AS Technolutions Pvt Ltd is an early-stage revenue-making fintech startup based out of Gurugram. It was founded in 2019 by Mr. Anubhav Saxena & it went live from April 2018.
AS works on a B2B model where they provide a mobile app to the merchants like retailers, freelancers, and corporates(which are into home delivery or home services).
AS is a smart alternative to card swipe machines that empowers the merchants/users to accept card payments from their customers with just a smartphone without attaching any hardware or machine. It scans the card & processes the transaction using 2FA that takes away the requirement of a swipe machine from the ecosystem because the smartphone doubles up like a swipe machine.
Anubhav’s life mantra is “be a jack of all, because all-rounders never fall” which has helped him pull off the show at AS being a single core founder. With more than 13 years of diversified experience spanning different continents with brands like ICICI, VLCC, AirfranceKLM, Anubhav embarked the second innings of his entrepreneurship in 2017.
The Manchester University alumni has worked extensively in strategy implementation, operational effectiveness, program management, Corporate finance, sales automation & even business consulting to name some. In his past FMCG stint, he was awarded by Vandana Luthra for his contribution to the organization. During the 4 years tenure, he worked very closely with retailers in “technology adoption & change management” which exposed him to the realities of the unregulated market. Despite being new, different & surrounded by giants he could still position AS strategically well in the market.
Ingraining the idea
Back in early 2015, Anubhav observed that customers used to specially inform the riders visiting home to carry the machine to accept card payment on delivery. He identified that the majority of the companies were hesitating in procuring thousands of machines for the riders because it was high in cost & high in operational efforts too. Furthermore, he also observed that the micro and small retailers in the neighborhood insisted on cash as they were not holding machines that explained the poor penetration of machines in the market. He found the small merchants skeptical to pay heavy rentals of machines just to add an extra payment option which was unnecessary for their size.
After extensive research, Anubhav realized that the best way to bridge the gap was to provide a solution to the merchants, which was location agnostic and hardware free. That’s where the idea of AS was formed, after which he filed the process patent in the following year.
The struggle to hustle
Like other startups, AS also faced several challenges during its commencement. Nevertheless, Anubhav added that “launching a new and an innovative solution makes the journey for a small start-up a big nightmare as every new product has its own adoption & habit change struggle” which needs rich resources and deep pockets. He further added that “No Bank was agreeing to partner with us in the initial times, I flew a few times to Mumbai specially to discuss the idea/concept with banks, but no one agreed to try something new like this. I really had to struggle a lot”. This is based on the pull mechanism whereas currently online transactions are based on the push mechanism. Implying this mechanism in a completely adopted terminal setup was way too big a change to propose. The struggle continued as they had no strong backing to advocate their idea or concept to pilot. Anubhav went on to share how finally ICICI gave him the chance & agreed to partner with AS.
Security was the key to the success of this project and that’s where Anubhav had put in his maximum strength and ensured level 3.1 compliance of PCIDSS which didn’t come easy to them. For the firm, clearing the PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) audit was a big achievement as it required resources with niche expertise. They had to set-up a temporary office to carry out the long on-going audit back in 2016.
Anubhav expressed his gratitude to all big brands who helped him convert the idea into a business proposition by extending support in their best capacity. He added that AWS sanctioned credits on their billing which took away a lot of cash burden
Achievements & growth
AS has been growing at a rate of 20% MoM. So far, the company has executed over 40k transactions on the AS platform with GTV of more than $1.7m. Presently, the company is floating $2.2lacs per month through 4k transactions. Today AS is empowering thousands of merchants in Delhi/NCR & also servicing a few corporate clients in bringing ease to their card on delivery operations.
AS recently added a feather to its cap by winning the HDFC Digital Innovation Summit in July 2019 that got them the chance to partner with HDFC to be part of its next phase of growth. Further, they also recently secured the 1st position at ISB’s leadership summit start conclave in September 2019.
Anubhav is leaving no stone unturned to make a success story especially by aligning the team’s belief and direction with his own. He is getting complete support from his current investors and envisages to become India’s leading ‘no hardware’ one-stop solution for corporates and retailers to accept card payments anytime anywhere. Thus, it become a corporate and a retail hold name. He strongly believes & says that “He who makes ‘nothing’ out of something, cannot even make ‘something’ out of everything”