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Last updated: 03 Aug, 2017  

Akash.9.Thmb.jpg 'On-Demand Payment Platform allows SMEs to collect digital payments'

akash gehani.jpg
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Saurabh Gupta | 03 Aug, 2017
Digital payments are considered to be a challenge for the Indian small and medium enterprises (SMEs). With on-demand payments platform any one, small or big, can collect payments online from any where, said Akash Gehani, Co founder of Instamojo.

In an interview to SME Times, he said, "We enable small businesses to accept payments through different modes like Debit/Credit Cards, Wallets, Net banking and even UPI. All one must do is sign-up, create a payment link and start sharing on any desired platform including Email, Whatsapp, Facebook or any other social media. The merchant can request a payment from the customer by sharing the link. The customer can pay via any mode they choose to."

Excerpts of the interview...

Please tell the readers something about the company-Instamojo Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
Akash Gehani: Instamojo is an on-demand payments platform that allows anyone with a bank account and phone number to start collecting payments online. We are more than just a payments platform. We also allow people to sell online via Instamojo's free online store which comes loaded with e-commerce features.

What is on-demand payments? How does it work?
Akash Gehani: We enable small businesses to accept payments through different modes like Debit/Credit Cards, Wallets, Net banking and even UPI. All one must do is sign-up, create a payment link and start sharing on any desired platform including Email, Whatsapp, Facebook or any other social media.
The merchant can request a payment from the customer by sharing the link. The customer can pay via any mode they choose to.

How can a SME build, manage, and grow their business with Instamojo?
Akash Gehani: Instamojo is a vertically integrated platform built for individual sellers, freelancers & MSME merchants. We not only allow businesses to get started with online payments in minutes, which otherwise requires complex technical knowledge and expensive integration, but also provide several other value-added services like an online store and other data-backed insights that can help a small business go big!
We will soon be adding new features like Small Business Loans and more tools and services to help small businesses grow.

Do you facilitate SMEs in getting business loans from banks/NBFCs?
Akash Gehani: Yes. We have been experimenting on extending business loans to our sellers & merchants by partnering with various NBFCs. We are pleased with our results and looking forward to double down on this opportunity.

You have introduced a suite of strategic and powerful solutions that cater to the diverse business needs of merchants, which include a Connect Marketplace, an Instamojo Online Store and an Android app. Please share details
Akash Gehani: Instamojo is always looking for ways to simplify the entrepreneurial journey of a small business owner. With regards to that, we've been adding, tweaking and innovating features of Instamojo.

When starting an online business, a merchant usually has to make a decision if he wants to sell at a marketplace or have his own website: We simplify that decision too. We offer the best of both worlds.

We have Instamojo Online Store: The merchant’s very own customizable store hosted on Instamojo for free. The store features: Shopping Cart, Optimized SEO Links, Analytics, Payment links for easy checkout, sales reports and other important apps like accounts and tax-related tools to give the merchant a complete online business experience. We have people selling everything from art, home decor, apparels, electronics, digital content (ebooks, courses) and event tickets on our online store.

We also launched Instamojo Connect in March:  A regulated marketplace that allows merchants/any user to find services from trusted Instamojo sellers. All services from design to coding, resume writing etc are available on Instamojo Connect.

The Instamojo Android App was launched in January. It has our most powerful feature: payment links. With the app, you can create payment links, track sales, payouts, and get notified every time you make a sale. A bundle of good features coming up on the app.

We have more features lined up for the coming quarter.

The GST  has rolled out on July 1st, is GST beneficial to SMEs and what are your views on the same?
Akash Gehani: GST is a progressive taxation system that has replaced most indirect taxes. In addition to making tax reporting and compliance much simpler, we believe that the significantly increased input tax credit coverage will go a long way towards reducing the cost of doing business.

Are you GST ready? What are the initial challenges you see in the path of GST working?
Akash Gehani: Yes! We had a seamless transition to GST on 1st July. We have additionally partnered with tax consultant firms such as LegalRaasta to make the GST transition for our merchants smoother.

What are your future plans?
Akash Gehani: Today, Instamojo has acquired 1 out of 10 digitally-active MSME (250,000+) and controls 30% of their annual turnover. In the next 12-18 months, we plan to acquire 1 Million merchants and control a vast majority of their annual turnover through the platform.

For that, we will continue introducing further vertical integrations with compliance, payments, e-commerce enabling services, logistics, credit & lending etc. onto the Instamojo platform. Doing that, we hope to make it easy & affordable to sell online, manage business efficiently and grow faster on web & mobile.

 
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