INTERVIEW: Amit Nigam, Executive Director & COO at BANKIT
At Sugermint Media, our aim is to bring to our entrepreneurs community some of the inspiring and motivational stories from the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
As part of this endeavour, we invited yet another passionate entrepreneur Amit Nigam, Executive Director & COO at BANKIT, a FinTech company that offers basic banking, financial and payment services for an exclusive interview with us.
What is Bankit?
Amit Nigam: BANKIT is a FinTech company that offers basic banking, financial and payment services to the unbanked, underbanked and migrant population residing in rural, semi-rural and urban areas through its vast agent network spread across the country.
BANKIT empowers its agents to disburse various services like Domestic Money Transfer (DMT), Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AePS), Utility Bill Payments, Prepaid Recharges, Travel and Stay Bookings, Prepaid Cards, FasTag, Cash Management Services, Aadhaar Pay, Mini ATM, etc.
The agents are enabled through technology by BANKIT to distribute multiple services to their customers in the vicinity through a single BANKIT Portal/App.
How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Amit Nigam:The very concept behind the business was to convert cash into a digital instrument. BANKIT conceptualises not only financial inclusion but digital inclusion.
India is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. However, out of 100% population, 70% population still struggles to get seamless availability of banking and financial services.
The lack of bank branches/ATMs in rural and semi-urban areas could not fulfil the needs of the gigantic population of India.
People who are unbanked, migrant people and labourers suffer from a lack of banking and financial services and the accessibility to these services is way too far from their reach.
Hence, the necessity of removing digital illiteracy and making neighbourhood stores provide 24/7 banking, financial and payment services to the needy people gave way to BANKIT.
What is unique about your business?
Amit Nigam: The uniqueness of our business glints in the services that we offer and the way we deliver our services. Our services are aimed towards the eradication of digital illiteracy that prevails amongst the people who live in rural, semi-rural and urban areas.
Our business provides basic banking and financial services in the most innovative, helpful and convenient way.
BANKIT helps people who are illiterate, who find it difficult to visit a bank, fill out a form, and then avail themselves the banking services, or those people who have don’t have time to visit a bank because all the services that a person needs are made available at a single, local point of people’s vicinity through BANKIT’s multiple agents.
All the services are available 24/7 with reliability and we make sure that we retain the trust factor amongst our agents as well as the end-users.
What made you choose this type of business?
Amit Nigam: A business is one that serves society in a positive manner. After witnessing the dilemma of people who couldn’t get access to modernisation, digitalisation and basic banking services, the idea of BANKIT appeared as a need of the hour.
In a population of 1.25 crore, bank branches and ATMs are less than what is needed. Digital literacy and financial inclusion are still a dream for almost half of the Indian population.
So, digitally backward people and migrant people needed basic banking and financial services at their doorsteps, hence we came up with the concept of BANKIT where we could provide banking and financial services at utmost convenience and reliability.
At the onset of this business, the idea was to complete the demand and supply chain of financial inclusion, and today we can proudly proclaim that BANKIT is fulfilling people’s demands of banking and financial services and BANKIT is creating entrepreneurs in each nook and corner.
How many employees are there in your organization?
Amit Nigam: BANKIT, headquartered in Noida has its huge sales team spread across the country. BANKIT has its presence in every state of India.
Moreover, the number of enthusiastic people in BANKIT keeps increasing day by day, and at present, a total of 198 employees are working in BANKIT.
Your company’s goals?
Amit Nigam: Our company, BANKIT, has goals of providing easy, hassle-free banking and financial services at people’s doorsteps, especially where people don’t have direct access to such services.
BANKIT also sets goals of supporting the entrepreneurial spirit of people, removing the digital gap that distinguishes digitally abled people and digitally backward people, and making banking and financial services reach every threshold.
How do you build a successful customer base?
Amit Nigam: We onboard retailers/distributors in every part of India, equip them with the latest technology so that they can provide their customers with all the services conveniently.
Moreover, creating new customers is difficult but retaining the existing ones is even more difficult. However, we feel proud to proclaim that our business has been serving 2.4 million customers successfully and approximately 10 Lakh new customers are being served every month.
The customers associated with BANKIT who are not self-reliant are now able to get the benefits of basic banking and financial services at their doorsteps through our vast network of agents.
Our mantra of building a successful customer base is to provide effortless services with convenience, reliability, trustworthiness and solve their problems promptly and timely.
What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
Amit Nigam: To our recollection, there are no such failures that could let us down. On the contrary, we have grown so much since the pandemic.
We have created more job opportunities for people who were not able to make a livelihood during the Covid pandemic.
Our Agent network increased by thrice its number, and we had been able to fulfil people’s needs of banking and financial services even when it seemed impossible to transfer money, withdraw cash, and avail oneself of other banking and financial services.
Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Amit Nigam: The biggest inspiration of BANKIT has been the inaccessibility of banking and financial services to the unbanked, underbanked, and migrant population of India. The zeal of making everyone empowered and equipped with digitalisation has always inspired BANKIT.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Amit Nigam: BANKIT has successfully been serving the unserved population in an easy and hassle-free manner and creating entrepreneurs for a long time now.
So, some of the things that BANKIT could advise someone who is starting out is to remember that never give up, always work harder than you have anticipated, let it happen and let it go and the most important thing to remember is you did not come this far just to come this far.
Like success, failure is a part of life and without failures, you won’t learn, you won’t do better, and you won’t achieve what you have been dreaming about.
Does your company help the community or society?
Amit Nigam: Community service has been the top priority for BANKIT. The entire foundation of BANKIT is based on the ideology of serving society.
We encourage factory owners, corporate offices to employ someone who is a widow or widower, ex-military personnel, and specially abled people so that they can own a reputable livelihood.
Under the community service segment of BANKIT, people who find it difficult to find a job get a job and have an earning opportunity, and people who don’t have access to banking, financial, and payment services are provided with all the services conveniently at their doorsteps.
By being a part of BANKIT, our agents are able to earn extra income by attracting more customers. Our agents are now able to live a good life and support their families financially.
BANKIT is visualised to make needful people self-reliant so that they can lead a graceful and effortless life.
We hope you find the inspiring story of Amit Nigam, Executive Director & COO at BANKIT useful and inspiring through your entrepreneurial journey and will keep you inspired.
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