IIT Roorkee alumni, Harshil Mathur and Shashank Kumar’s objective with starting Razorpay were clear- to simplify online payments in India. They offer fast, affordable and secure ways for businesses and institutions in India to accept payments online. We chat with the founders about the venture.
An excerpt from the interview:
- What made you start your venture?
Back in 2014, we started working on a side project with the hope that we could create a startup out of it. Things were going fine until we discovered the state of online payments in India. The onboarding process was a nightmare. Technical integration was a time-consuming process. And it wasn’t just us. The internet was filled with such complaints. That’s when we realized that we could do something about this. And hence we started Razorpay.
- What has been the key to your business’s success?
Our entire focus has been on making things seem easy. Payment is a complicated sector. It’s our duty to abstract out all of these and make things look easy to merchants and their customers. Our ability to get this done properly, right from the start, has been the key factor in our success.
- What are the major challenges in your line of business and how did/do you overcome them?
The first major challenge you face is to get the banks to take you seriously. You can’t start this business without bank tie-ups and when all that you have is an idea, it’s difficult to get their attention.
We spoke to multiple people in multiple banks for a long time before we could get the right connection. Apart from this, navigating the complications of the finance sector is a challenge. There are a lot of stakeholders to deal with. Again, persistence was the key.
- Do you have a mentor who guides/advices you on matters of the business?
We were part of Y Combinator’s Winter 2015 batch. The YC partners are exceptionally knowledgeable when it comes to runnings startups. Even after our batch passed out, they are all still very approachable in case we need any advice.
Our investors, Tiger Global and Matrix Partners have helped out a lot too. Our angel investors keep giving us insights through their experiences of running startups.
- Have you benefited from the use of any specific technology for your regular operations?
We have automated a large extent of our operations side of affairs. A lot of our dealings with banks is also automated, even though it may not look like that to them. If a task can be automated, we automate it. This way, our operations team can work on the harder challenges rather than getting bogged down by the mundane.
On the tech side, our entire operation runs on AWS and we haven’t had any major issue so far.
- What strategy do you follow for Customer Satisfaction & Expansion?
We have two types of customers: our merchants who use our payment gateway and the merchant’s customers who pay for an order using our software. The fundamental thing with handling both types is to make sure that UI/UX and overall flow is intuitive, easy to understand and extremely simple. The experience should feel magical. On the end-customer front, we proactively deal with refunds, etc, in case the merchant is not very responsive. On the merchant front, we make sure that they don’t have to worry about anything related to payments.
- What, according to you, are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Perseverance, the ability to identify the status quo and challenge it, and to be able to deal with tough times is definitely the topmost skill. There are way too many challenges that will come up and if the founders are ones who easily get disheartened, it will be tough for the start-up.
Visit their website: https://razorpay.com
Like them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Razorpay