Mohan K – A Man Catering to Transactional Challenges in the Rural Space
By: Ashwathy Nair
Paying with a smartphone is the easiest way possible. The mobile payment apps are coming up with new ways to exchange money and provide customers with new ways. Nowadays, applications such as Google Pay, Paytm, Mobikwik, PhonePe, PayU, and Razorpay are in hype as they are driving India’s fintech boom.
There are few companies, who aim at examining the next billion users and tries to bridge the gap in non-metro cities and rural areas. Chennai-based “IppoPay” is a payment aggregator that allows businesses to collect and accept payments from customers. In Tamil, the word ‘Ippo’ means NOW. So the app’s name, “IppoPay” means Pay Now.
The co-founder and CEO of this Chennai-based IppoPay are Mohan K, who belongs from a family of fishermen living in Thamraikulam, which is a small village in Rameshwaram. Mohan describes that the fintech platform allows businesses to accept payments through its POS Software. It allows businesses to get invoices, together with statistics on business, engaging with customers, and so on. There is no need for payment permits, POS, or swiping machines for IppoPay. The merchants are supposed to simply generate QR codes using its mobile app.
“There has always been an issue with other favoured payment options that, business book records are not provided. IppoPay resolves the issue by letting businesses manage payments, track payment details, and it also sends a payment link through SMS/Email to its customers”
“The platform – IppoPay, can also be used, to manage subscriptions, automate recurring billing, and get notified for all activities that are related to payment. There are no setup charges; the platform has a flat unit pricing model,” Mohan says.
“IppoPay’s target audiences are merchants and vendors, the motive is to introduce them to digital payments with its simple and user-friendly interface” he adds.
The Journey from Programming to Starting Up
Mohan K is a graduate from Md Sathak Engineering College who arrived in Chennai to make a living. Mohan K joined as a programmer in a small company but always had a desire to do something of his own. In 2010, a web development company was launched by him, which shortly, started to gather revenues and soon made him the ‘local fintech guy’.
“More than 50 payment gateways were integrated. As time went by, I was getting more involved in fintech, wondering how things work…by that time, my web development company had taken the shape of a software development company,” Mohan says.
With the express idea of getting more clients and funding, in 2018, Mohan K went to a Fintech event in the UAE, where he met with Omar Bir Berk, a Dubai-based entrepreneur. He offered Mohan K to become Co-founder and CTO of a company known as Faloosi, to build the tech, which would help in solving the last-mile fintech issues in the UAE.
Without the need for a POS machine, Faloosi enables businesses to get paid using QR code, payment gateway, or a payment link. It took one year for Mohan to develop the payment gateway product and finally, Faloosi was launched in February 2019. The venture worked so well that Mohan K wished to bridge this gap in India.
Catering to Transactional Challenges in the Rural Space
Mohan planned to create a similar fintech solution which will be focused on small businesses for India, and he started it from his home town, Tamil Nadu. Mohan K says, “Most of all payment aggregators are seen coming up from Bengaluru, Mumbai, or Gurugram and support businesses in languages such as English or Hindi. That led me to think that our gateway should be in a local language such as Tamil to be user-friendly”.
Mohan decided to quit Faloosi and he launched IppoPay in June 2020. He drew his childhood friend Jaikumar as a co-founder and CTO, together they set up a team of 15 members for IppoPay. The founders of the startup have invested Rs 50 lakh into the company so far.
Small Merchants and SMEs are the Targets
IppoPay’s clients include milk vendors, chit fund companies, newspaper boys, and others in Tier II and III cities in Tamil Nadu. Mohan K says that they planned to create a mobile app for those people who manage their payments only through paper and also, offered them a subscription plan in their language.
Mohan K says, “IppoPay provides proper accounting software, customer management with a complete book record and tracking of payment details”. An Android/ iOS app is provided in order to handle all activities related to payment in the mobile app.
The Future Plan
Mohan wishes to diversify the offering and help businesses in India. The startup he has built is in line with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for an Atmanirbhar Bharat, he is proud to share that “IppoPay” is currently focusing on to simplify the social commerce for the sake of entrepreneurs to be able to create an online store within a minute.
“Most married women in Tamil Nadu are homepreneurs and they require an eCommerce platform, but the hiring of a development company is difficult. Platforms such as Shopify are available, but such platforms need to be paid. IppoPay is a payment aggregator that fills the gap in Tamil Nadu”.