Imagine having someone collect cash payment from your doorstep every time you make a purchase online. No risking of your bank statements and credit card information. No more depending on failed servers for your transactions to go through.
In 2011, two enthusiastic BITS-Pilani pass outs, Arpit Mohan and Abhishek Nayak, decided to bring the idea of offline payment to life with their start-up GharPay. As soon as an order hits their systems, their payment executives come to action. It takes less than 48 hours for GharPay to collect payment from the customer’s home and process it to the client’s account.
Moreover, the whole transaction process takes not more than 48 hours. Since its launch, GharPay has managed to acquire over 500 clients including giants like Zomato, RedBus, SnapDeal, Thomas Cook, BookMyShow,Groupon and Letsintern. Their doorstep payment network spreads across 17 cities and over 50 postal codes in India. They are continuously striving to expand more and have handled transactions of about 300 crore without a single cash loss incident.
The team at GharPay is currently busy working on their new venture Clink, which offers retail analysis solutions. It tracks anonymous transactions to get a better consumer insight such as past purchases, propensity to buy, location, lifetime value and more.
We caught up with Arpit Mohan in a brief chat about his journey with GharPay and more. Here is what he has to say.
Q) When did you come up with the idea of GharPay and what inspired you?
A) I always wanted to startup! The heady mix of building something from scratch, actually solving a pain-point, while going through ups and downs is just irresistible. While working in Hyderabad, my co-founder and I, were discussing ideas that revolved around e-commerce space. Somehow, with each plan that we researched, payment option was a common problem. Although consumers wanted to pay in cash, it was hard for a business to reach out to these consumers. There were no national players in this field as well. That’s when we decided to solve the payments problem within the country.
Q) How did you overcome the well known prejudice of ‘Get a degree and then a high paying secure job’ to start off on your own?
A) I did my graduation from BITS-Pilani in 2009. Although I worked for about 15 months, I needed to scratch the start-up itch. What I’ve realized is that for most young people, starting up is actually simple. As long as you have a little savings, starting a new venture is fairly simple. A new venture doesn’t always require a lot of funds or a lot of man-power. A laptop and 2 people passionate about the idea is pretty much enough to get you going. In this light, I would ask, “Why wouldn’t you start off on your own once in your life?”
Q) What were a few hardships you faced while starting up with GharPay?
A) The initial few days are always a little hard. The hardest part in the beginning was convincing people that a bunch of fresh graduates can run and manage an operation intensive company at a national scale. Most people told us that we were naive, stupid and just didn’t know the realities. Getting them to turn around was hard. The same scenario would play out with some of our clients. Showing them a track record of successful deals and demonstrating how a payment would be collected did end up inspiring confidence in them.
Q) GharPay relies mostly on its human network for operation. How do you manage to keep up with that in order to avoid cash loss and yet maintain the speed of it all?
A) Our entire founding team has a very good understanding of technology and its applications. For example, all the executives carry Android phones (with the GharPay application installed). This allows them to manage their orders even when they are on the move. With the launch of the application, we cut down our average turn-around-time to 6 hours, the shortest being 26 mins. The technology and the processes also help us determine where the money is, at any given point of time. Alarm bells go off the moment anything seems out of the ordinary. This enables managers to act quickly and respond to emergencies. On the hiring front, we perform a background check on all our employees, at times going to the extent of visiting their house to meet their families. All these measures ensure that we are a secure and fast channel for offline payments.
Q) Tell us something about Clink, your new start up.
A) Clink is BigData application that analyzes transactional information held by banks and payment processors for consumer purchase patterns and predictive analysis. This allows the financial institution to engage with their customers better and increases consumer loyalty. Also, We’ve tried to make the experience seamless for the consumer. Watch out for banking experiences that you’ve never seen before.