New Delhi, Jul 24 (PTI): Should a high subscription fee stop those living in rural India from enjoying Netflix shows? Not really! A “sachet subscription” for Rs 10 per movie can play all the trick, says fintech firm PayNearby.
Internet data consumption for chatting, content and social media is alike in urban and rural areas. However, it is skewed in favour of the urban population for shopping, education, job searches, medicine and mobile banking, among others as compared to those living in rural and semi-urban areas, said Anand Kumar Bajaj, Founder MD & CEO, PayNearby.
“Today there is availability of easy credit, easy insurance, easy content and many other services. As per BCG data, in urban and rural areas, people are mostly using data for chat and content on social media whereas for shopping they use it less in rural and more in urban areas.
“Imagine if I start selling one movie on Netflix at Rs 10 in cash, it is going to crash down their servers. So to cater to this mass segment which we call Bharat… we are in talks with Netflix already,” Bajaj told PTI in an interview.
PayNearby is a fintech startup which offers branchless banking and other financial services to the mass segment of the country by enabling the local neighbourhood kirana merchants commonly known as ‘Digital Pradhans‘.
Citing data from global consulting firm BCG, he said the internet data consumption for free OTT (Over-The-Top) content platforms is 39 per cent in rural areas, whereas zero per cent for paid subscription.
“I want to change that in the next five years. We can take it to 20 per cent for paid OTT subscriptions in rural areas in five years from now,” Bajaj said.
PayNearby, through its tech-led DaaS (Distribution as a Service) network, serves 75 per cent of India with services like cash withdrawal, remittance, Aadhaar banking, bill payment and recharges, savings, travel, digital payments and insurance.
A former banker with ICICI Bank and Yes Bank, Bajaj said there is India and there is Bharat.
“The 10 per cent is the digital savvy, value seeking while the 90 per cent segment is what we call Bharat. The digitised segment has all kinds of facilities and services like banking, debit card, credit card, shopping. All the big techs are pouring services to them only, besides offering them cashbacks.
“And there is this 90 per cent marginalised, subsidised segment on the other hand for which the government is making efforts. If we wish to integrate Bharat with India, this can be accomplished faster with digitisation,” Bajaj said.
He said it will not be viable to take the distribution supply chain to the masses through physical means only. But if you make that physical digitally powered, the phygital model, you can deliver credit, content, consumption, insurance, payments, education among others. So you can relay everything digitally provided you have included digital payment in that.
Bajaj said as much as Rs 1.5 lakh crore dispensed under Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) has been lying unwithdrawn in the bank accounts of the beneficiaries, which is “curtailing consumption artificially“.
“People have money in their accounts, bank is there, but no banking. There are 32,000 bank branches in India around 6 lakh villages, which are not enough to cater to their needs. The government has fulfilled its responsibility by crediting that money to the users’ accounts, but how do the citizens use or access that money, that is where enablers like us come to the play. It needs to be done through what we are doing.”
He said ‘Har Dukan Digital Pradhan’ is the motto where every shop will be a digital enabler.
A micro entrepreneur can bring the high-end technology in a simplified sachetised manner to every citizen. One can go to a shop to buy 1 kg potato, 1 kg pulses, one OTT recharge, one insurance installment payment — it is like all at one stop, he said, adding this has also helped boost the sales of the kirana merchant.
“Every month, we are able to dispense Rs 7,500 crore worth of sachetised financial services to Bharat which respects the services. These merchants were the enablers who helped disburse the government subsidy to people during the lockdown and their trust factor has augmented to a great extent,” Bajaj said.
Akin to the name, the PayNearby founder said the company wants to bring everything nearby to a consumer.
“We want to do retail sashaktikaran (empowerment). This is a journey which will help in the transition of India and Bharat from an assisted service to self service model and we will be responsible for that as well,” Bajaj added.
According to PayNearby, its 50 lakh-plus micro-entrepreneurs across over 19,000 PIN codes assist more than 20 crore customers across the country.
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- Source – PTI
- Published Date – July 24, 2022