Upasana Taku Bio, Age, Height, Family, Relationship and more
As technology got better, it was only a matter of time before people switched to online transactions.
Even though online transactions were very popular, many companies came up with ideas for e-wallets. Since the wallets are linked to the user’s bank account, they are a better way to pay. The idea of paying for things online has been very successful, so many local shops are also getting used to it. “Mobikwik” is the company that made it work. Read this article to learn about how Mobikwik Co-Founder Upasana Taku made it big.
Upasana Taku- Mobikwik
In India, Paytm, PhonePay, and GooglePay have been the most well-known e-wallet companies. But Mobikwik is another e-wallet company that has been making huge steps forward recently. Meet the woman whose Kashmiri blood gave her the drive to make a name for herself in her community, whose Gujarati alma mater gave her unbreakable gumption, and whose very unique Punjabi coming-of-age experience taught her to look like a powerful force when things didn’t go her way. The story of Upasana is very inspiring for people who want to start their own business. It will tell you the main reason why she needs to work so much.
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Upasana Taku- Education
Taku finished school in Surat and then went to the National Institute of Technology in Jalandhar to study engineering. She went to that school and got a degree in Industrial Engineering. After that. She got her MS in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University in the US.
Because of her skills and education, HSBC in San Diego hired her. Taku was very good at what she did there. She was successful in many fields, such as marketing and outreach, forecasting, and market research. She joined PayPal when a lot of big business owners led a change in the way business was done in the United States. During her time at PayPal, she learned about how payment systems work in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Aside from that, she also learned how to find risks and manage fraud, as well as how to improve the user experience and design.
Upasana Taku—Leaving your comfort zone
Even though her corporate job made her life comfortable, she decided in 2008 that she no longer wanted to be a corporate drone. She thought that work was getting too easy, even though she had worked on projects with a big impact and made millions of dollars. But she wanted to go back to India and help the startup community there. This was definitely a turning point in Taku’s career!
By 2009, she was back in India. She met a lot of people in the subcontinent and got ideas from them about the hottest industries and the problems that still need to be fixed in the business and startup ecosystem. She said that people in India didn’t use wallets like PayPal. So, users could never imagine a world without cash. Well, the example of India gave us the idea to close this gap and help the country get better at technology.
She met her husband, Bipin, while working on her ideas and project. Bipin is also a co-founder of the company and is now her husband. She met Bipin through a friend they both had in common. She found out that he was also eager to help improve the startup ecosystem. Six months later, Upasana was helping him with many parts of the business, and she later became a co-founder of Mobikwik.
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Upasana Taku—Changing the Fintech Industry
Upasana Taku’s Mobikwik is easy to use and based on what people need. When they first started the company, it was a platform for recharging phones. After a few years, it became the most popular mobile wallet in the country. When people only used physical cash for small amounts like Rs. 10, Taku changed the industry by bringing the idea of a physical wallet to the forefront. A millennial today can’t imagine going to a store for small recharges. Instead, all he or she needs to do is use an app. Now, Mobikwik has grown as a business very quickly. In 2010, the company hired its first person, and it was hard for the team to find someone with the same desire to help the community.
In 2011, there were only six people on the team, so it grew very slowly. They were reliant on the work-from-home market. Taku and Bipin Preet had to work for the company even on the day of their wedding. In the fall of 2011, they rented a five-room office for the first time. In a short time, they grew at a very fast rate, and by June 2012, they had a team of 35 people. The team asked for RBI’s PPI license in September 2012, and they got it in July 2013.
This was a big deal for the team because it showed how much they had grown. The first round of funding for the company was $5 million, which allowed them to move to a bigger office with 50 employees in Udyog Vihar, Gurgaon. The second round of funding came in 2015, when Sequoia Capital, American Express, Tree Line Asia, and Cisco Investment each gave them $25 million.
But, even though e-commerce is growing in the country, slow payment gateways have been one of the biggest problems for the companies. During the time they were growing, there weren’t a lot of ways to pay. Also, only a small number of companies ruled this market, so there weren’t many other options.
Taku’s business got its third round of funding in 2016. This time, Net1, GMO payment gateway, Mediatek, Sequoia Capital, and TreeLine Asia all gave at least $50 million. This was a big deal for the company because it was enough to make them well-known in the circuit.
Again, it might look like an overnight success, but it’s not. She had to go through some hard times to get to where she is now. The first step was to be a woman in the field of technology. A decade ago, India wasn’t used to things like this. She only stayed strong because she was still very interested in technology and related fields. There were already a few players in the market, and because they were the first ones there, they dominated the market.
But there was still something missing. The need of the hour was for a payment gateway to be easier, better, and nicer to use. And that was when she used the slow technology and high sign-up fees to her advantage. Most of what was available at the time didn’t make things easy for people to use.
Upasana had the idea to make an e-wallet product like Zaakpay because he wanted to offer the best services. This is what made Zaakpay the safest way to pay in India. If we ask her to describe her journey, she says it was “courage under fire.” Her interest in analyzing the market and knowing her audience paid off pretty well. She looked into these things because she was interested, and as a result, she came up with something that was missing.
The Troubled Spots
One of the hardest things she had to deal with was being a woman. When she was in charge of finance at MobiKwik, she was once asked by a CA and a possible investor to pass a call to a man over the phone. She notices that letting a woman be so powerful is unsettling. So, she talks about the courage a woman needs to have when she is in charge. She quickly broke the ice and made the other person feel at ease in that situation.
Another big challenge was getting people to like the idea of something like MobiKwik, where language, culture, and shopping habits are very different. It was hard to get people to switch from paying with cash to digital payments. But help from the government and other IT companies made it easier for the digital economy to grow. Upasana’s MobiKwik was smart to expect this and wait until it happened.
Upasana and Bipin’s journey has changed a lot since 2011. At that time, they were working out of their 4bhk apartment, where they had turned two rooms into an office. Even back then, people could see how hard Upasana worked. She used to make lunch most days of the week, and one of her coworkers would make Maggie’s dinner. The MobiKwik mobile app was released the following year, which got the attention of Sequoia Capital, a venture capital firm. Because of this, the number of people using Mobikwik went up, and the company did more than 100,000 transactions with clients like Uber and the Indian Railways.
Upasana Taku has always done well in school, even when she was young. She went to the National Institute of Technology Jalandhar to get her B. Tech in industrial engineering after she finished high school. She finished her own education by getting a master’s degree in Management Science and Engineering from Sandford University, US. Her good grades in school helped her get a job at HSBC in San Diego. There, she did a lot of different things, from marketing and outreach to predicting and researching the market. Later, she joined PayPal, which helped her learn about the payment system, how to manage risk and fraud, and how to improve the user experience.
This kind of experience really helped her when she was running her own business. She went back to India in 2008. She made the choice to open the business. In India, she did a lot of research and met many different kinds of people. At the time, India didn’t know about ways to pay without cash. She understood. She met Bipin Preet Singh, a friend who had graduated from IIT and was looking for a new job. In the interview with Dainik Bhaskar, her husband said that I always asked Upasana, “What should I do?” One day, Bipin Preet Singh decided to run a business with Upasana without giving it much thought. After a while, they got married. Upasana and Bipin began a business called Mobilink in August 2009.
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