We are excited to announce that Amit Agrawal, Co-Founder and Director of Khalti has been announced the winner of the prestigious ICT Entrepreneur Award 2019. This annual award is dedicated to IT Entrepreneurs of Nepal who are shaping the arena in Nepal and beyond, to recognize their ability and help them move ahead.
From being a small-town boy from Birgunj who had no such big dream in life to the Co-Founder and CEO of Sparrow SMS, the leading Bulk SMS Service Provider in Nepal, and Co-Founder and Director of Khalti, an emerging digital wallet and payment gateway in Nepal, Amit Agrawal has come a long way.
In his acceptance speech, Agrawal dedicated the award to the efforts of his incredible team at Khalti and Sparrow SMS.
I am honored to receive ICT Entrepreneur Award 2019. This award belongs to my team that has been working dedicatedly day and night. This is a recognition of the efforts of our team to digitize payments in Nepal and simplify people’s lives. This award has encouraged us to do more and contribute more to the development of IT industry in Nepal.
Amit was born and brought up in Birgunj. He completed SLC from Birgunj itself. After SLC he moved to Kathmandu for his higher education. Coming from a family with not so strong financial background, he looked around for scholarship to pursue his higher degree. With the scholarship grant from Marwadi Sewa Samiti and full scholarship from Himalayan White House College, he joined the college to pursue +2 and engineering degree. On his journey, he has worked in a grocery store for six months, provided home tuitions, and organized dance parties.
After his engineering, he joined SUBISU as a support engineer and worked there for a few months. After working in SUBISU, Amit joined Janaki Technology, company started by his friends, Manish Modi and Arvind Sah while they were in the third year of their engineering. By that time, the company used to do web development outsourcing.
But slowly the team started to feel that the purpose of the company was missing. They wanted to build own product. So, as a result, they started Sparrow SMS in 2010. Coming this far, Sparrow SMS has grown as the market leader in mobile messaging, and provides SMS services to various government organizations, local level governments, and some of the most well-known brands in Nepal.
On January 26, 2017, Amit and team Janaki Technology launched Khalti Digital Wallet with a mission of digitizing payments in Nepal and make the country a cashless Nation – an ambitious dream of Khalti. Currently, merely 3% of the transactions are digital in Nepal. And, access to banking is still not that satisfactory, especially in rural areas. So, fintech companies like Khalti have a good scope in Nepal.
Khalti has introduced various innovations in digital payment in Nepal. It is the first payment app in Nepal that brought movie ticketing system within its app and website with seat selection facility. Likewise, Khalti is the first digital payment platform in Nepal to bring hotel booking facility and event ticketing facility within its app and website. Khalti offers both online and offline payment use-cases.
Currently, Khalti offers various utility bill payment services, mobile recharge, DTH recharge, domestic flight booking, movie ticketing, event ticketing, hotel booking, newspaper subscriptions, payments at online shopping sites, and insurance premium payments among various other digital payment services. Khalti is a licensed Payment Service Provider from Nepal Rastra Bank.
Amit’s success (and that of Khalti and Sparrow SMS) inspires a whole generation of entrepreneurs — those who may not necessarily have an affluent background — but who believe that they can dream big, even if they are from a village and a middle-class family.
Khalti’s (and Amit’s) dream is to make Nepal a digital and cashless nation!