Amrita Malik – Innoviti Solutions Co founder
This is the interview of Ms. Amrita Malik, Woman Entrepreneur, a versatile women Business Leader & Cofounder & Chief Business Officer, Innoviti Solutions.
Tell us a little about yourself
Amrita Malik: I am an out and out army kid whose earliest memories revolve around a new place and new schools every couple of years. And although there was no pressure to follow the norms, we were encouraged to carve our own identity.
My father strongly believed that there is no shortcut to making our dreams come true, and one must work consistently towards achieving our goals.
After graduating from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, I pursued a master’s in marketing and finance from IILM, and later Senior Executive Leadership Program from Harvard Business School.
How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Amrita Malik: The credit for my transition from a professional woman to a businesswoman goes to two people. The first person is my father, he has been the root of my drive and inspiration to become who I am today.
Even as a child he instilled the values of independence and self-reliance in me. Growing up, he encouraged me to face my fears head-on and work towards making my dreams come true.
I think the entrepreneurial seeds were sown at a very young age. This dream was further strengthened when I joined Innoviti as a young sales professional.
Rajeev – Innoviti’s Founder & CEO further strengthened my belief in me. As a mentor, he trained me into pushing my boundaries.
And when things did go wrong as they sometimes would, he patiently helped me deconstruct the situation by helping me break down the problem into bite-size pieces, taking it apart one piece at a time until the issue was resolved.
Learning from the Senior Executive Leadership Program at Harvard Business School changed the way I viewed professional opportunities.
What service(s) or product(s) do you offer?
Amrita Malik: Innoviti prides itself in being one of the only players in providing progressive payment solutions for ambitious retailers.
Backed by the vision of providing a competitive advantage to offline retailers, our products aim to help businesses boost their sales. Our two core products are:
- uniPAYNEXT: Innoviti’s award-winning payments platform enables large format retailers with industry fastest and most reliable transactions. Designed for Enterprise merchants in Mobiles & Consumer Durables, Fashion & Apparel, Healthcare, Food & Grocery segments, the uniPAYNEXT platform facilitates digital payments through cards, UPI, wallets, loyalty cards, etc. to name a few.
- G.E.N.I.E.: India’s first Smart Marketing Platform for small & medium scale merchants selling mobiles and consumer durables. G.E.N.I.E. empowers retailers to attract more walk-ins, make more conversions and earn more profits. This unique product creates a level playing field for small & medium mainline mobile retailers and enables them to compete with online players.
What is unique about your business?
Amrita Malik: Innoviti’s products help merchants and banks to increase their business. At the same time we help merchants eliminate payment and reconciliation hassles using automation.
Our products such as uniPAYNEXT and G.E.N.I.E. support merchants, banks and brands to boost their sales by helping them collaborate with each other via digital tools, to run various promos such as cashbacks and EMI programs.
Our vision is to simplify our customers’ lives through delightful experiences that eliminates their payments related anxiety and use that time instead to think about their next big idea, while leaving everything to do with payments, to us.
Innoviti’s thoughtfully designed payment solutions helps merchants grow their sales faster with lesser efforts.
The testimony for this is the average time taken by our tool to configure any offer is less than half a day whereas other payments’ terminal in the country take minimum 15 days or sometimes are unable to do so. This causes loss of revenue for not only retailers but other parties also.
What made you choose this type of business?
Amrita Malik: Innoviti ventured into payments business by grabbing an opportunity extended to us by Reliance back in 2008.
They had a futuristic vision of creating a cloud payments infrastructure for their retail chain to consolidate their payments acceptance data from across the country.
Innoviti created India’s first cloud payment acceptance platform at India’s largest and visionary retailer which helped them not only with payments acceptance from all their stores but also access various analysis and insights from their payments data.
What was your mission at the outset?
Amrita Malik: We at Innoviti are working towards using technology to create a level playing field for every merchant, every partner bank and every brand, small or large.
They should be able to use our platform to attract customers and offer them unique experiences and get their fair share of business.
My mission is to create products that can help our customers and partners in this journey since they are looking up to us with hope, and I’m obsessed to offer the right technology and our access to banks & brands for to help them become successful.
How many employees in your organization?
Amrita Malik: We are over 450 employees strong.
What’s your company’s goals?
Amrita Malik: Our immediate goal is to close FY21-22 financially strong with the highest gross margins in the digital payment segment and go for a public listing by 2023.
Our current reach is 30% in the fashion & apparel industry, 14% in food & grocery, 11% in healthcare, and 4% in the electronics sectors, respectively.
We want to establish our leadership across the industry and increase our market share up to 20% minimum in the food & grocery, healthcare, and electronics sectors.
How do you build a successful customer base?
Amrita Malik: Our mantra is simple – it is to help our customers get more walk-ins, give them tools to convert more customers and therefore make more profits.
Helping merchants succeed creates immense goodwill in the market for our products and the brand that helps us create a stronger and ever-growing base of high transacting merchants.
Creating value at various stages brings in stickiness and glues our customers to us. No wonder, Innoviti’s terminals process 2x transactions than any other terminal in the market.
What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
Amrita Malik: Every entrepreneur has experienced failure. In a way, it allows us to keep pushing forward. Being a start-up, learning from our own failures or mistakes happens every day.
For us, we failed when we made the incremental changes in product as per immediate solutions suggested by some customers.
On realizing this, we learnt to study the pain points of the customer, and then make well thought through amends to the design of the product.
This we believed would solve the problem for not only one customer, but for a several customers.
Amrita Malik: Since we are a multi-sided network platform, we need to create value to all stakeholders, be it our partner banks, associations, and brands besides merchants.
Listening to only one party causes imbalance in the entire network. Now, we do groundwork with all stakeholders and then come up with right product which can increase sales for our customers and partners.
Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Amrita Malik: As I look back, I realize that a lot of people have influenced and transformed me into who I am today – from my colleagues to strangers turned friends, to customers.
I have learnt something from almost everyone, sometimes consciously, sometimes subconsciously. However, two people who have played an active role in shaping me up are my father and Rajeev, Innoviti’s Founder & CEO.
While my father encouraged me to go beyond my fears, Rajeev helped me simply complex problems and adapting to changing needs and demands.
What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?
Amrita Malik: As I mentioned above, learning from our own failures or mistakes is an ongoing process for every individual. There are couple of mistakes which taught us various approaches to go to market, like:
It took us time to understand that we need different teams for different types of products like products fall in “Exploration” bucket or in “Exploitation” bucket.
Another gap in our understanding was categorization of market, we initially thought every POS is the same.
Lately we have started understanding that the business vertical, business size and type of consumers visiting those businesses makes an impact on the product design.
Amrita Malik: We were also missing out on upgrading the teams and their skillset – there was huge gap in upskilling the team initially.
But now, to the best of my knowledge, we are proudly the only payment company in the country which invests heavily on training teams and exploring new work profiles with them.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Amrita Malik: Remember the reason or goal you started for. It will not let you slow down.
Does your company help the community or society?
Amrita Malik: Making anyone equipped to earn a decent living is the biggest CSR any corporate could invest in.
I strongly believe many people in our country are ready to work hard and what they need is an opportunity to prove their skills and strengths.
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However, the major drawback has been the lack of quality education. This is where, we at Innoviti, are working hard, to find out fresh talent, upskill them and then create earning opportunities for them in tier 2, tier 3 cities and rural areas.