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

For better or worse: The Tata-BigBasket marriage of convenience

The best that Tata can do is to be a mentor and patient investor. Getting it right with BB will create the playbook for a string of pearls strategy for each domain - grocery, apparel, electronics, jewelry, etc. where they have individually strong brands such as Westside, Croma, Titan. Getting Hari and team on board is a huge bonus, they can be fantastic mentors to each initiative. Give up the chimera of a super-app.

Srikanth Rajagopalan

Why India should not buy Bitcoin

Great article, Sumanth. In "developed" markets such as the US, BTC first solved the problem of circumventing a clumsy and costly domestic payment system. Given abundant liquidity, dismal interest rates, angst against Wall Street (remember r/wallstreetbets?), BTC has become a hot speculative asset. We're are the peak of the hype cycle, and need to listen to that tiny voice of reason - what goes up must come down. Gravity eventually wins. As I type, GME is down to $52.40 India has the world's best domestic payment system, period. The JAM framework has laid the foundation for inclusive finance, and further systemic innovation is afoot in the data ecosystem. In such a scenario, the need for a CBDC to solve for payments, remittances, and financial inclusion is hard to seek. I'm still trying to figure out the difference between INR 100 in my bank account and an equivalent CBDC 100 fiat currency in my crypto account. Aren't they the same, since both are eventually guaranteed by the central bank? You could argue that public trust in banks and NBFCs is at an all-time low. Depositors have lost millions and taxpayers are coughing up billions to pay for their untrustworthiness. However, shifting the onus of trust solely to the central bank is hardly the solution! As you've said, we would do well to focus on blockchain and not cryptocurrencies. Mr. Balaji Srinivasan makes a cogent argument to update IndiaStack to add on-chain accounting to make the financial ecosystem more transparent and investment-friendly. Sunshine is the best cure for shady dealmaking!

Srikanth Rajagopalan

Sorry for the inconvenience: Why your bank's systems keep failing

Great article, Arundhati. This is the first time the RBI has imposed a cap on business - rather than a fine - on a bank for technical glitches. Hopefully, this sends a strong signal to all banks to wake up. Expecting the RBI to prescribe a policy for cloud adoption is an excuse to stay with status quo. When asked about their stance on allowing banks to move to the cloud, the RBI has always responded: "No bank has come to us with a well thought out plan." IBA, IDRBT have guidelines, and AWS, Azure, have execution blueprints for banks to move workloads to the cloud. All that's missing is determined action from banks. I agree with Aniket's comments - I wonder if Sachin Bansal and Navi are reading this :-)

Srikanth Rajagopalan

India's instant loan app crisis is made in China

Four accounts start receiving millions of credit transactions for an entity incorporated as recently as Jan 2020, and ICICI Bank doesn't smell a rat? Presumably, these funds were remitted out of the country with the click of a button with no questions asked? And the bank didn't even bother to verify the entity's physical address - seeing how simple it was for you? I'd place most of the blame at the bank's door. Their incentives reward short-term thinking - quarterly targets for CASA balances - rather than protecting consumers. Sadly, no-one - not even you - have called them out for abdicating their fiduciary duties.

Srikanth Rajagopalan

Evaluation over valuation: The public superstructure exposing Indian edtech’s vanity metrics

I think both models will co-exist. The rich and privileged 0.1% will continue to fall prey to Wolf Gupta and put their kids through unimaginable stress just to protect their privilege. On the other hand, state-funded initiatives will remove barriers to access - say fixed school timings or distance - that prevent wider and deeper student participation at least till Class 12. It's heartening to note that bureaucracy is moving quickly. Perhaps state education departments should own metrics around enrolment and participation rate in these initiatives. A wonderful piece to start the year with, keep up the good work!

Srikanth Rajagopalan

AWS, Google, and the drawbacks of India's data centre deluge

Pratap, a great story on a very under-reported market segment. I'd urge you to re-visit several assumptions while comparing this industry with telecom. 1. Unlike telecom, datacenters are not limited by license; they can set up anywhere in India. I'm surprised that two cities have such a disproportionate share - perhaps this is a function of talent, and can be overcome with the right investments in skilling and incentives. 2. Don't underestimate the power of compounding demand growth even with the currently tapped market segments. Add to that the fact that large data guzzling enterprises are seriously considering a shift to the cloud in the next year or two. The HDFC Bank disaster is a wake-up call. 3. 5G will bring new technology models where compute shifts to the edge, but needs even more storage and analytics in the cloud. 4. For non-PII data - say images of cats and dogs - you can sell excess capacity globally, unlike telecom. I'm an optimist. Not only do I think the datacenter boom is sustainable, but I'm also hoping we can create a born-in-India hyper-scale cloud provider that actually unlocks the value from commodity datacenters.

Srikanth Rajagopalan

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