MEET RAJ N PHANI FOUNDER OF ZAGGLE
Zaggle, an award-winning FinTech company digitizing spends to unlock value and drive business growth.
Zaggle is a platform that simplify business payments through control and visibility over expenses and empowers businesses to spend smarter, therefore, saving time, money.
Raj N Phani, Founder of Zaggle shares his insight about company and its team in an exclusive interview with CLIQTAX:
CT: Tell us something about yourself & your journey as Founder of ZAGGLE and it's Team.
RP: I am the Founder of Zaggle, an award-winning FinTech company digitizing spends to unlock value and drive business growth. The company has presence in 10 cities. With about 200 employees, the company is geared towards building Network Agnostic Payment System and Customer Experience.
I am a seasoned professional with over 22 years of experience working in India and the US. I am a serial entrepreneur and have built and sold businesses in areas such as financial services, prepaid internet retail, loyalty, merchandising, reward and recognition, open banking, and expense management.
I am also an active angel investor and mentor and have invested in over 25 companies. For my work and contribution, I have been conferred with awards such as the CNBC Young Turks (2006), Entrepreneur of the Year (2008), and Marketer of the Year (2015). I recently launched a book called Made in Hyderabad, documenting the entrepreneurial journey of 25 entrepreneurs from Hyderabad.
I have a Bachelors’ degree in Economics from Delhi University as well as an MBA. I went on to pursue another MBA from NYU and was selected by PwC US as a Consultant in the MCS Practice. In this capacity, I worked with some prominent clients on strategy and BPR.
Zaggle’s MD & CEO is Avinash Godkhindi. Avinash is an International FinTech & Payments Leader with over a decade and half years of experience in 12 countries across 5 continents.
Avinash has worked in leadership roles in Digital Payments, FinTech and Cash Management businesses in Product, Sales, Marketing, Strategy, Technology and Operations roles with banks like Citibank, Barclays & ING Bank and FinTech companies like Zaggle, Misys & NIIT Technologies.
CT: Your ABOUT US says, "A dream to turn a product or a service into a complete lifestyle experience gave birth to a concept, a brand." Please brief about your business and what motivated you to start this venture?
RP: The word ‘Zaggle’ stands as an antidote to ‘Haggle’ and when customers started searching for a solution that would enable them to interact with the merchants while bringing them savings and experiences seamlessly, providing for limitless choices and flexibility, Zaggle was born.
Zaggle is an award-winning FinTech company digitizing spends to unlock value and drive business growth. Zaggle uses Deep Tech and Artificial Intelligence to provide platform solutions to businesses for expense management & employee reimbursements as well as for rewards & recognition.
CT: When did you start the business & what service do you offer?
RP: At 16, I sold designer t-shirts to friends and acquaintances. With the logo ‘Adventure Traveller’ printed on them, the customized t-shirts sold like hotcakes and the sale brought with it the thrill of first earnings.
I worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers at Chicago in the Management Consulting Service (MCS) practice for a few years, advising multinational companies on business process re-engineering (BPR). My internal urge to become an entrepreneur made me come back to India in 2000.
My entrepreneurial journey started with eYantra Industries, a brand merchandising and corporate gifting company and we scaled up operations pan India. And then at a point, I realized that customers were looking for more choices and flexibility, which led to birth of Zaggle in 2011, an award-winning FinTech company digitizing spends to unlock value and drive business growth.
Zaggle uses Deep Tech and Artificial Intelligence to provide platform solutions to businesses for expense management & employee reimbursements as well as for rewards & recognition.
CT: What’s your company’s goals, future plans & few names of your clientele?
RP: We want to become one of the most innovative payments solution company by accelerating the conversion of cash transactions to digital payments through mobile, cards and other digital formats thereby bringing convenience, speed, security & choice to customers.
Our Goal is that when it comes to a FinTech company that is working towards helping the corporates to maximize their business potential through digitizing and analyzing the spending, Zaggle will always lead from the front.
Zaggle is working with a number of banks, other Fintech companies and networks to build a state-of-the-art Open Banking Platform for small & medium size businesses (SMBs).
Our clientele includes the likes of Microsoft, Volkswagen, Infosys, Airtel, Hyundai etc.
CT: How do you connect to your customers & offer your services to them?
RP: Zaggle is a B2B2C FinTech hence Corporates are Our Prime Customers and their Employees are Our End Users. Zaggle uses Deep Tech and Artificial Intelligence to provide platform solutions to businesses for expense management & employee reimbursements as well as for rewards & recognition.
CT: Please tell us something about your brilliant crew, your strategists and your executors?
RP: Zagglers as we fondly call our brilliant crew, are fully capable of defining and devising an effective business strategy to get MVP (Minimum Viable Product) out in the market in a timely efficient manner. We follow latest and accurate data-oriented practices.
In addition to Zagglers experience in the startup ecosystem, our collective expertise is based on Entrepreneurial thinking, combined with experience in working across domains. Zagglers think like the founders for the founders. This is how we are able to bring in success because they think of it as our own business.
Our strategic approach takes into account the market and competitive landscape, strong insights of current benchmarks, and our audience sentiment to build a scalable business that attracts our targeted segment.
CT: Along with helping in payments, you also create unique prepaid products. Please tell us something about that?
RP: Zaggle has Multiple Cards basis the Corporate’s requirements. Corporates offers these Gift Cards to their Employee / Channel Partners and wants that Budget to be spent only for that purpose. Gifting Employees and Channel Partners on festive occasions, company anniversary, on birthdays, on reaching milestones or even gifting them for their excellent performance, makes them happy and boosts motivation.
Zaggle Zinger Card is the Multi Wallet Card which is offered to employees as part of the compensation package. It has built-in wallets, which are MCC Restricted which means that the money can be used only at those outlets.
For example, the amount in Fuel Wallet can only be spent across Fuel Stations and Amount in Meal Wallet can only be spent across Any Restaurants and Online Food Ordering Sites like Zomato, Swiggy, etc. It also has Expense and Reimbursement as two key features and reimbursements are part of the compensation.
The reason for so many different cards is because of the specific need of the corporate to incentivize specific behavior and the need for security, convenience and better experience.
For example if you take our Kohinoor card, it can be used only at the Jewelry stores, so companies who used to give Gold as an incentive to its dealers and employees (Delivering small quantities of Gold was highly risky and almost all the companies had pilferage issues) have lapped up this product as the motive is achieved, thus saving a lot of cost and time thereby giving a better experience.
CT: Do you work locally or nationally/Globally?
RP: If you look at our geographical presence, apart from India, we have already launched Zaggle Inc in Canada and Our London Office is opening next quarter. We have recently signed up a partnership in the Middle East, and we are also planning to expand our services in Singapore and the United States in the coming years.
CT: What is the USP of your business & how you do things differently?
RP: Zaggle’s USP is ‘Why Haggle! When you can Zaggle!’
We are a Payments company working in the areas of Financial Tech, HR Tech and Bank Tech. With the country moving towards a digital economy to fight the pandemic, digitisation will become the new normal. While bigger companies are investing time and money in expanding technology and technical know-how, SMEs and small businesses lag in this area. Zaggle can help them digitise their functioning. Zaggle has a range of products for SMEs.
We can offer them a single platform that keeps track of their payments, which, in return, also helps reimburse employees. Technologies like AI and optical character recognition (OCR) can make small businesses efficient.
CT: What advice would you give to a budding entrepreneur?
RP: So, looking at the current situation the wait could be long so there isn’t any right or better time it is the right time to start the venture but cut the budget and ensure that if you wanted to start today you should have started yesterday. Make sure your venture can create an impact on the economy, use this time to reach out to the clients to help them save more or cost cutting to and do more and more business.
Becoming successful in business is more about your mentality, psychology and determination than it is about finding little tips, tricks, hacks and exploitations in the marketplace. Launch before you feel ready.
If you wait until your product or service feels perfect, someone else will already be doing a better job of helping your customers solve their problems. Validate your business idea by launching fast, bringing on a small group of paying customers and adapting to make your solution great for them over time.
The right availability of Technology, capital investment, emergence of government policies and an entrepreneurial and innovative mind-set are the ones to grow.
CT: At last, a few words you want to say about our CLIQTAX and your experience about it?
RP: CLIQTAX is bridging the gap between Users and Professionals by helping users to find relevant service providers listed on CLIQTAX. I liked your One Stop Platform Solution to get details of all kind of Professional & Financials Services at reasonable prices. All the Best.
CLIQTAX extends heartiest wishes to Mr. Raj N Phani, Founder Zaggle for its wonderful journey as a unique player. Kudos for such an amazing interview.