Want to be the next Sanjeev Bikhchandani ? Stop building job portals. Build payment gateway solution

Paras Chopra of “Visual Website Optimizer” wrote a top-kick blog post recently on whats-wrong-with-indian-startup-scene, go read that here http://paraschopra.com/blog/personal/whats-wrong-with-indian-startup-scene.htm 


This blog post got inspired by reading what Paras wrote + my as usual frustration with Payment gateways in India. Note :- Current payment gateways are ‘oookkk’ but Indian Startups need better/world class service and more PG solution.

Opening a bank account used to be a big favour by Banks during 1990s or earlier. Later part of 90’s changed that when several private banks opened, then they started chasing ‘please open a savings/current account sir’. Consumer got the best deals, small business got best deals and scenario changed big time.

Now switch back to your attention to current payment gateway providers in India. They are the old banks of 80’s,90’s. Opening a merchant account is big deal, takes 45 days for approval, several mail communications (thank God they dint ask to visit personally :p , they know only few top level PG players in market, they take big margin from your business (5% / 6% …) and still behave as if they are doing a favour to you. That dreaded word ‘favour’, which most hates. But we are helpless in front of the almighty payment gateways.

This scenario must change, this is a big market, even if you win 0.1% of market share (oops so low..), you will make more money that you ever would make by trying to be the next Naukri, I mean ‘trying’ not ‘being’. Also note : 1 person applies for a job once in a year or two but 1 person can buy several times in a month itself, so you have more chances to become the next ‘Sanjeev Bikhchandani’ without ever-able-to-copy his ‘Naukri’ 🙂 

If you are building payment gateways (Zaakpay building fresh, any body else?), here is what I think you should do:

Engage Startups early: They are your brand ambdassdors, engage them, hear their need and let them try early. All the big current PG companies are happy in their cash kingdom, you build your own by engaging this bunch of startup-who-will-wow-spread-words and push you up there.

Innovative Pricing: Why price on each transaction, may be you can do volume pricing? I suggest break that entry barrier for your merchants integrating your gateway.

Be everywhere: Don’t just be online processing, break that pattern. There are several Startups doing cash on delivery, make that part of your payment solution. Do card, mobile, cash, retail…be everywhere. Yes few existing players have card, mobile, while some other has mobile & cash. You need to be all, reduce the pain of merchants.

Go global: India is huge, growing but have your platform ready for expanding to South Asia, Middle east to start with ? Allow Indian Startups to offer solutions to global market.

API, API & API: yes for developers, developers & developers 🙂 

Customer support your mom will love: Yes, do whatever you could but take care of your customers and give yourself a sweet spot vs the BAD customer support that current payment gateway providers have.

Note : I have nothing against current payment gateway providers in India but I am passionate that this market MUST be disrupted, so this is more to motivate wannabe Startups than to criticize current players.


3 thoughts on “Want to be the next Sanjeev Bikhchandani ? Stop building job portals. Build payment gateway solution

  1. Admittedly it has been 2 years since I tried to buy something online in India, but I found the payment processing situation ridiculous. I always assumed the fact that websites, often ecommerce focused ones, had such a hard time processing credit cards could be chalked up to oddball govt. regulation. I recall paypal getting shut down as recently as 2010. Is this not the case? If it were an open and transparent situation, you would think many people would be trying to get into this space. Without solid payment processing options, it is very difficult to get any ecommerce based website off the ground…. Hence the Naukri clones and ill thought out social networking clones.

  2. Scott, that’s right analysis to great extent. However if the startup is scalable and having large market propositions, these days you could get Payment gateway opening special and dedicated service. For example Flipkart.com, Redbus.in are startup pioneering in what they do.

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