Srikanth Rajagopalan

CEO, Me, Inc.

Srikanth has been in the payments, e-commerce, and technology industries for over two decades. He has launched and scaled payments businesses both in large organisations and startups. When not questioning status quo in these industries, Srikanth spends time trying to find the correlation between jazz music and quantum physics.

2 Articles published

Top Comments by Srikanth Rajagopalan

India’s 3-month reprieve from another regulatory curveball: card tokenisation

“Customers don’t get why this change is happening so it hasn’t been a priority item for them,” Not sure what specific input is required from customers to tokenize their cards. Isn't this a simple 1-time step with every merchant? If the RBI mandates tokenization, why does the merchant need customer consent to tokenize? Also, why wait till all cards have been tokenized? Can't cards be tokenized on an ongoing basis once the system goes live? Quoting big numbers like 1 billion cards that need to be tokenized is misleading. Do we know the addressable market of cards that have been used at least once in the past 12 months for an online transaction? I suspect this would be a much smaller number and a more solvable problem!

Srikanth Rajagopalan

With telco licences in the bag, Cisco heads into Jio-Airtel-Vi territory

I for one am celebrating telcos being systematically dismembered and dying by a thousand cuts. Back in the early to mid 2000's, telcos were the sole gatekeepers between startups and our customers. Telcos would routinely make life hell for us - by refusing to whitelist our ips, demanding exclusivity, usurious commissions - one of them even had the chutzpah to demand an equity stake! What started with appstores and OTT apps is now gathering momentum. Full speed ahead for the challengers. The story of hubris and arrogance bringing down the mightiest needs to be told again and again and again!

Srikanth Rajagopalan

Is your job safe this startup layoffs season?

I detect a hint of sympathy for the laid-off employees in your story. Think again. I've seen people reject an offer or move on from company A that's growing sensibly, move to a "hot" startup at 1.5X the previous offer, get laid off within a year, and promptly ping back company A whether the position is still open - but expecting a hike on the 1.5X. If a few ups and downs can build commonsense and humility in jobseekers and the realization that nobody is indispensable, then good!

Srikanth Rajagopalan

India’s banks got schooled on digital payments. Now they want to even the score

What do banks bring to the table that fintechs don't? Can they expand the market? Unlikely to be viable given the overheads of a branch-led model. And it may already be too late. For the past several months, I've been able to ride to the remotest corners of Karnataka, TN, and Kerala with just 500 rupees in my wallet, and didn't have to stop at an ATM or pull out my credit card even once. So if banks are going to chase the same merchants, is it enough to just bet on a single app for all payments? Isn't that what BharatPe already offers regardless of the payment instrument that the consumer uses? How is a bank's app different?

Srikanth Rajagopalan

21 years to unicorndom: Fractal’s build-to-last map for AI treasure

Fantastic, one of your best interviews to date. Keep up the good work, The Ken. A few nit-picks though - at some point, the magic of compounding will meet the reality of the base effect. Post the $10B milestone, even Infosys has settled into a 15-18% growth momentum. And while being publicly accountable and having long-term capital are lofty goals of going public, it comes with its treadmill of investor expectations and reactions - just look at IT stocks over the past few days!

Srikanth Rajagopalan

For Zomato, Instant and Blinkit are brakes not engines

All recent tech IPOs are massive charities where investors subsidize customers at the whims of founders who haven't grown up to public scrutiny. Several questions arise about the role of the board of a publicly listed entity in rubber-stamping irresponsible decisions. If only India had a more robust investor protection and legal framework, Zomato and PayTM could've been classic case studies for class-action lawsuits by retail investors who're being taken for a (10-minute) ride.

Srikanth Rajagopalan

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