Anish Williams, CEO & Co-Founder, Transerv
A veteran within the retail payments segments, Anish Williams is an experienced ex-banker with prior associations with leading banks. He is the Co-founder and CEO of TranServ, one of the leading technology-oriented payments companies in India. In his role, Anish is responsible for defining the strategic direction of the company and building a world-class team.
An alumnus of the prestigious St. Stephen’s College and an MBA graduate, Anish has held leadership roles with several top banks and financial institutions over the course of a career spanning almost two decades including American Express, Citi and HSBC prior to establishing TranServ in 2011, his maiden entrepreneurial venture.
In conversation with Dominic Rebello, Anish speaks about establishing TranServ as the leading mobile payments-based company and creating a highly secure environment along with partner merchants in which customers will be offered the best payments experience through a seamless payments ecosystem.
How big is the potential for a business like yours? Any major customers that you now cater to? What kind of numbers do you expect from a business like yours? Any statistics to compare with international standards?
The potential for mobile wallets, particularly in India, is immense. In a country with more than 145 million families still unbanked, being able to use a digital payments instrument that requires nothing more than a compatible device and an internet connection has led a massive surge in user adoption. As a result, mobile wallet users in India outnumber the country’s credit/debit card users, and are even pegged to overtake the number of bank account holders in the near future if the current growth rate continues.
Several market estimates predict an astounding CAGR of 127.5% for the industry and peg it to cross $6.6 billion in net worth by the year 2020. This rapid growth is largely because of the convenience, ease of usage and flexibility that mobile wallets have brought to the Indian payments industry. Social payments and native phone integrations – concepts that TranServ has pioneered in India – are increasingly becoming a fundamental part of the Indian consumer’s transactional behaviour, indicating that the opportunity is ripe for mobile wallets players to leverage technology and continue the disruption of the payments industry.
On the back of such over whelming positive market response to innovation, we have established our presence as one of the most innovative and forward-looking fintech companies with a focus on delivering the best, most comprehensive digital payments solutions. The end-users, too, have appreciated our differentiated offerings, which has driven more than 300% growth for us over the last year. We are aiming to leverage this traction to drive an annual growth rate of 300% to 500% for the current fiscal period by venturing into other segments such as micro-lending to enable small-ticket, easily accessible loans for the country’s growing digital consumer base.
When compared to the international scenario, the Indian market for digital payments still has some catching up to do in terms of scope and scale. However, the global numbers are an encouraging indication of the success and viability of a tech-first approach in the Indian context.
How do you plan to scale up?
We are going for a very balanced approach as far as our growth strategy is concerned goes. We have been able to achieve profitability due to our continued emphasis on unit economics. So even though we have even just recently closed our highly successful Series C funding, our focus is on building a sustainable business that is scalable as well as profitable by integrating the best aspects of both approaches.
Who would primarily be your consumer audience?
TranServ’s services are not restricted to any particular target group. In fact, anyone and everyone with an access to a smart device and an internet connection is a part of our prospective consumer audience. We are offering interactive social experiences to the young millennial consumers to engage in as well as a seamless and intuitive digital payments interface to the older generation to help them come to terms with technology. Our services are just as popular in the metropolitan and tier-1 cities as they are in tier-2 and tier-3 cities, people irrespective of the geography – have adopted our safe, secure and seamless payments infrastructure to become a part of a rapidly evolving, digitally-inclined Indian economy.