We Built A Blockchain-Based Transaction Company With 4M+ Customers [From India]

Rohit Kumar
We Built A Blockchain-Based Transaction Company With 4M+ Customers [From India]
XPay Life Pvt Ltd
from Bangalore, Karnataka, India
started April 2019
1
Founders
50
Employees
863K
alexa rank
28.6K
followers
12.6K
followers
market size
$79.3B
avg revenue (monthly)
$640K
starting costs
$30.5K
gross margin
37%
time to build
300 months
average product price
$1
growth channels
SEO
business model
E-Commerce
best tools
Twitter, YouTube, Instagram
time investment
Full time
pros & cons
38 Pros & Cons
tips
8 Tips
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Hi, I am Rohit Kumar, Founder, and CEO of XPay Life and we are a Fintech startup based out of the IT capital of India - Bangalore. Our core business is to enable digital transactions and increase the digital penetration to the most rural villages of the country. XPay Life is a platform that connects to the National Payments Corporation of India’s( NPCI) BBPS system and enables customers to pay their utility bills online using a multitude of options. We are a listed partner company with NPCI for fulfilling these transactions.

While most of the apps and devices today concentrate on getting the urban markets to increase transactions digitally, XPay Life believes that India resides in the rural countryside, in villages, and tier 3 and below cities. They are our farmers, our producers, and the backbone of our country. Providing solutions to save their time and effort in doing mundane activities like paying an outstanding bill is contributing positively to the growth of the country.

We have a 360-degree approach to achieving this goal. We have the app, the website that most payment companies have, but in addition, we bring in 3 more form factors, namely - the PoS (point of sale machines), the touch screen kiosk, and our patented Bank on Wheels.

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In the last 2 years of our existence, we have grown to over 4 million customers and have added close to 10,000 merchants that have enhanced the payment experience for Rural India.

In the last 10 months, we have grossed close to INR 50 Crores on the platform. With a burgeoning customer base, this is expected to increase to around 2-3 times this amount in the coming months.

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What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea of Xpay Life?

I have been a serial entrepreneur ever since my college days. The parent company of XPay Life was conceptualized and started in the final year of my college. Post-graduation, to understand the business dynamics, I went on to add to my education by taking up courses at both Harvard and Oxford. With the technical know-how clear, the implementation of the company's values has been an ongoing process for the past 20 years.

Don't lose sight of your first focus.

My first company was XIPHIAS software and amongst other things, we were involved in creating solutions for Touch Screen Kiosks. From being an OEM manufacturer of Kiosks to supporting the information technology that is used in the kiosks, we were able to address the client’s requirements in a single window.

It was during this time that I realized that with such a large footprint of kiosks in the country, the real estate inside the kiosk could be put to better use by enabling payments. In the past 5-6 years, digitization of transactions has been the mantra that many startups have been talking about and in my travels to rural India, I realized that they were being ignored to a large extent in this rat race. That was when the idea of XPay Life came into existence. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention, XPAY Life came into existence!

We created the product and test-marketed the same at one of the most rural locations in the country. The learning was immense. We realized that technology, though a great enabler, needed to be coupled with operational excellence and customer support to provide the final products in such a diverse market. The 1 year that we spent studying and modifying the product, completely bootstrapped, with regards to funds, was both exhilarating and scary at the same time. Needless to say, we are reaping the benefits of perseverance coupled with an attitude to roll up our sleeves and work in the trenches.

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Take us through the early days of XPay

The early days of Xpay Life were heady! When we started development and implementation, it was bang in the middle of the Pandemic. Juggling work from home schedules to ensuring the project management was done well, to also testing the product in known circles, and closing any loopholes was a task that required 24x7 attention and focus.

Our platform, and all its ancillary products made by us, are made in India. We proudly announce at every given opportunity that we are a truly Indian product committed to the Indian diaspora.

We tested and retested the products keeping in mind two key levers, Simplicity to use and sterling customer support. Even today, our transactions get fulfilled in less than 4 steps and our call center is manned by humans who talk to the customers in the language that they understand.

Growing the customer base from the start to the 4 million-plus base that we see today was an uphill task. Through savvy digital marketing and attractive offers coupled with our customer support, we managed to keep our customers happy and coming back to do more transactions with us.

Trust yourself and your gut!

The team at XPay Life is also a very young one and has grown with the organization. From freshers, who were groomed to take up the mantle of seniors over some time to interns who found our workplace an incredible place to learn and try new stuff, we made sure that our ideas were not just one person dependent, but a cumulative one.

I still remember the days we tested the Mobile van in rural India and found that even more than technological issues, we were facing breakdowns in the vehicle itself! This made us go back to the drawing board and build a robust and sturdy model that is now seen in remote villages of Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Punjab, and more!

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain merchants and customers?

Our Growth has been incredible in this time of Pandemic, where most companies have taken a hit. We invested the time to better our product and fine-tune our offerings.

We attracted our initial customers using the omnipresent digital channels and social media campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

With the internet abuzz with growth hacks and quick wins on social media marketing, we took a conscious call to stay away from inorganic growth. Our campaigns were a mix of studying the market, knowing your customers, and a large dollop of trial and error.

In today's changing scenario of digital marketing, I do not feel there is one method that conquers all approaches for online marketing. A large number of our efforts and marketing dollars went towards learning what worked on specific markets, with specific offers, and even on which specific days we ran the ads. In 6 months, we started to see results!

Our SEO and SCM efforts also have paid rich dividends in making us at the top of the charts for keywords that we want to be associated with. Here there are many tools and our expertise in having created and marketed websites for over 10 years, worked for us. Keyword management and constant monitoring have been the key result levers for all our social media successes. Even today, our core marketing team reports directly to me and we discuss the way we need to structure our next strategies for digital media marketing.

We believe that our customers need to be heard. This is a top-down approach taken that the entire CXO level team spends time in listening and analyzing calls made to the call center to understand the pain points and what we can do to improve. This seemingly simple step has helped us in garnering a large word-of-mouth audience as customers.

Our promos and offers are also customized for the common man who looks to make his money go the extra mile while not compromising on security and efficiency.

The fact that we have been recognized through awards and recognitions played a large part in our success!

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How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

We still are on our growth spurt. Our earnings after taking care of all our salary and infrastructure requirements are plowed straight back to give a better deal to the customer. Typically, our gross margins tend to change as per the product but we can average a flat 10-12% across the board, and with increasing efficiencies, this is expected to grow northward only!

One of our key success factors has been the way we have handled our digital marketing. We continue to be one of the most efficient companies in terms of cost of customer acquisition due to our secret sauce of digital, physical, and subliminal marketing. We approach government bodies, financial institutions, and partner with them to strengthen our portfolio and take the services and solutions to their customers. This has helped all the parties involved in the equation.

It's never going to be easy! Be prepared to grind, burn the midnight oil. If you are not able to do it for your ideas and yourself, who would you do it for?

Our strength lies in the simplicity of operations, we don't add bells and whistles that we aren’t able to support and don’t impact the customer’s experience. Testing and retesting everything that is rolled out has helped us keep our errors to a minimal level.

With over 80% of the villages in India still unable to do digital transactions, our task is clear and cut out for us. We plan to push ahead to the deepest and the most remote villages to make their lives easier!

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

It is my firm belief that there is no substitute for 2 things, Hard work, and Honesty. We have had multiple instances where we could have grown at a slightly faster pace, but this would mean a dip in a metric that we care about. For E.g. customer satisfaction. With such a large customer base, even today our app rating is over 4.3 on the Digital store. Ask any customer-facing fintech product and they will tell you how difficult this is!

All of our peers and competitors increased their customer base by false marketing or by compromising the quality of certain services. I am proud to say we haven’t tread that path and nor will we in the future!

Our marketing efforts centered around providing stellar customer service to existing customers. The word-of-mouth publicity that we garnered couldn't have been bought! In addition to this, smart rewards and an easy-to-use interface that even the most digitally illiterate user could navigate through.

I will admit that being a passionate person, passionate about the customer, passionate about the features, passionate about the company and the ideals it stands for, has helped create an environment where creativity is nurtured and suitably rewarded also!

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

In the early days, the lives and lessons of great leaders like Mr. Ratan Tata, Steve Jobs, etc were a guiding force.

Writers like Philip Kotler, Stephen Covey, Dale Carnegie, and many many more, Indian and International both alike have been instrumental in my thought process.

I take inspiration from the world around me. Keeping updated on the latest trends in technology and finance helps me chart the next course of action for the company.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Don't lose sight of your first focus. If you have given thought to the idea that you are implementing, it must hold. Trust yourself and your gut, but still be amenable to listening to people around you and making decisions accordingly.

Never stop listening to your customer. Even the smallest customer can give you insights as a user that you would pay consultants to identify. Listen, adapt and test!

It's never going to be easy! Be prepared to grind, burn the midnight oil. If you are not able to do it for your ideas and yourself, who would you do it for?

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

We are constantly Hiring! We need technologists specializing in Web Technologies, .Net technologies, People proficient in photoshop - designers, and many more.

Please reach out to [email protected] for more information.

Where can we go to learn more?

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!

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Rohit Kumar   Founder of XPay Life Pvt Ltd
Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story

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