Ravi Patel is the Co-Founder of YoloPay, which is building the next generation of smart payments for the customer or the business. Ravi shares insights on his entrepreneurship journey and his mission to promote financial inclusion and financial literacy.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Global citizen. Traveller and adventurer. Inspired by stories. Motivated by impact. Fuelled by insanity.
What is your business venture about?
Delivering a new generation of financial services on new technologies to sustainably serve new segments of society. We have a series of mobile-designed solutions for households and small businesses.
What is your mission at the outset?
To promote financial inclusion and financial literacy.
How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Through working with several large financial services institutions, I had been exposed to and involved in the design and building of various models of banking across many counties. This drove me to define a business model, a strategy and a network of resources to build products that solve the needs of governments, consumers and businesses. The legacy platforms cannot thrive in an internet economy.
What is unique about your business?
We are unique in our segment focus with a mobile solution for households and small businesses in our target regions.
Who do you sell to and how do you get customers?
In order to build mobile financial management infrastructure, our focus is on solving real problems for mobile consumers and by building engagement with merchant and media partners. As a solution provider, we are committed to initially targeting customers, intelligently, through digital channels. We then will build engagement through real-time, location-based and data-driven services in the m-commerce, loyalty and credit issuance space.
Why will customers stay or do repeat business with you?
We deliver a service worth paying for. We build a brand that people connect with. And we engage with customers based on our deep understanding of their behaviours and their preferences.
What have been the biggest obstacles?
Working within, and on the edge of regulations, to deliver new products and services, and getting the complex eco-system of partners to agree, deliver and maintain a best-in-class customer service. All partners across the value chain must maintain focus on the service to the end customer. There is a lot of legacy mind set that needs to be reconstituted. Trying to get early venture stage investors to understand the process and the risks has been a learning curve for all parties involved.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Do your homework first. Given the stakes, and the layers of complexity involved, there is very little space for decision-biases or blindspots.
Do you have any final thoughts?
Yes. There is no such thing as a final thought. There is always more to learn. Our culture and our business design will ensure that we learn fastest and are able to develop the best scalable products.
Who is your biggest inspiration or drive to do what you are doing?
Knowing that the current banking system has created and exacerbates social inequality.
What’s next for you and for YoloPay?
Continue to invest in our team and culture. Remain committed to having positive customer impact. And expand the reach of our business to improve welfare across SE Asia and markets beyond.
Hock Lai has 18 years of experience in the financial industry, having performed roles in both business and technology. He graduated from the National University of Singapore (Real Estate), Nanyang Technological University (Infocomm Technology) and Nanyang Polytechnic (Fund Management & Administration).
He is also a Fellow of the Singapore University of Social Science, advisor to FinTech Startups and mentor to student FinTech projects.
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