Paytm + ICICI = Buy today, Pay later [Credit card killer]

Now, this is an interesting partnership between Paytm and ICICI bank.

The partnership will enable lakhs of Paytm customers to get access to instant credit for the first time for everyday use-cases ranging from movies to bill payments to flights to physical goods.

You can now get up to 45 days interest-free credit on Paytm. The credit amount ranges from Rs 3,000 to Rs 10,000, and is extendable up to Rs 20,000 based on your repayment history. Paytm-ICICI Bank Postpaid will also offer a quick checkout to customers with the Paytm Passcode and is available 24×7 and on all days of the year.

Paytm-ICICI Bank Postpaid allows you to buy today and pay later. You can set up your Paytm-ICICI Bank Postpaid account through the Profile section on the Paytm app.

You can select ‘Paytm-ICICI Bank Postpaid’ as a payment option for your purchases on the platform. Using Paytm-ICICI Bank Postpaid as a payment mode, you can book movie and travel tickets, do mobile recharges and shop on Paytm Mall.

First serious attack on credit cards?

Zomato Gold’s revenue on day one: ~2.5 crores [The psychology of FOMO]

So Zomato launched Gold yesterday and within a day, Zomato has sold 31,000 40,000 memberships (it is now sold out).

Zomato Gold is an exclusive dine out and social drinking membership program that extends special perks like – a complimentary dish (think BOGO!), and up to 2 complimentary drinks (think happy hours all the time), every time you dine at, or hit the bar at any of our partner restaurants in India. Gold can be used at our partner restaurants and bars in a very limitless way – i.e. on any day of the week, at any hour of the day – on the entire menu – any dish or drink on the regular menu (blog/link)

Zomato Gold Club
Zomato Gold Club

Assuming a mix of 50-50 (i.e. 50% taking up 299/ subscription and 50% 999 (annual) subscription), Zomato made Rs. 2.5 crores.

That is ~Rs 2.5 crores – in real cash for a service which hasn’t been rendered yet.

And no payout to any restaurant has been made.

To me, this is one of the finest execution of a subscription (virtual) product at scale.

Can you also do this for your business? That is, run a subscription business which sells like hotcake?

Well, here are a few things that Zomato did it right.

1. Sell what people need (Everything else is BS).

And not just what you can sell. Most companies sell what they can and not what customers want. Find the fit and do the grill.

People love to eat outside – this is the most basic human need and Zomato has been enabling the same for many years.

Compare this with several kickstarter/indiegogo products – which are fancy, but don’t get enough subscribers. Why? Because they don’t sell what people actually need.

Zomato actually sold the notion of ‘free’ food to people.

2. The psychology of FOMO.

First 10,000 subscribers will get it for a discount amount. And then, a little bit more and more. The team kept increasing the number (now it is 35,000) – smart move to keep it exclusive, test the waters, create FOMO (Fear of missing out) and let the laggards catch up.

Zomato could have said ‘only 4,000’ remaining, but that won’t have given the correct picture of the largeness (of the total subscription numbers).

Only 4,000 remaining out of 35,000 subscriptions creates much bigger FOMO than just saying 4,000 remaining (out of what? 4,001?)

Smart social media integration helps build the noise – which translates to more FOMO. When you see your friends talking about this on social, you are bound to give it a try and buy the discounted offer.

Note that this isn’t a one-day effort, the subscription launch page actually went live on Nov 8th, giving the team enough number of (pre-launch) subscribers – which they could reach out to on the launch day.

3. Referral.
The referrals actually helped the deal go viral. Zomato offered 1 month extra to users for each referral they receive, and anyone who signed up with a referral code got 25% off.

This is, nicely integrated with the product – and wasn’t a standalone experience. Importantly, the referral code was only for the ones who have already bought subscription – so there is a certain degree of credibility (and eat the dog food) built in.

This is how FOMO probably would have looked like (until they decided to just buy the damn subscription).

TL;DR: What can you learn from this quick success of Zomato Gold?

  1. Sell what people need.
  2. Create FOMO.
  3. Sell to the rich.
  4. Build a great experience.

Anything else?

Recommended watch.

Zomato founder, Deepinder on the journey.

Saw BYJU’s new ad with SRK?

I saw the new BYJU’s ad with SRK and all I can say is this is what happens to over funded startups.
(last year, Voonik went on a similar marketing overdrive and is now asking employees to forgo salary for 3 months).

Do you think that many tech entrepreneurs get a MASSSSSSIIIVEE ego boost by bringing in celebs as brand endorsers (at somebody else’s cost, i.e. VC money?).

Agree that celebs give you a mass promotion, but it works with intent. SRK has a mass appeal, but is he known to influence our buying decision when it comes to educational products? He can influence vegetable / grocery decision (i.e. Big Basket), but educational? Not really. I am actually more appalled by this and won’t even try BYJU’s for my kids. To me, it now feels like a ‘wannabe’ product.

If you were to bring in a ‘celeb’ to boost your educational product, who else would you go for?

This dude really hates PSD format. Really as in really !

// Trying to get data out of a PSD file is like trying to find something in the attic of
// your eccentric old uncle who died in a freak freshwater shark attack on his 58th
// birthday. That last detail may not be important for the purposes of the simile, but
// at this point I am spending a lot of time imagining amusing fates for the people
// responsible for this Rube Goldberg of a file format.
// Earlier, I tried to get a hold of the latest specs for the PSD file format. To do this,
// I had to apply to them for permission to apply to them to have them consider sending
// me this sacred tome. This would have involved faxing them a copy of some document or
// other, probably signed in blood. I can only imagine that they make this process so
// difficult because they are intensely ashamed of having created this abomination. I
// was naturally not gullible enough to go through with this procedure, but if I had done
// so, I would have printed out every single page of the spec, and set them all on fire.
// Were it within my power, I would gather every single copy of those specs, and launch
// them on a spaceship directly into the sun.

– This is part of the comments in the code (checkout the entire comment @github).

Clearly, this guy hates psd format badly. Badly as in quite badly (the code was written in 2009, I believe)!

What about you? Which language/framework have you hated the most?

Rising Human Stupidity: Are we pushing ourselves to AI and bot world?

Three things happened in the last couple of weeks in India.

  1. Indigo episode.
  2. Ryan school murder case.
  3. IT employees (in Karnataka) can now setup trade union.

For the first 2 items, the final verdict is still not out, but here is what’s common.

The mass is quick to jump to a conclusion. And in both these episodes, it is clear that the mass has lost the patience to listen to the other side. Even give them a chance.

Indigo episode: The entire social media world has taken Indigo to the task over sacking the episode and the whistleblower, without even seeing the entire video.

Ryan school murder case:  The bus conductor has been given a clean chit by CBI – but isn’t it too late? He has already been labeled as a rapist by the world. Do you really think he will get a job? His and the family’s life is devastated – for no wrongdoing of theirs.

We, the society didn’t even give him a chance – but here is what else happened.

We, the society have labeled all school bus conductors and the service class as dangerous for our children. Immediately after the Ryan school incident, parents (in Bangalore) asked schools to tighten the security and NOT allow these dangerous elements inside the school campus.

Do not allow them to use school bathrooms.
Do not allow them to hang around our kids.
Put CCTVs everywhere.
We don’t trust them. They are dangerous for the society.

All bus conductors, blue collar employees are turning out to be dangerous for the society. Not for the employers, but the customers.

And if you are running a business, you would know that a moment of bad reputation is all it takes to bring down the business. You can’t control the perception that the society has on your customer-facing employees.

What’s the best option? Look for safe alternatives.

What’s the safe alternative? We will come to that*.

What about these IT/ITES employees? They are soon going to form trade unions – which means layoffs / tough decisions won’t be easy from now onwards.

Robots eating away jobs?
Robots eating away jobs?

Plus, they will now come up with new demands (‘we need 9-6 working hours only, else strike) etc etc.

For an industry which is grappling with low margins and intense competition, there is very little incentive for any company to run its operations in union-ized city.

What’s the next best alternative? Don’t hire them.

Hire bots.

After all, most of the low-level work is anyways going to shift to the bots. So why wait for 5 years? The timing is right – before layoff becomes more difficult and expensive, layoff the headcounts and bring in botcounts.

Ditto if you are running an airline or a school. Your customer-facing employees are not trusted by your customers.

You really can’t fix it anymore. So go ahead and hire bots for all service related work.

Not because bots don’t have emotions (we still don’t know), but because the society will not distrust them.

At least for now.

Even if you misjudge a bot (for a stupid reply), it can be programmed to reply with a ‘sorry’ and not argue with you.

The amount of mistrust the society has developed among each other, powered by widening ‘haves-vs-have nots’ gap is leading to more and more mistrust. Fueled by our need to quickly jump to a conclusion, the world isn’t getting saner.

Human-to-human interaction is getting difficult and is nobody’s KRA to fix it (except God, maybe).

Most importantly, there is a lack of empathy in the world today. And no one knows what will overcome this deficit – but for those running customer-facing businesses, it is time to go totally emotionless and replace humans with bots; and run your customer facing roles in automation.

Bots can be programmed to be empathetic.

And remember. There is no ‘us vs them’ in this world anymore.

Today you are replacing. Tomorrow you will be replaced.

God only knows what Facebook is doing to our children’s brains : Sean Parker, former president of Facebook

“I don’t know if I really understood the consequences of what I was saying, because [of] the unintended consequences of a network when it grows to a billion or 2 billion people and … it literally changes your relationship with society, with each other … It probably interferes with productivity in weird ways. God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.” [Sean Parker, founding president of Facebook/via]

Recommended Read

7 Ways How Social Media Is Killing Your Real-World Relationships

Image credit

Kiss your car goodbye, says former VP of GM #AutonomousCars

The auto industry is on an accelerating change curve. We are approaching the end of the automotive era.

The end state will be the fully autonomous module with no capability for the driver to exercise command. You will call for it, it will arrive at your location, you’ll get in, input your destination and go to the freeway.

Bob Lutz is a former vice chairman and head of product development at General Motors. (source: Bob Lutz: Kiss the good times goodbye).

So it’s not the manufacturers of the cars, but the ones who are building services on top of it will make the most.

The entire ecosystem is changing. May not be 5 years (even in US), but very soon.