The journey of building Citrus Pay & learnings on the fintech landscape

Listen Time: 37 mins


Vikram Vaidyanathan, MD, Matrix India, catches up with Amrish Rau and Jitendra Gupta...


Vikram Vaidyanathan, MD, Matrix India, catches up with Amrish Rau and Jitendra Gupta, Founders of Citrus Pay, which was later acquired by PayU, where both founders took on the role of CEO and MD at PayU, respectively. In this episode they go over the journey of building Citrus from ground up, the decision making process that went behind exiting Citrus, their investment strategy as angel investors and lastly their advice to founders looking to startup in the fintech space.

Vikram: Hi, friends. Welcome to another edition of Matrix Moments. I have great pleasure in inviting Amrish Rau and Jitendra Gupta to this edition. I am going to give everyone on this podcast a quick introduction, but I would love to really hear from you guys the story of how we met and jab we met and all of that.

Amrish is a Bombay boy, engineer, ended up spending eight years at NCR, another nine years at First Data. And Jiten, Jaipur boy, moved to Mumbai, ended up at ICICI for eight or nine years. And I think the way these two guys met was actually a transaction. Jiten was trying to sell the ICICI business to Amrish. So, maybe take it from there. How you guys met and how you decided to work together?

Jitendra: Sure. I can take a stab because I think I still have very clear memory of what my first impression was about Amrish. So frankly when I met Amrish first time, I was like this is the most arrogant guy in the world, which I can’t work with ever.

Amrish: Things haven’t changed much.

Jitendra: So that was the feeling I had. And I think that feeling lasted for at least six months. So, literally when I was running the transaction, we had like four or five bidders. And Amrish, representing First Data, was one of the bidders. And I was like come what may, I am not going to deal with this guy. But in the end after - I think more you know about Amrish and the more you hang out with him, you sort of realize just his appearance is arrogance, but below it he is like very humble, very knowledgeable for that matter, and I must say one of the best guys to have friends with for all work, fun, everything.

Amrish: Thanks, Jiten. By the way, thanks Vikram for the introduction.

Vikram: So the context for all the listeners is that Jiten was at ICICI and they had the acquiring business which is the terminal acquiring business, and First Data was interested in acquiring the business and Amrish was the CEO of First Data at that time.

Amrish: Yes. This was at the height of the financial crisis. This was in about 2009. I went to ICICI Bank, met up with Jiten and his colleagues and tried to convince them that First Data is a great place. And you know how ICICI Bank and some of these big banks are, right? They know it all. They had all the knowledge of the whole world. So, you really had to in a very subtle way try and explain to them saying that, guys, what you have done and built is fantastic. But if you bring in a strategic partner, we could take it to great strengths. And really that’s what we did.

I met Jiten who indecently is a Marwadi, right? And I have got to tell you this that I learnt - and that was my starting process, Marwadis are the worst negotiators. And the part which is really terrible about them is they never stop negotiating. You have negotiators that you have one, two conversation, negotiations and you shake your hands and go away. With a Marwadi, it’s forever. It just goes on.

Like I am negotiating with Jiten on every damn thing for the last seven years that I have known him - eight years I have known him. We had situations in this ICICI Bank transaction where we walked out of the meeting saying, I am never going to deal with you. I just don’t want to deal with you anymore. I am done. First Data is walking out. We don’t want to do anything. Anyhow, he came back to the table. But more so, I think in my life journey, I think Jiten will have played one of the most pivotal roles. So I am really thankful for having borne through the pain and come out on the other side.

Vikram: That’s a fantastic story. Part two of the story is that Jiten wanted to go to B school I think INSEAD or something.

Jitendra: INSEAD, yes.

Vikram: And you ran into him in the corridors of ICICI or First Data?

Amrish: No, this was a party by one of the big PE firms. And this was purely a wine and meet friends kind of a party. The deal had already happened. And I knew Jiten really well.

Jitendra: And I had left ICICI actually.

Amrish: Yes, about a year later, I just bumped into him saying what’s up? And he is saying I have left ICICI Bank. I am actually going to INSEAD. And I was like wait, wait, wait. How old are you by the way? Do you have kids? What does your wife do? And then the question was why INSEAD man. Don’t think about INSEAD. There is lots to be done on payment side. And then the whole conversation started out there. Well, he could have gone on to INSEAD, become the CEO of PayPal by now, who knows?

Vikram: And for all listeners who don’t know what Jiten looks, he looks a lot older than actually he is.

Jitendra: Yes, that’s a very conscious choice actually, just to sound more wiser.

Vikram: Yes. And that led to the founding idea around Citrus. How did that come about?

Jitendra: So in that meeting, basically Amrish did enough sort of to convince why don’t you start rather. And I think that’s a better idea rather than wasting your one year and…

Amrish: I have to cut in here and I have to tell you the deal, okay? So, the deal was - this was 2011 - 2012.

Jitendra: Two thousand ten end.

Amrish: Yes, 2011, and there was this no world of VCs and we really didn’t know who is what and all of those things. Jiten’s only reaction on that one was I have got a wife and I actually have a mortgage to pay for. So, I said done. You know what? I will actually give you the money for that to work here. So if you think about it in terms of angel investment, my angel investment was to pay off Jiten’s mortgage and for him to actually take his wife out for the full month. So literally that was the only thing what Jiten like saying, okay, we can do it, but I will tell you what. Somebody is going to fund so and so things for me, right? And that I thought was the…

Vikram: I am just wondering usually when I ask for a business plan I say fixed cost, variable cost. Here’s fixed cost is mortgage, variable cost is taking out your wife.

Amrish: That’s exactly.

Jitendra: Yes. So it’s interesting. So he actually I must say in the second meeting he said, done, agreed. Let’s just move on. And, I don’t know what happened to me, I just took a leap of faith and I am like we will see. I mean this B school I can go next year if things don’t work out. And frankly, I had kept that as a plan B. But as the time would have it, things worked out.

Amrish: But, Vikram, I just want to tell you about this. Today, I think there is a lot of people who over think the situation. In reality what it is it’s about what do you need to take the jump. Now Jiten was brave enough to say I am not going to INSEAD. I am going to take the jump. I am going to move forward.

I on the other hand was really the safe guy who really didn’t feel comfortable saying - I believed in it. I had my ownership in this company, but I did not believe that I can give up my great salary, great job, and go into this on day one. But we had this clear comfort which says that you know what, let the business take off. We will get some revenues into the game. We will get some funding then. And then we will be able to fund two salaries suddenly. Let’s get going.

I think in this whole the VC movement that we are seeing in India, I think a lot more founders should think about it in this fashion which is saying that what does it really take to run the company for the first six months, the next 12 months, and the next 18 months. And if you break it down in that fashion, I think lot more startups could really come out there. Massive credit to him. His ask was really what I said. And he said I am taking the jump. I am going forward with this.

Vikram: Yes. With founders today I often talk about the opportunity cost of not starting up. And for you the opportunity cost of not starting up at that point that you were, was just too high.

Jitendra: Yes. So just giving up the whole one year B school and of course the whole thing in terms of I mean the payments opportunities right now if we don’t get into the bandwagon now, maybe we will miss it after two years. So that thought was very clear. So that really worked out I would say.

Vikram: Fast-forward about two - three years and you get Amrish on board full time. Talk about the thought process at that point in time to say going to bring on this heavyweight “fat cat salary guy.” And you were MD, he was MD, how did all of that thinking evolve?

Amrish: So before we get to the business side of it, I would love to talk something which I find it as one of favorite topics. So I was personally about 37 - 38 years of age, and I feel that there is this new concept of a midlife crisis. And unlike the old midlife crisis of motorcycles and having an extramarital affairs and so and so, the new midlife crisis is doing a startup.

So, I was going through the classic midlife crisis where I wanted to do a startup, wanted to do something new, and I just wanted to get on with my life. So the sooner I get off this whole corporate treadmill, the better. I think we just reached a point where we felt that we had enough in the bank to have both of us there and fund the company and go on further. So from my point of view that was really the right time to look at it.

Jitendra: Yes, I think clearly - so before I answer your question specifically, I think the one thing which I still feel which worked out in our favor was so our first funding was $1.75 - $1.8 million. You will be shocked, that lasted us for 2.5 years. So now for a startup today, which raises 1.8 million, I think in six months the startup is again in the market to raise $10 million. So I think that really taught us that how to be more frugal. And if things are taking time in sort of taking up shape, how do you make things work with a small funding before you invest more. And I think that was the thinking when our business was really struggling in first 12 to 18 months, to be honest with you.

And, I don’t think we had any clarity in terms of whether this business will make it big. But when that whole ecommerce wave started coming in in the country way back in 2013, this is when we started seeing the business taking a shape and we were scaling up much faster.

And with that scale what I realized is that I don’t think I could have pulled it alone in terms of building the right team, I did not have operating payments experience. What experience I had was just deal on the payment side, all said and done, which is like a strategy job.

So I was like I definitely need a person who can shoulder me on the operating payment side, who I can blindly trust. And I think this is where we discussed that, man, this is the time to quit your fat job. Why don’t we work together and make this thing bigger? And I think that was sort of a - he finally got convinced after about 2.5 years, yes, we have enough funding now to make it really big that’s when the decision worked out.

Vikram: Honestly an amazing story of how a company got started. And even though guys keep taking jibes at each other, I know the fantastic chemistry that you guys enjoyed is what’s kept that company going through multiple ups and downs. Fast-forward a few years and there is this big acquisition offer on the table. And in this overall environment where selling is equal to selling out, you guys took a very mature discission which was we need to provide an exit. We are going to take this exit. And there is a window in which you can take on that exit. What were the conversations you guys had? And how did you say, okay, this is the right time and this is the right thing for us?

Jitendra: So, maybe each of us has a different perspective. You want to take the first shot? I can give my view?

Amrish: No, you should go first because I know I am going to be different.

Jitendra: So, frankly, I had a very different thought in terms of how I saw this whole selling experience without the journey. And one, I always felt that I had obligation to return money to investors. So I never thought that this is equity and if things work out, it’s fine. Things don’t work out, it’s fine. I felt that I can’t sleep peacefully if the money I have taken, I can’t return it. So, I think that was always on top of mind.

And in Indian ecosystem you get very few opportunities to provide liquidity. So being an investment banker as my last job in ICICI, I had seen that - that the deals are generally not easy to consummate. So, I was clearly seeing that.

Second, I think personally I did some math in terms of - I don’t know we took a very conservative base case in terms of if the company grows three years, five years by this pace and what IRR our investor will make versus IRR they make today and versus the money we make today, our dilution and all of that. And it worked out that if I do a risk-reward maybe this is the right time to do that.

Third, I think it was a difficult decision all said and done because at the end of the day, there is a company which you have started, so you get emotional about it. You are like do you want sell it. And the whole control thing, do you want to give away that control. Do you want to work as employee now after being a founder? So I think those are tough decisions. And I think in the end everybody felt that maybe this is the right decision. I think given a choice now, maybe I would rethink frankly. So that’s how I feel about it.

Amrish: So you asked two parts to the questions. The other thing is we have also then stayed for almost now to 2.5 years with the buyer which is Naspers fintech. At least in my mind, I was very clear. I have got a daughter and I have got a son, and what I don’t want to do is 20 years from today when my daughter and son actually look up Citrus and lookup Naspers fintech deal, what I don’t want them to read is saying that deal did not go off well. Or, that deal just disappeared.

I take a lot of pride in terms of how my kids will actually view me 20 - 25 years from today. And it was very important that once you sell the company, the deal or the transaction has to look really really good for the buyer. So that was extremely clear even before we sold the company. We have actually worked very hard over the last 2.5 years to make this a transaction where the transaction has delivered results even better than the acquisition model which was put up together. Very rarely does that happen. But I think we knew this even before we sold the company.

About selling the company, I am fairly clear that I absolutely regret that decision. I am fairly clear about it. And I think the big learning which we have got…

Vikram: Thank you for that candor.

Amrish: I am very very clear about it. I think the big learning which I have got is what you can create and what you can build on top of an existing platform, it is immense and it is just unimaginable in terms of what you can build in fintech in today’s time as long as you have a platform there. And here we are who have actually sold the platform that we had. So I just feel that if I was to go back in time on that decision, I would surely make a decision completely different.

The second thing which will sound very very arrogant but as Jiten says that is what I do many times, you will soon realize that money never matters. Money does not matter. So, for all the fact that we had a great transaction and all cash deal, it really didn’t change anything in our lives here. Our lives have remained as same as it used to be. And there is one thing that we miss is the platform to create a massive massive infrastructure on that platform.

Other interesting fact around money, so today now with the exit and the money that we have got out of it, what do you do with it? We go ahead and invest into nice instruments which can potentially give us certain sets of returns. And in that, what do we do? We go and invest into fintech company.

So wait? You took money out of a fintech which you actually owned and controlled to go and put money into other fintechs which you actually don’t own and don’t control. How smart is that? So I think it’s fairly clear in my head that if I could go back in time, I would have taken a completely different decision.

Vikram: Yes, it’s also fairly clear that you guys are entrepreneurs and operators and that’s what you enjoy the most. I am going to come back to your point on sort of payments companies and what is hidden inside all of the payment companies. But, I think there are three important lessons that I have picked up from that story. The first was treating an obligation to give investors an exit. And we have often found fantastic partnerships with those founders who actually feel that way. And we find it much easier to tell those founders to actually go for it because we know that they feel this obligation.

The second is what you said on exit window and I couldn’t agree more. And which is why when exit windows come in companies, I always urge founders to think in those exit windows because you don’t know when it will come again especially in India whether it’s 18 months - 24 months, so that’s the second one on exit window.

And the third I love what you said on deal success which is actually selling the company is not the end of the journey. It’s actually the beginning of that last leg of making sure that this is actually a success and a point of success even for the buyer. And I don’t think, enough founders are thinking about it in that manner. Thank you.

So payments companies and I have been fortunate enough to invest in two and be on the board of two and not very fortunate…

Amrish: Two great companies. We both are absolute fans of both the companies in the industry.

Vikram: And not fortunate enough to invest in you guys forever will be in my anti-portfolio. But when I look at the payments landscape, usage has gone through the roof. Payments is truly a pull product now, not a push product. And we all started in a market where digital payment was a push product. And it’s become very hard to make money. And it looks like all the big boys in the world are also going to enter this market and it is going to become even harder to make money. But, we are all equally excited or even more excited about payments. So talk about some of that. What is hidden in the payments data that gives you confidence that these can become very large platforms?

Jitendra: So I think from my perspective, how I look at payments companies is more of a infrastructure companies rather than just a one business line because it sort of truly provides the infrastructure to - it’s kind of a rail road for any digital transaction. And in that sense while from payments you may be making marginal or nil revenue, but what you get at the end is a relationship with the consumer, the relationship on the other side of the payment transaction which could be the merchant or the other consumer, and data of course.

And today if you look at it, the payments data is a real proof of what a consumer is doing in the digital world or what a consumer is actually buying. So just to give a simple example, you know like last 2.5 years we created this product LazyPay which is a pay later product. And frankly 2.5 years back when we said that the payments data can be leveraged to underwrite the transaction digitally, nobody believed this could be done. And everybody was like this is all a story and maybe it will happen. Who pays in India the money back without hitting to the credit bureau or if you don’t report it but we did prove that with the payment transaction behavior you can actually underwrite the consumer, you can actually underwrite the transaction, and you can actually recover the money as well.

I think that’s the first step. So credit if you look at today anyone in the payments they say how will monetize. I will say I will monetize through lending. So we have actually proven that that we are able to monetize it through lending. We are just not talking that way.

The second is the lending one is the consumer side; the second is on the SME side. And you know that couple of your portfolio companies have started doing monetizing on that front and that’s a very very underserved market if you see.

Third, today like everyone is saying once you have got relationship with the consumer, once you have got relationship with merchant, you can pretty much move into the banking. Effectively what is banking all about? I mean the banking is all about your deposits, your payments, your lending, your investments. And I think payments and lending if you are able to address, convincing the consumer to trust your brand and create a deposit and an investment advisory angle is relatively possible. So that’s how I see it.

Vikram: So before Amrish gives his views, so two questions. Now there is lot of noise about both neobanks and neo cards. And with neobanks, India is going to leapfrog retail-led branch banking. And with neo cards, they are going to be no cards in India and it is all going to be mobile-led cards. I know both of you guys have even made investments in some these spaces. How do you think about that and how payments companies will fit into this entire landscape?

Amrish: See, you got to be very careful with the larger landscape of neobanking and neo cards. So for example, from where we sit, we think that retail consumers in the banking space actually have a pretty good product in their hand. So when you look at a Kotak banking app or HDFC banking or even ICICI Bank app, those apps are looking really really good. And how they service to the consumer is not bad. When you look at some of the other market like when you look into UK and EU, those markets have pretty tough rules and the apps are not good enough. Hence neobanking which comes in with fantastic retail banking apps, with a differentiated offering can disrupt that market.

To India to disrupt that market, you need something really really special angle to go ahead and disrupt neobanking. For example, we invested into this company called Open. Now in that company Open. Now in that company, they are not disrupting the retail banking area. They are trying to disrupt the SME banking space. Now we think there is a real opportunity out there because no Indian bank has really tried to come up with an app or a differentiated solutions for SMEs in India. That’s a space that this organization is going after. We think that’s a really really good idea.

 

Another area is even in retail banking if you have a differentiated offer for a certain segment, so let’s say for college going students or just out of college or early into the job, we think that could work. But if you are trying to come up with a neobanking product for somebody between the age of 25 to 65, I just think that it’s a crowded market. There is no pain in the market. We don’t see what can be done.

Same goes in the neo card space, right? In neo card space, our thinking on that one is if you come in with a card which is going after a niche segment, in India the market opportunity is massive. But if you are just going to come up with a new card which is going to try and be a hook for your existing consumer base, we really don’t see the value around it.

Very interestingly what you would see is around the world food delivery companies or for that matter, even in ecommerce, they haven’t done a good job in adding on a fintech business on the side. So Amazon Pay never really took off. Apple Pay after almost six years of trying is just taking off. But around the world, this whole concept of I have a taxi service and I will come up with a payment business around it, they found it extremely difficult to get it off the ground.

So going into even neo cards, going into certain segment niches and coming up with a value proposition for that, I think is very very workable in India. But just a blanket product, we just think it’s quite difficult to make it successful.

Vikram: Two questions. One is neobanks, do you see a worldview in which both SMEs as well as some sets of consumers who are underserved today never actually go into a bank branch or never have seen…

Amrish: Absolutely.

Vikram: How far out is that?

Jitendra: I think the time is now if you ask me because I don’t remember when I visited my branch last. So, clearly through mobile I am able to do every banking service what I want to. And in fact there are few services which I can’t which I feel can be easily ported to mobile. So I think that problem can be solved now. Though I have a slight different view than Amrish on that whether for the consumer the opportunity exists or not. I think while, yes, you need to take a segment approach, but I feel the opportunities are big enough opportunity even today. While the existing banks are doing a good job, I feel how to you start the hook is the key. And the second, how do you distribute the product is the key.

So, I think if I take a simple thing like credit card in India, I mean there are like hardly 35 million credit card for a population of 1.3 billion. Forget 1 billion population. But the 3 million population can be give credit card. So, I think that could be a hook to go.

Amrish: Vikram, another thing which is very interesting right now is most banks in India have been built on the core base of deposits. Having a savings account is the core of what a bank has been built on. I really think that in the next five years, we want to see a bank which is going to built on the core platform of UPI.

So instead of savings bank becoming your platform on which you build you bank, it’s all on UPI. And around UPI how can you do banking. It’s just a completely different way to look at the whole banking environment. And again in what we do, I think I spend many hours in a day just trying to figure out what could a UPI first bank look like. And there could be an opportunity out there in the market.

Vikram: Yes. So I couldn’t agree with you guys more. I think the core is that suddenly you have this high frequency of transactions. And you can actually build a banking experience on that high frequency of transaction. It could be SME invoices. It could be credit card transactions. It doesn’t have to be the old savings type relationship. And that’s a theme for us for sure. And I think I agree with Amrish there where he said Indian banks are more fintech than we give them credit for.

And so if you are a fintech in India, you have to be very focused on how you can deliver a 10X experience over the Indian bank, which is not as easy as more sleepy banks in other markets.

So last question, you guys have made a bunch of angel investments and are very successful angel investors, and compounding Amrish’s problem that I have more money, so I have to invest more. And he has all these rich people problems. So what do you guys look for when you are making these angel investments both in terms of founders, markets? And I know you have been pretty diverse in terms of your bets.

Jitendra: So I think at least from my perspective, I clearly bet on the team because frankly what we have often seen and there are in fact quite a few portfolio companies of ours where founders started with some idea, didn’t work out but the teams were so good that they hustled around and then they sort of immediately pivoted and then they made it big. Even like if we look at our bank Open initially, they were sort of trying to figure out the go-to-market strategy in a very right manner. But they figured out very soon within six months that how bank partnerships can boost their business from a distribution standpoint. And clearly they did that.

So clearly the team is very very critical for us. And fintech is like an obvious area where there are so many things which - the scope of the market is so big that there are so many things which can be delivered by improved experience, addressing a segment of population. So clearly at least that’s what I personally like.

Vikram: So before Amrish closes, I must tell everyone listening that these guys have something which is the Midas touch. And we really like having them as co-investors. So Jiten actually co-invested with us actually in the series A of a company and somehow that company ended up at an exit in like 18 months. So I will encourage everyone to have these guys on as sort of as co-investors. Sorry, Amrish.

Amrish: So Vikram, I am always looking for a game. So for example, when I am sitting on a Monday morning, I am looking for on the next Saturday, Sunday which cricket game I am going to get. Tomorrow evening who am I going to play tennis with. Actually goes into how I look at my angel investing also. Now so if I have a team where I feel that I am just going to enjoy the journey in terms of what I will learn with them and what I can actually share with them being a part of that team that is what really look for.

Incidentally, we haven’t actually invested in any banker who wants to solve for a fintech problem. We have incidentally invested into amazing, amazing guys who have the energy which is making us feel that we are part of a sport, we are part of a game, we are part of a team, we are trying to do something different, we have gone ahead and invariably invested into them. And that’s what been the philosophy.

One of these days, this will all become serious in terms of what we do and then it’s all downhill from there.

Vikram: That’s fantastic. Finally, learnings for fintech founders on two things. One is sort of regulatory compliance because that’s the one thing that I hear most fintech guys complaining about. And the second is dealing with banks which also you can’t get away from if you are fintech.

Amrish: So I want to make two points on this one. First point is as a fintech operator, please don’t think that bankers are idiots. Bankers are not idiots. They have been around for too long. There might be areas in which they see regulation and read regulation differently than the way you read it. They see markets and pains of a market or opportunities in the market differently than the way you see it. But, they are not idiots.

 

In fintech, you can build a very good company by working closely with bankers, with the regulator, and then finding ways in terms of how you grow really close to the transaction. In the value chain, you can be close to the transaction or you can be further away from the transaction. The closer you get to the transaction, the more of the economic value that you can store with yourself. So get closer to the transaction, that’s one thing which I would want to tell every fintech guy.

The second thing is, however, if you come up with an idea which can completely disrupt the way the banking is done, you can create a great company. So you can create a good company by being close to bankers, but you can create a great company by disrupting. Let me give you one example. What UPI has built in India does not require a government supported body like NPCI to have created.

I think all of us in the fintech space could have very easily created a UPI. I just think that we did not dream that big to try and create something like UPI. Even when we dreamt, we dreamt like a wallet which is good but not good enough, which is not great. But UPI is great. And I think a fintech which can disrupt at the level of UPI, which I thought the market opportunity was available for almost three years before UPI came in, it would have been a multi-billion dollar fintech company which would have got created.

So you need to decide good is not all that bad, right? If you can create a good fintech company, you can have a great outcome out of it. But if you completely go ahead and disrupt the way fintech is operating, then you are creating something which is just unimaginable.

Jitendra: I think slight diversion view, but I think if you are in fintech in India, you’ve got to work with banks. You don’t have a choice. So if it was let’s say UPI, you sort of got to make every bank convinced to your idea and tell them that, yes, you will be disintermediated on the front end side, which for an independent guy to say that I will screw all banks while I will create the intermediate layer, I don’t think it was possible if a fintech founder was saying so.

So clearly you have to work closely with banks. But at the same time, I think how do you explain them the value prop that you are not screwing them, you are working with them, you are trying to make the process simpler, you are trying to make the experience simpler for the consumer is the key.

 

The second thing for any fintech founder is how do you build a resilience in your business and that resilience can be built. So let me give you a simple example, so everybody know that in September - October 2018, this whole lending crisis happened, liquidity crisis happened, right? Now - and I know that at least 20 - 25 fintech founders came me, oh, what do we do now? And we are struggling and NBFCs are not lending to us and all that. I think in my view, if you are running a lending business, you got to have a NBFC. And if you are not thinking through that what can screw your business, I think that means you are not thinking enough.

So, if you had your own NBFC, maybe you could have done something better. You could have avoided the crisis compared to what you went through. So I think from a regulatory standpoint, clearly you need to think through what could be the worst case and how do I navigate the worst case and prepare yourself.

Amrish: I just want to have a last line on this. See…

Vikram: He wants the last word.

Amrish: Because Jiten is elder to me, he is a little bit conservative in his approach. So you know let’s give it to him.

Jitendra: Great. Thank you.

Vikram: Just for the record, Jiten is the youngest amongst the three of us.

Jitendra: Thank you, Vikram.

Vikram: But I loved those three points that you guys made. And I always tell fintech founders that if you are in the fintech space in India, you have to manage these three things. Regulation and compliance, something will come up in your business. Banks, you have to figure out how to work with them. And crisis, it is coming around the corner. And if you don’t want to manage these three things don’t startup in fintech.

Jitendra: Don’t start a fintech business.

Vikram: You guys know that I can keep talking to you guys forever. Thank you so much for the time. Truly appreciate it. And for all the founders listening on the call, Amrish and Jiten are usually a call away for any fintech founder and now any non-fintech founder as well. Thanks again.

Jitendra: Yes. Thanks Vikram.

Amrish: Thank you Vikram, thank you.

More Episodes

  • Episode 6 :

    Jun 20, 2019
  • Episode 5 :

    Apr 23, 2019
  • Episode 4 :

    Mar 28, 2019
  • Episode 3 :

    Mar 26, 2019
  • Episode 2 :

    Mar 12, 2019
  • Episode 1 :

    Aug 24, 2018