NASSCOM EMERGE 50 Showcase 1: Online Recharge

9th Aug 2010
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NASSCOM

In our series starting today, we are profiling the NASSCOM EMERGE 50 companies. Through this series, we will cover all the 50 companies.Online Recharge is a winner in the EMERGE Services category.

Online Recharge addresses the market for prepaid recharge services by offering a seamless platform to choose, buy, pay and recharge mobile and DTH services in India. Service is now in commercial use for more than 12 months and business model has been completely validated. RechargeItNow.com is the first web-based platform to offer a multiservice, multioperator environment supporting online payment through credit/debit cards, net banking, and cash cards offering instantaneous e-Top-up of account on an all India basis.

Already a market leader in mobile recharge and DTH online recharge segment, plans include addressing other emerging recharge services like toll payments, prepaid utilities like electricity, gas etc. and selling subscription services for DTH and mobile operators.

Founders

Raj Hajela

Raj Hajela, an economics graduate and MBA from Rotterdam School of Management and Wharton Business School, has over 15 years of experience in starting and managing technology, telecom/software businesses. He is successful promoter of Estel Technology Private Limited, which is in the business of providing e-recharge and mobile commerce solutions to telcos and banks in India and other emerging markets.

Sharat Jain BE (Hons) from BITS Pilani and MBA from FMS Delhi has 26 years of experience as a professional with IT, telecom and media companies. In his last two assignments, he held positions of CEO of Dentsu Media India and Managing Director (Asia South) of Teleglobe, the Canadian international telecom carrier.Now Raj and Sharath share their perspective on entrepreneurship and their vision about Online Recharge.

  1. 1. Why did you take to entrepreneurship? Is your company founded by an individual or a team? And

We took to entrepreneurship as a challenge to launch and succeed with a new business idea to create a thriving e-commerce platform targeted at youth. The company is founded by a team consisting of Raj Hajela and Sharat Jain.

  1. 2. What is your objective through entrepreneurship (e.g. wealth creation, value creation, creating something new, etc.)?

Value creation for stake holders, convenience for users and establishing our company as a preferred provider of e-recharge solutions for mobile and DTH services being consumed by over 500 million people.

  1. 3. How do you view NASSCOM’s recognition in their EMERGE 50 list?
Online Recharge

Nasscom’s recognition gives us credibility of being rated by a very well-respected and known industry association. Certainly very useful for a start-up in the initial phase of business, it should increase confidence of customers and investors alike.4. What aspects differentiate you from your competition or industry in general?

  • First mover advantage, first company in India providing on-line top-up for mobile & DTH on a single platform
  • RechargeItNow.com poised to be amongst top 5 ecommerce sites in India in next 12 months
  • An integrated backend-connected to operator recharge systems and direct distribution relationship with most mobile and DTH service providers in India.
  • All recharges delivered instantaneously as e-recharges, leading to instant fulfillment and customer delight

5. How do you view the entrepreneurial ecosystem at present and what can be done to make it better?

Entrepreneurial ecosystem is getting stronger with the support from industry, government and media. Successful entrepreneurs are creating new ideas and providing direction to new entrepreneurs. Funding options have improved, however, banking system still needs to catch up to support startups.

We hope Online Recharge's story is just a beginning. Building a viable Internet business is going to be easy in India.

Sharat Jain


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