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SME Times News Bureau | 11 Aug, 2020

Zaggle a Fintech firm says that credit uptake has taken a hit because of higher interest rates and lower demand , while RBI has taken measures to reduce the interest rates they are still quite high when compared to the other international markets like the US etc. The Ministry as well as RBI have been keenly working to ensure that Credit reaches to the bottom of the pyramid businesses in the MSME segment and some of the recent announcements are well appreciated . The Liquidity infused will provide the much needed relief to millions of small businesses.

Excerpts of the interview…

Please tell our readers about Zaggle and its entrepreneurial journey.

Interestingly, 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 a FinTech company that focuses on Businesses and SME’s. We started the company in 2011, with the vision to design proprietary tech platforms that connect corporate and consumer requirements with merchants who have the best-suited solutions for them.

Adoption of evolving technologies has enabled us to introduce platforms which are relevant to the current times and hence are in great demand. Deep Tech and Artificial Intelligence to provide platform solutions to businesses for Expense Management & Employee Reimbursements as well as for Rewards & Recognition is something that we specialize in. We are working with a number of Banks as well as other FinTech companies to build a state-of-the-art Open Banking Platform for Small & Medium size Businesses (SMBs).

Deploying cutting edge technologies AI (Artificial Intelligence), ML (Machine Learning) and OCR (Optical Character Recognition) for providing seamless experience to businesses and users is our specialty. Currently we are working with three Banks, RBL Bank, IndusInd and YES Bank and very closely with VISA, RuPay and MasterCard Networks to craft solutions and to constantly innovate to bring value to our users.

How Zaggle and FinTech companies are helping SMEs to grow?

The role of FinTech companies as well as that of Zaggle is to act as enablers and catalysts of digitization by promoting the use of appropriate technology. SMEs are particularly averse to the idea of tech induction into business processes as they evaluate it from the cost point of view. This is exactly where Zaggle has been helping the SMEs. The platforms introduced by Zaggle across the board have been cost effective tech tools that can help SMEs in seamless business processing even in times like this pandemic.

Considering that there is an opportunity in every challenge, this crisis too came with its own set of challenges and opportunities. Learnings from this will only help in developing a positive approach for SMEs. With the lockdowns imposed across the world, large digital payment platforms have flourished, and the most effective businesses are pivoting towards FinTech which is witnessing a huge demand for services today. Businesses are today adopting digital platforms, discovering new efficiencies and adapting to a new normal of digital life by necessity. This shift in the digital demand led by technology has been a major opportunity for all the FinTech Start-ups who have been helping SMEs in improving their business performance without disruption. FinTech companies are now playing an important role of a mediator as a technology provider to all those who have been trying to shift from their traditional patterns and accept the digital wave.

What you think is the effect of COVID-19 on the funding situation in India?

Right now, what you are witnessing a wait and watch approach from all quarters. Though the capital markets have been looking up to some extent, the overall pressure on them is visible. There are many forces at play in the overall capital allocation globally. The pandemic combined with geopolitical tensions have seen a flight to quality where bullion as an asset class is attracting more attention. But this is just a temporary phase and we will soon see a turnaround. Having said that alternate investments have been quite in demand and investors are keen to invest in promising Startups which show future growth potential. That is keeping the funding situation steady, not just in India but also globally.

What according to you will ensure adequate and timely funding to Indian MSMEs?

It is important that Indian SMEs demonstrate their growth potential in order to be in consideration set for Investors. A good and versatile product or service will always be appreciated by investors as it provides ample visibility on the future prospects of the companies. Technology companies whether in the FinTech space or any other need to have redundancy proof offerings to ensure longevity of their offerings to the market.

What about interest rates in India as compared to global rates?

We have seen the Central Banker (RBI) steadily bring down interest rates here. The additional liquidity fuelled by lower interest rates has been good for the SME sector which had been reeling under pressures of funding for quite some time now. The recent announcements by the finance ministry in the form of a package to take care of the problems inflicted by the pandemic also offer SMEs a huge respite with many of their funding problems being addressed by announcing loans at soft rates. Having said that, interest rates in India are very high than key financial markets globally like the US, who are currently enjoying very low interest rates. With investors looking for a better returns the situation in India is quite conducive for them.

Please share your future plans with our readers.

There are a lot of opportunities where we are going to seek growth. Our virtual cards saw a good hike in business. We have started our operations in Canada in May 2020 and we are also going to expand our operations in London by October 2020. We will soon be launching Our Open Banking Platform. The Open Banking Platform will help corporates for all transactions which happen in the Bank and also bid in the real-time for loans where all of it will be self-automated and will give a performance, balance sheet in a single rack. We believe in building value and growing our business innovations. In my opinion value is where the business is built. So, building value is much more important in business to grow faster. If you look at the Indian Financial Market today, it seems shallow, whether you look at the equity market or any other market. But the consumption market is huge and the kind of production value you have is much more. Looking at the current growth of the company, we see a huge opportunity in the market in the future.

Our platform is available to SMEs as a DIY Product and we are witnessing incredible traction with 600 Customers a month and pretty decent usage of the platform. There is a need and demand to describe their expenses because they cannot invest in tech the way MNCs do to build robust platforms. We are looking for expansion with SMEs within more parts of the country and deeper penetration and we are working on the execution.

We are also working with Multiple Banks to create a robust platform for Open Banking. The logical extension of Banking is NeoBanking and Zaggle is looking to move into the NeoBanking space and explore it. The way we look at it to create a platform for business to easily access financial services from different financial service providers. To avoid the hassle of different accounts, having cheques signed by authorities, going through RTGS, we thought this process should be automated through a platform to quickly flake in and move the funds to ensure that the cheque gets cleared without having to go through the process manually.

Please explain your business model.

At Zaggle we are deploying Deep Tech and Artificial Intelligence to provide platform solutions to businesses for Expense Management & Employee Reimbursements as well as for Rewards & Recognition. Zaggle is working with a number of Banks, other FinTech companies to build a state-of-the-art Open Banking Platform for Small & Medium size Businesses (SMBs).

Zaggle deploys cutting edge technologies AI (Artificial Intelligence), ML (Machine Learning) and OCR (Optical Character Recognition) in providing seamless experience to businesses and users. Zaggle works currently with three banks RBL Bank, IndusInd and YES Bank and works closely with VISA, RuPay and MasterCard Networks to craft these solutions and to constantly innovate to bring value to its users.

We have different products on our platform including Zaggle Propel, Zaggle Edge, Zaggle Save and Zaggle Select. Each of these products have been designed keeping in mind the requirements of our clients.

Please give a description of your products.

Zaggle is a leading provider of financial solutions that enable its customers to manage their businesses more efficiently, with enhanced security and greater control. Our portfolio of products includes:

Zaggle Save, Expense Management Software that integrates your expense workflow from end-to-end, and gives you real-time visibility and control over all business spends, from any desktop or mobile device. Zaggle eliminates cash and paper and makes expense management simple and hassle-free. Zaggle Save is the fast, painless way to digitise and archive receipts in a single, secure location. We turn receipts into extracted, human-verified data that is categorized, organized, fully searchable and available anytime, anywhere.

Zaggle Propel is a platform to design, implement, manage and execute Reward, Recognition and Engagement Programs. It helps the organizations to select and implement the right motivation and reward choices for employees and channel partners, to stimulate the business performance and increase productivity. Propel is highly customizable, configurable and automated platform with better pricing and promotional offers, thus saving organization’s time and efforts.

Zaggle Edge, a prepaid card solution to reward your employees. Be it celebrating festivals, milestones, high performance, and promotions or incentivising your workforce and channel partners – whatever is the occasion, Zaggle has one for everyone.

Zaggle Banc, an Open Banking initiative by Zaggle that include Neobanking platform for SMEs and Founders card. Through Banc, Zaggle wants to build an ecosystem for SMEs that will specifically address their financial needs and help them scale.

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