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Using smart technology to change the world

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Bhavin Turakhia, CEO and Co-Founder,  Directi

Bhavin is a serial tech entrepreneur and the Co-Founder & CEO of Directi. Directi boasts of 11 business units under its umbrella - four of which have been sold to Endurance International Group in January, 2014. Currently, Directi’s business units include Ringo, Flock, Zeta, Radix and Media.net, Skenzo and Codechef. These businesses comprise 1500+ people across 10 offices, with over 9 million customers, earning revenues over $300 million and a group enterprise value of $1.4 billion. With over 18 years of experience in technology , Bhavin brings a deep understanding of the entire industry, a strong technical background, a keen business sense, and most importantly, a clear vision of the future Bhavin has also written several noteworthy papers on technology and e-commerce trends, and has spoken at various seminars across the globe on topics ranging from advertising on the Internet to solutions for the startup ecosystem. He has won several awards in his career till date.

In conversation with Dominic Rebello, Bhavin speaks about how his strong business skills, combined with a deep understanding of technology and market trends makefin-tech start-upZetaa market leader in all its service offerings

What drives you?
My love for technology drives me to push the boundaries every time. The ways smart technology can change the world is unthinkable. There is always something new to discover, or some practical problem to solve,using technology.

How big is the potential for a business like yours? Any major customers that you now cater to?
Of the estimated 40 million salaried professionals (government and private), only one million use tax saving instruments..This is because the current practices for managing claims and reimbursements are extremely cumbersome for both - companies and employees. Hence, most people shy away from it.

We already have over 200 corporate clients which includes big conglomerates as well as mid-sized organisations and start ups. Some of the big names associated with us are the TATA Group, Lalbhai Group (Arvind Mills) and Motilal Oswal Group.

What kind of numbers do you expect from a business like yours? Any statistics to compare with international standards?
The potential for this space is huge. There are over 40 million salaried professionals (government and private), only one million use tax saving instruments. We have been seeing a steady growth in our business since we launched in January 2016. The response has been great. Our product is essentially targeted towards the Indian corporate space for now.

How do you plan to scale up; raise funds through seed or venture capital or simply grow the old fashioned way through rising turnovers?
We have invested USD 4 million previously and another USD 15 million recently. We are boot strapped but always open to a  strategic investment

Who would primarily be your consumer audience?
We are targeting the Indian corporate space currently. Any company, whether it’s a conglomerate or startup -  irrespective of its employee strength -  looking to reinvent its employee claims and reimbursement processes and any company that wants to enhance employee experience is our audience.

Where do you see yourself five years down the road?
We want to be the one-stop solution for companies to manage their employee claims, reimbursements and expenses and pretty much any pain point between employees and employers.

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