Continuing with the interview of Rohit Prasad, the Co-Founder and Director of EaseBuzz,
How did you prepare yourself for the launch?
We were already doing good business with SRV Media and were thinking of venturing into payment gateways as well. So in 2014, we started working on EaseBuzz, which is related to payment industry. This vertical in itself is a regulated industry in India and hence there were several protocols involved before we could be established or move ahead with EaseBuzz. That is when we realized that we will be spending a lot of time in figuring the protocols and setting up the gateway system for our company.
So, we first went to the bank to understand – what the possible regulations are present that we had to follow to establish a payment gateway. In the process, we figured out that there were certain norms that were to be followed like having a nodal account (Nodal account is an account where a service provider like EaseBuzz is not in possession of funds. Every aggregator or a marketplace has to have a Nodal account where they are accepting funds on behalf of other merchants. This is as per RBI’s Payment and Settlement Act, 2009) in any of the banks, where you are not in possession of funds. We also got to know that Visa Masters basically gives its infrastructure to selective private banks and national banks. Hence, we started approaching them to give that particular access to us so that we can start onboarding merchants on multiple URLs, at least to become an aggregator. We finally completed all our formalities with the bank.
There was a solid reason why we wanted to do this business even when it involved a tedious process. We realized, that both payment gateways and digital marketing are data-driven business models. Our ultimate goal is to have only one vision to keep these two businesses together, which was actually helping us.
There were already many problems pertaining to online payments and hence there was a heap of scope for payment industry’s growth. We were lucky that the sector was also booming in 2014 since people had already started looking for solutions which could be easy and accessible. There was a hunger in us to solve those issues especially for small and medium businesses and that is also one of the reasons we started doing this.
What were some of the apprehensions before you began?
My biggest apprehension was whether this would work at all as payment industry was booming and there were already several players in the market!
But thanks to demonetization last year, it really helped us to scale our business. Earlier because of the industry standards and severe competition it was really difficult to mark your presence and scale the business at the same time. The other apprehension was with respect to funds. We were not sure how much fund, we might need. We were new to this industry altogether and we did not have any type of technology backbone in terms of resources, who were supposed to work on this kind of a model.
To overcome this hitch we started hiring students from A listed colleges in Pune, where technology is taught. We hired the best of the candidates from there and then we started executing the work of EaseBuzz.
So if you ask me to summarize the biggest apprehensions for us it would be; funds, resources and how scalable this product would be.
To be continued…