In the latest episode of our True Connections Podcast, Alan Hooks speaks to fintech start-up entrepreneur and CEO of Pine Labs, Amrish Rau. Amrish has over two decades of experience in the fintech sector, having run his own start-up and built a number of large organisations. In addition to learning Amrish’s views on the post-Covid world, we hear the fascinating story of his journey as an entrepreneur.
Listen to the podcast
Click on the player below to hear Alan and Amrish’s conversation:
Amrish ‘s career started as a Sales Engineer with Samsung followed by business development in NCR Corporation. Later, he found that his greatest passion was running a FinTech business and he set off firmly on an exciting high-growth journey of building a digital payment platform. Moving his career from corporates to start-ups, the Pine Labs’ CEO took up an important role in the massive digital payment market in India.
From paper-based to digital payments, from in-person to messaging (Whatsapp) transactions, the disruption of the fintech industry has not slowed down. According to Amrish, since the pandemic, the electronic payment market in India doubled the number of users due to lockdown and change of customers’ spending behavior.
Don’t build products that solve today’s problem, but tomorrow’s.
In the past 12 months, small businesses in India have quickly adopted digital checkouts and hence supported Pine Labs to grow exponentially. Amrish has identified the more than 16 million small businesses and pop-up stores in India as a huge potential market. He also plans to further support retail e-commerce with new software like merchant-specific apps, and provide financial services including credit facilities similar to the “buy now, pay later” concept to cater to emerging consumer needs.
“Don’t build products that solve today’s problem, but tomorrow’s.” This forward-thinking mind-set is something that clearly differentiates the business’ competitive edge when listening to Amrish speak about Pinelabs. Amrish’s ability to build products for tomorrow, seek out options with vertical integration and business expansion, acts as a disruptor in serving customers better. As Amrish says, “Tomorrow is better than today.”
Looking to the future, Amrish is seeking a vertical integration with payment gateway to complete the one-stop payment platform at Pine Labs. Hence, this would help serve the small businesses and consumers in the future, targeting a wider audience, including those in Southeast Asia countries.
Seeing people and speaking to somebody you trust is very important to ensure your personal wealth grows.
As an entrepreneur of a start-up, Amrish identified and categorised three types of investors for a business: investors that are willing to try out new ideas and support growth of business; strategic investors that have the ability to expand to many markets without extra investments; and, investors that can help to scale up and manage operations of a start-up business.
Even though technology has disrupted many parts of the financial industry including deposits and lending, Amrish believes that Wealth Management is still the core part of banking that needs human connections. “Seeing people and speaking to somebody you trust is very important to ensure your personal wealth grows”, says Amrish.
Having a good idea is one thing. Pushing through and implementing it is another. We portray entrepreneurs who share their personal stories and reflect on lessons learnt.