Khalti is one of the biggest online payment platforms of Nepal, to digitize more and more Nepalese people. Within one year, Khalti managed to earn more than 100K users.
Though there was already an eSewa to capture the market and customers favor on online payment service, still total customer satisfaction was missing, which was later on fulfilled by Khalti.
Khalti was launched in January 2017, with the excellent vision to become a reliable, and most secure medium to make an online payment inside Nepal. Khalti is operated and owned by Sparrow Pay Pvt. Ltd. under their parent company Janaki Technology that has been in the software product industry since 2010.
Khalti has crossed more than 8000 Point of Sales and Agent Network providing Khalti services to end-users. It is quite an improvement a lot. Of course, it has been only three years since Khalti has started to explode. And it still has a long way to go with the advancement of technology.
If we talk about its prospects and recognition, Khalti was declared the global winner of Google Business Group Storytelling Contest 2017. Amit Agrawal, Co-Founder, and Director of Khalti have been announced the winner of the prestigious ICT Entrepreneur Award 2019.
The female-empowering campaign for digital and financial literacy named ‘Smart Chhori‘ by Khalti has received support from Spring Accelerator backed by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT).
A Brief History of Khalti
Amit Agrawal, who belongs to a middle-class family from, Birgunj completed his SLC from Birgunj, and for +2, and his engineering degree, he joined Marwadi Sewa Samiti and Himalayan White House College respectively. On his academic journey, he has worked in a grocery store for six months, provided home tuition, and organized dance parties.
After he completed his studies, he joined SUBISU (ISP Company) as a support engineer and worked there for a few months. After working in SUBISU, Agrawal joined Janaki Technology, a company started by his friends, Manish Modi, Arvind Sah, and Dhruba Adhikari, while they were in the third year of their engineering.
By that time, the company used to do web development outsourcing. By the time the team feels that they are missing some core jobs to introduce. They wanted to build some extraordinary service to expand their business. So, as a result, they started Sparrow SMS in 2010.
Coming this far, Sparrow SMS has grown as the market leader in mobile messaging, and provides SMS services to various government organizations, local level governments, and some of the most well-known brands in Nepal.
On January 26, 2017, Agrawal and Janaki Technology launched Khalti Digital Wallet with a mission of digitizing payments in Nepal and make the country a cashless Nation.
Currently, merely 3% of the transactions are digital in Nepal. And, access to banking is still not that satisfactory, especially in rural areas. So, FinTech companies like Khalti and eSewa have excellent prospects in Nepal for the future.
So, up to the present development, Khalti offers a variety of services for payment. Though eSewa was in the market earlier than Khalti, still Khalti became the first to introduce a movie ticketing system in its app and website with a seat selection facility for the movie theatre. Likewise, Khalti is the first digital payment platform in Nepal to bring a hotel booking facility and event ticketing facility within its app and website.
So, we can’t deny the fact that Khalti is progressing far quicker than eSewa, and we can see the future of Khalti in Nepal.
Agrawal struggles in his developing phase to make his career stable by working as an employee for other companies. But, nothing stops him from being one of the successful entrepreneurs of Nepal. And now, he is one of the owners of the most valued and demandable company, Khalti.
Nothing can stop you if you want success very seriously. So, don’t quit your dream for one or two failures. Keep hope inside and fight back. No one knows who may be the next leader of our corporate industry.
Strategies of Khalti
Khalti and eSewa are open competitors, and they will do anything to win the market. Both the company are good and doing their best in their job. Still, a sword can’t have two edges. So, with the time, either Khalti or eSewa will acquire a large amount of market share.
We can learn many ideas and knowledge from the co-founder of Khalti and from the company itself.
So, let us discuss some key factors or strategies that are supporting Khalti to dominate eSewa.
Identifying consumer needs
If you don’t know the need of the consumers, then there is no way to create a product or service. Before introducing any product or services in the market, you should assess the need or demands of the consumers.
So, Agrawal knew that Nepal is developing towards technological devices, and people need the financial technologies. So, this was a brilliant environment to start Khalti.
However, there was already eSewa in the market, but it took a long time to make people literate financially and digitally. Thus, Khalti got that competitive advantage to make Nepalese people more literate about FinTech (Financial Technology) and is now on the same level of competition with eSewa.
So, before starting any new products, first, go to the market. Then collect the resourceful data about the consumer’s needs, and only declare the features of your product.
Focusing on long-term investment
Khalti, what you are perceiving, may not look like that. If the Khalti is standing till right now, it is the power of its business plan. A long-term investment is only a way to sustain any company for an unlimited time.
Any company that wants to make a profit in a short time, and doesn’t care about its customers, will end up through bankrupt very soon. So, keeping this in mind, Agrawal was also maintaining his core team to sustain Khalti for huge prospects.
We give cash-back offers to our customers as we function with a long term plan/investment – Amit Agrawal.
So, it is not compulsory to earn a profit within a year or two, from your start-up. It requires some years to become stable and completely solute inside the market.
If you are also thinking about starting your own business, then it is better to know that you are not going to be a millionaire over the night. Even it might be stressful to manage the employee’s payroll for some years. And you are going to earn less than your employees. I know it feels sad! But all the entrepreneurs share the same things.
So, Khalti is also here to win a big competition, but not to make a quick buck!
Assessing the market
Just like any of the successful companies, Khalti has also done the same. They have identified their market and understand to whom they are developing their product.
They have researched their competitors, necessary data and figures, and other external factors: their app dependency on the integration with banks, merchants, and the policy-makers. Similarly, they researched their consumer’s knowledge and behavior regarding the payment system through the internet.
So, what we learn from that? We can learn that if we are entering the jungle without being aware of the wild animals that reside there, we are going to be their prey.
Never take part in the competition which you don’t know how to compete.
Even, Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, first observes his enemy before attacking them. He requests Lord Krishna to place his cart in the middle of the battlefield so that he can inspect clearly to whom he is going to fight.
Thus, after we know all the competitions and challenges that we are going to face in our life, then only we can prepare ourselves to tackle them.
Developing a high-performance team
With regards to the teamwork of Khalti, they have developed their core software system from scrap to full-fledged high converting app. They have started from zero to hero with the same team. And how any company can undervalue their creator, indeed not at all!
They have developed their team as an expert in the IT industry. They never accept failure, and they persist in their dream and vision. They keep learning continuously and acquire all the technical knowledge. Because the more you learn, the more you earn.
The co-founder of Khalti, Amit Agrawal, believes in building confidence among all the corporate members. He keeps boosting the faith of all members of a company. Because, if you don’t have faith in yourselves, then no one is going to believe in you.
Investors do not necessarily invest in ideas but do invest in the confidence of the team – Amit Agrawal.
Effective collaboration between managers and employees
Clarity is power! Only focusing on one direction gives you strength and energy. So, Khalti is also focusing on only one direction.
Khalti knew their destination and their success point. So, directors and managers of Khalti always focus on the clear picture of their future achievements.
Khalti never ignores the voice of their employees, and always respect the ideas and new concepts from their employees. Also, the top-level executives of Khalti never mind to work for lower-level management and are forever ready to teach and cooperate with lower-level employees.
Only team works make your dream works. So, effective teamwork is essential for any business.
Agrawal clearly stated that – during the launch of Khalti too, our team camped and slept in the office for half a month; we booked some rooms, bought eight sleeping bags, and lunched in the nearby restaurants.
And the main thing, they have created their environment financially, physically, and mentally ready for any kind of urgency. So, from Khalti, we can learn that the smooth and flexible collaboration among team members of a company will only drive us higher in our business.
Empowering/Educating potential customers
Like no other companies have done this type of effective campaign. It is fair to do the marketing campaign by companies, but Khalti has blended the markering operations with the social empowerment program.
If you don’t have customers, then what is the meaning of running a business? So, it is better to create customers, rather than waiting in the store for the arrival of customers.
As we all know, Nepal is an underdeveloped country, and people are not aware of financial technologies. People living in village areas even don’t have access to the internet and essential digital gadgets.
So, at this time, Khalti started its marketing campaign – Smart Chhori, to empower and enlighten the daughter living in village areas.
And their theme in this campaign is, if a daughter is educated in a family, then she can teach her whole family to use financial technologies. And ultimately, it helps to develop village areas and widen the confidence of the daughter and women.
Thus, Khalti has targeted the village areas rather than the city. Because people living in the city know how to use these types of technologies, but it was must necessary to upgrade the people of village areas.
And Khalti became successful, to implement their ‘Smart Chhori’ campaign and is making a powerful impact on the empowerment of our daughters and women.
Making the app more user-friendly
Who is the competitor of Khalti? Of course, eSewa! So, it is necessary to have distinguished and more user friendly app and web to enhance customer experience with their product.
So, after we all use eSewa and see their promotional ads at the top on a home page, it is relevant to get disturbed. I know it is necessary to show ads, but it also matters to ensure that the page loads faster.
Thus the main fault on eSewa is that their app or website keeps loading and loading, and it consumes more time. Also, their app is so heavyweight and seems to work slower.
But in the case of Khalti, it is entirely different. Khalti also shows ads, but in fact, they show at the top and bottom. Still, Khalti is faster though they show ads at multiple positions. And they are placing all the payment points in a small box with low graphics design. And this maintains the speed of the app.
Similarly, Khalti is also easy to use than eSewa in terms of payment, loading, and sending funds. As well as it’s app interface is so ordinary that any new users can understand it very well. So, it is the most advantageous strength of Khalti.
So, the user interface of their app is very crucial to grab the attention of consumers. And the main product of Khalti and eSewa is their app. Thus, only that company survives and thrives for the long term, which can provide better consumer experience through its core product and service.
Vision for serving the whole nation
If you are too sensitive to small failures and achievement, good and bad performance of your company, then you can’t struggle for the long term.
You should have a high patience level and a vision of changing the nation. Most people don’t fail because they can’t achieve their goals, but most people fail because they set their goals very small and accomplish it.
So, it is necessary to have big goals that keep us busy following it and never makes us feel contentment. Likewise, Khalti also has a great vision to make Nepal cashless and to make every Nepali people use their smartphones to pay bills and collect money.
Thus, we can say this vision motivates Khalti, and the team to work continuously without taking a rest. Motivation and inspiration help to make us energized. So, the motivation behind the introduction of Khalti is extraordinary, which never makes it’s employees feel down.
And I believe that we all should have a big dream and goals in life that keeps the power to change the world.
We built Khalti brick by brick, step by step, effort upon effort, faith upon faith, and your blessings upon your blessings – Manish Modi (Co-Founder of Janaki Tech).
So, we learn that Khalti is competing with eSewa with it’s best strength and strategies to be no. 1 in the FinTech industry. Khalti and eSewa are both within our access, and both are free to use. But the main point here is that in the business industry, one has to lead the market with the best competitive advantage.
Amit Agrawal seems to be a highly ambitious and futuristic director who is leading Khalti towards the great fortune.
Though we discuss how Khalti is competing with eSewa in our corporate industry, we should not make any biased perception between them. But we should feel proud that our leading CEOs are helping and contributing their day and night to make Nepal a digitized country through their consistent hard work.
For truth, in Nepal, the digital payment industry is only in its infancy stage, and still, there is a long way to travel for its actual development in the Nepalese market.
I trust you appreciated understanding this and get insight into your curiosity.
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