Future of Work 2020: Why PhonePe’s Navneet Nair believes design-led companies make more money and profit

At YourStory's Future of Work 2020, Navneet Nair, Director of Product Design, PhonePe, spoke about how design can influence a company’s profit.

Flipkart-owned digital payments startup PhonePe is among the largest fintech companies in India with a network of 200 million users. Catering to consumers, merchants, and financial services, the Bengaluru-based startup has linked over 120 million bank accounts and has more than 60 million cards saved on its platform.

Operating across 400 cities in India, PhonePe also enables 10 lakh kirana or mom-and-pop stores across 300 cities to provide ATM services to customers. 

And powering these are its design, which facilitated its reach and adoption across India.

Speaking about the design value for a company at the third edition of YourStory's Future of Work, India's largest product-design-tech conference, Navneet Nair, Director of Product Design of PhonePe, said design can influence profits. 

Navneet, who has been designing software for about 20 years, quoted a report by McKinsey, which shows that design-led companies made more money and profit than non-design-led companies.

Navneet said, "At PhonePe, we make our designs more value-centred, which means it adds value to the organisation as well as to our users.” 


According to him, business-centred design doesn’t focus on the user; it only focuses on the profit. And if designers today look at user-centred design, it conflicts with the needs of the organisation. 

This is where value-centred design comes into the picture because “when your product/design has a core value, it’s not just innovative, but also meets a real need”, Navneet said.

In line with its vision of democratising digital payments for the masses, PhonePe recently launched the PhonePe ATM service in Delhi-NCR, enabling neighbourhood stores to act as ATMs for its customers.

Navneet said people are often inconvenienced due to the unavailability of banking ATMs in their vicinity or ATMs that are out of order.

With the new offering, customers in need of cash can simply open the PhonePe app, go to the ‘Stores’ tab, and click on the ‘PhonePe ATM’ icon to locate nearby shops that offer this facility. Once there, all customers need to do is click the ‘Withdraw’ button and transfer the required amount to the merchant via the PhonePe app. Once the amount is transferred, the merchant gives the customer cash for  the amount transferred.

The payments brand recently raised about Rs 427.25 crore from its parent firm in another round of funding to compete against the likes of Paytm, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, and others in the burgeoning payments segment in India. 

(Edited by Diya Koshy George and Saheli Sen Gupta)


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