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Fintech has seen a boom in recent years, with a wealth of apps available to help consumers and businesses bank, invest, purchase, and manage their finances. With such apps already a part of daily life, what’s the next step in fintech innovation?
Vivek Girotra believes the future lies in audiences, and using granular segmentation to develop a unique, specifically-targeted product. With a CV that includes such global giants as 21st Century Fox and Elevate Labs, Girotra’s role as Vice President of Growth Marketing at Times Internet has brought him to the cusp of launching a transnational neobank aimed at Indian emigrants, tapping into a huge, established market with a defined need.
On this episode of The Big Leap, host Peggy Anne Salz chats with Girotra about the power of audience definition, being part of India’s growth story and bringing parent company Times Media Group, which boasts an established audience of 550 million monthly users, into the world of fintech.
Since bursting into an industry so ripe for disruption, fintech has been an ongoing success story. Girotra is looking at the next evolution of fintech apps: “The last decade was about building in fintech where the traditional verticals that existed were disrupted by technology and modularized. Now everything is an API. So, anything that you create as a technological differentiator, chances are within six months it’ll be copied by someone else.”
For Girotra the key differentiators now are well-defined use cases, the user experience, and distribution. Distribution is easy: The Times Media Group has a wealth of channels (digital, TV, print and radio across different countries) that benefits Times Internet beyond simply free media and brand awareness: it opens up the possibility of deeper integration into a well-established legacy infrastructure and the opportunity to bring the fintech offering to a contextually relevant and active audience.
Girotra is no stranger to moving himself, having worked across three continents for a variety of world-class companies. With a new target market which is close to his heart, he believes in understanding the fundamentals: “You first do your research on the audience, understand their habits, their pain points, and you define the problem areas that you want to address.”
No surprise then that Times Internet’s move into fintech apps comes after extensive research, with a huge target market of Indian expats who have a pressing need for Girotra’s product. When discussing the potential reach of the app, he quotes some impressive stats on his potential audience: “There are 40 million people who have Indian origin and don’t live in India anymore. The amount of money transferred to India from outside the country per year in 2021 was $120 billion, out of which $18 billion was from the US alone. The product has a demonstrated need.”
Girotra has gone even deeper in his segmentation, looking to understand not just the size of the market, but whether the target market will bring Times Internet long-term value: “The average Indian household in the US has twice the median household income. These users are also 79% more likely to have an advanced degree. So, the audience we are talking to is, you know, a very sophisticated, savvy, H and I audience, and we have to keep that in mind as we design the product and build out our marketing.”
The app itself will offer more than just a money-transfer solution, Girotra’s plan is based around the concept of shared identity, rewarding users when they buy Indian products, or spend at Indian-owned businesses. Girotra hopes to foster that connection between expats and their home country: “It’s about investing in the growth story of India, for people like me who want to be part of that growth. So, how do we enable those investment opportunities for Indian expats who have that connection back home and want to be a part of that growth story?”
CleverTap enables Girotra and Times Internet to really get to the heart of their chosen segments: “We’re making sure that we are able to automate as many journeys as possible and send the right message to the right people at the right time. When we personalize the emails, depending on the user’s transaction data, which is also funneled through from a backend to CleverTap, we were able to increase the open rate of our emails by about 15% to 20%.”
To hear the full story from Girotra, and how CleverTap drives Times Internet’s customer lifecycle marketing, listen to the latest episode of The Big Leap below: