This woman entrepreneur’s fintech startup helps merchants, banks, brands use digital payments to drive business growth
After completing the Executive Leadership Programme from Harvard Business School, Amrita Malik realised that she could use her education and the knowledge she gained from the programme to create opportunities in her home country.
So, instead of choosing the corporate route, Amrita chose to become an entrepreneur to create jobs and encourage young talent.
She joined Innoviti Payment Solutions as a team member and worked her way up to become a co-founder. Founded by Rajeev Agarwal, it is a technology-led payment solutions brand that unifies over 1.3 billion consumers, two lakh brands, 30 million merchants, and 100 banks and financial service providers in India.
Amrita explains to HerStory, “Research showed that one of the key challenges in the Indian retail industry is organising information. The problem was huge for large retailers but as we went deeper into the market, we realised that small retail chains and the long tail of retail also have the same problems. In fact, it was far serious for small retailers because they don’t have enough resources to manage the requirements.”
Amrita believes though ecommerce opened a gateway of opportunities for businesses, it worried offline retailers who thought “online” will ruin the “traditional style of conducting business”.
Helping offline retailers
Seeing the rapid shift in the industry pose a threat to traditional retail, the duo decided to help offline retailers to grow their business.
“We designed a three-tiered approach for the retailers which includes – introduction of consumer thinking, channel sales thinking, and self-healing technology thinking. We introduced our most successful products designed to maximise the retail business – uniPAY NEXT, AnyCardEMI, and G.E.N.I.E, enhancing the digital transactional ecosystem,” Amrita says.
They finalised on Mysuru being the starting point as it’s a Tier-II city with retailers having limited access to technology, but they still have a progressive mindset.
Innoviti offers three core products covering various business segments – from fashion and apparel to electronics, to consumer durables. These include:
uniPAYNEXT: Backed by fast transactions, reliability, and integration with the billing system, the payment processing platform allows engagement with customers at the checkout counter, at home, through kiosks, and more. Designed for enterprise merchants in fashion and apparel, healthcare, food and grocery, entertainment, and restaurants, the platform facilitates digital payments through cards, wallets, UPI, and more.
AnyCardEMI: It is aimed at enabling independent store owners to provide EMI facility to customers who also prefer the reassurance of having a large banking entity working with them. It is facilitated via Innoviti’s partnership with HDFC bank.
G.E.N.I.E.: It is a smart marketing platform for medium-scale merchants selling consumer durables, mobile, and IT products. G.E.N.I.E. enables retailers to get more walk-ins and conversions, as well as encash profits.
Bigger business opportunities
Although Innoviti’s mainly caters to metros, it is exploring Tier-II and III cities as well. It follows a revenue-sharing model where partners share a certain percentage of revenue on every sale.
“Our products have redefined the payment experience for businesses and consumers. They are building a strong digital payment ecosystem in India, helping to create better and bigger business opportunities by connecting banks, businesses, and brands,” Amrita says.
While quite a few companies are working in this space locally, Amrita says there is an evident gap in terms of expertise to help them build an end-to-end product solution.
Bootstrapped for the first 10 years of its operations, Innoviti raised funds through venture capitalists for the first time in 2015 with the core purpose to expand, and are now backed by marquee investors like Catamaran Ventures (India), SBI Emerging Fund, Japan; Bessemer Venture Partners (USA), and others.
“We have been growing at the rate of 70 percent every year on average. However, the journey was not an easy one for sure. The key challenge was to break down the barriers in the mind of retailers who were hopeless and frustrated, which was caused by other payment software companies who gave promises but didn’t deliver,” she adds.
While COVID-19 affected Innoviti the same way as it did other businesses, entrepreneurs used the time to “improve our efficiency and effectiveness in terms of product improvement, employee engagement, and customer servicing”.
“Our immediate goal is to scale up the newest product of Innoviti – G.E.N.I.E. in Tier II and III markets. Our long-term goal is to enhance the increased adoption and implementation of digital payment solutions in Indian businesses. It’s time to grow together,” Amrita says.