we have seen it grow exponentially,” Hota says.

“Now we are doing close to 25 million transactions per day.” A lot of this growth is due to the fact that NPCI has launched several new products over the years. It started with interbank ATM clearing, then the product portfolio expanded to national-level cheque clearing, electronic funds transfer, an automated clearinghouse system, and setting up of a domestic card payment network called RuPay.

You can download the full interview below…

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Missing