It feels surreal to see how far we have come as a team! Khalti turns 3 today!!
I still remember the time when my interview was held and they had offered me to work for Sparrow SMS, another product which the company was running. But since the product had been in the market for the past 10 years, it didn’t excite me much. They then told me about this new product they were soon to launch and also if I were to be selected I would be hired as their first employee.
Sense of excitement. I said, “Yes, this is what I want to do” without even knowing if I would be selected. The interview had a typical climax with the trademark HR line “We will revert soon.”
2 days later I got a mail addressing “Congratulations Anmol, you have been selected!”
I joined the team of Sparrow Pay as a Business Development Officer and was ready to accept challenges that are coming in; but who imagined the job would be not less than a roller-coaster ride.
It’s always fun to create something from scratch. With no set of rules, one is only constrained by one’s own creativity and perseverance. The team was already working on the product when I joined in July 2016. My core job was all about market research, preparing documents, business development, and marketing but it didn’t just limit to that.
The first version of the product was launched on January 26 during CAN Infotech 2017. It was a thrilling feeling for us to see users downloading the app and using it. It’s very similar to the sight of customers stepping into your newly opened shop and buying stuff. Just within 72 hours of launch, we crossed our first milestone of 10,000 downloads. Each download was a reason to cheer about. More so because we did not do any marketing or promotion.
Initial teammates From left to right 1. Suren Shrestha (Backend developer lead), 2.Manish Modi (Managing Director Khalti), 3. Bibek Pandey 4. Ishwor Shrestha (Android App Developer) 5. Me 6. Subit Raj Pokharel (Backend developer)
Soon, Khalti started gaining popularity and people started supporting the product. We launched the product with only one bank to load funds and this was a challenge as we were new to the market and the banks were not so convinced to partner. As the months passed, we launched many new campaigns like Refer and Earn which went viral and the number of users increased, a 10x growth since our launch a year back. Another Milestone for us came up when Khalti (Nepal) won Google’s Global Storytelling Award among hundreds of applications worldwide. Our team was invited to Google Headquarters in San Francisco and it was amazing to get mentorship from Google Payments Team.
Khalti Team during our trip to Chitlang
We got the license to operate as PSP from Nepal Rastra Bank after 2 years of operation. Today, we do more than a crore worth of transactions in a single day. The Khalti team has now grown 10 fold, from just 10 members in 2016 to 100+ across various functions like engineering, customer support, product development, marketing, and network security.
Training 200+ women during Digital Birgunj Campaign
Life at Khalti has always been extremely exciting for me. Being in a startup environment, I got the opportunity to wear multiple hats – from researching, design suggestions about the UI/UX of the product, the beta version of the website to replying to the initial customer queries on email/phone/twitter/reviews, from ensuring that we always stood up to users expectation to running weekly contests on our Facebook page, from convincing banks and merchants to partner with us to posting updates about new merchants posts and content on our social media and blog, from bringing more online payment options to setting up a good customer support, from writing the content for all customer communications (app/web) to research about adding new product features.
Also, I would then write blogs about Khalti turning one even at the time when the product was not even launched. And imagining what Khalti would be like after three years (This blog is also an edited version of something I wrote three years back 😀 ) Call me optimistic or something but I saw this coming!
These days I am busy working towards growing transactions and increasing our active user base. I would like to thank Amit Dai for being my mentor throughout this journey and believing in me. With Khalti I grew too!
While life at Khalti has always been a high-speed roller coaster ride with its ups and downs, twists and turns, one thing never changed – your endless love & support that continues to inspire us to keep going on. We have many more miles to go before we sleep, after all, we have our goal to reach every house in Nepal and provide access to finance to all Nepali citizens!
At last, I would like to say I love reading your comments on Facebook and emails. Whether you are happy with us or there is a suggestion or a complaint, we appreciate it when you write to us. We know you want us to do better and that’s our kick, the motivation, to give you the most awesome online payment experience around.
Anmol Rateria – Business Analyst at Khalti
Keep supporting us for many more such milestones!