Aims to leverage technologies to promote financial inclusion in the country
PayMe India, an RBI registered FinTech organization that offers short-term financial support to salaried employees, has appointed Vineet Daniel as its Chief Technology Officer. Vineet, joined PayMe India as Deputy Product and Technology Officer few months back. In his latest role, he will be working closely with PayMe India’s Founder and CEO, Mahesh Shukla, to define, prioritize and realise the product roadmap of the company.
Vineet comes with an experience of more than 18 years in understanding and managing Information Technology services and Technology across industries such as e-commerce, SaaS, Ed-tech and Publishing among others. Prior to PayMe India, Vineet has worked with companies like BenoSoftware, AiEnable, SendinBlue, HT Media Limited and Letsbuy.com.
At PayMe India he will drive tech innovations, implement emerging technologies that are in alignment with the product vision and roadmap. Besides developing an automations driven culture, Vineet will spearhead the in-house engineering team, contracted development partners, and look at building deeper API integrations for PayMe India’s platform. One of his key responsibilities will be to build a technology leadership team that develops a strong and focused culture and be responsive to the organization’s needs.
Mahesh Shukla, Founder & CEO, PayMe India, said, “Vineet is an outstanding leader and we are confident of him leading our tech strategy to greater heights thereby driving performance, efficiency and effectiveness of engineering and product development. As a CTO he will continue to work towards our mission of making high-quality financial products easily accessible for everyone in the country. ”
According to RBI’s FI-Index, the financial inclusion grew 24% across FY17-21. The major factors behind the growth have been the rise of the FinTech, as the technology has simplified and encouraged digital payments like UPI payments, easy, and quick access to credit over online platforms and finger-touch availability of other financial instruments.
Vineet Daniel, Chief Technology Officer, PayMe India, said, “Technology has played a pivotal role in bringing innovative financial products to the doorstep of the customers; witnessed especially during the pandemic when people experienced the comfort and convenience of touchless payments more than ever. I am excited to join PayMe India and aim to implement new and cutting-edge technologies that will yield competitive advantage and help in driving the organisational vision of end-to-end financial inclusion.”
From the time of its inception, PayMe India has expanded its financial offering portfolio from just small lending to next-generation financial solutions such as digital gold and mutual funds investment, online rent payment via credit card and CIBIL scores among others. In February 2022, the company also launched a new ‘Buy Now-Pay Later’ service called ‘SALT’ that allows users to make a purchase without immediate payment.
Deal or no deal: Why ESG has become the M&A stepping stone
Over the past year, with the reopening of the world economy, we’ve witnessed a resurgence in M&A activity. In line with record breaking deal activity, a number of core trends and priorities have emerged in the c.
Specifically, we’re seeing increased investment in technology, following the crucial role played by digital solutions in facilitating M&A even at the height of the pandemic. Focus is also increasing on financial due diligence, with buyers becoming more dependent on third-party deal finance in today’s market. as well as the rapidly rising prominence of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) standards.
These focus areas are proving to be crucial for deal makers as they navigate today’s high inflation environment and ongoing uncertainties related to geopolitics, government regulation and COVID-19 pandemic-related disruptions.
Investment in ESG in particular has become a stepping stone between deal or no deal in the M&A process. According to Mergermarket, 60% of global dealmakers said they have walked away from an investment due to a negative assessment on ESG issues at a potential target.
Meanwhile, 52% say their ESG investment strategy has had a positive impact on overall investment returns – when done right, ESG investment can have a direct influence on business outcomes.
Understanding specific ESG requirements for businesses will therefore be one of the most critical areas to get right for dealmakers today. Let’s take a look at why this is so important today.
Rising ESG scrutiny
The main challenge with ESG is that the space remains incredibly broad – it covers everything and anything. From climate change risk to social issues, ESG considerations will play a role in every M&A transaction moving forwards.
This is why ESG scrutiny in M&A transactions is so critical. It will allow organisations to be appropriately advised on the consequences and opportunities associated with the ESG regulatory environment. Recent research found that a staggering 90 percent of dealmakers predict an increase in scrutiny of deals for ESG implications over the next three years, with almost half believing the increase will be significant.
A key focus in the near-term will be on how different ESG regulations apply to an organisation. While not every ESG regulation will apply to every business, buyers will increasingly scrutinise a target’s ESG credentials during the due diligence process, homing in on reputational risks as well as regulatory concerns. Organisations will therefore be required to comply in the most effective way and fully understand how they can measure up to those regulations.
This may also lead to the demise of some firms that are already finding themselves under significant pressure, particularly in today’s high inflation environment. ESG compliance could ultimately be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
ESG + cybersecurity = ESGc
Cybersecurity is increasingly being tied into the ESG agenda because of the huge impact it has on a company’s integrity. Firms that hold personal data have an unavoidable societal responsibility to protect that information.
As a result, it has never been more important to find a balance between risk management and value creation. Organisations must understand the seriousness of cybersecurity and organise all assets with this in mind, in order to be fit for purpose in the current environment.
As a first step, developing a cyber resilience strategy will help identify any risks that businesses are facing. This ensures they can mitigate any issues and protect sensitive information, which is critical today in the face of tightening regulations.
The full ESG journey
With rising scrutiny on ESG, there’s a sense of urgency to define pertinent ESG issues in M&A from the start of the deal making process. Pinpointing which relevant regulatory areas need to be considered and addressing them early on will make the due diligence process easier across the board, both for businesses and dealmakers.
What’s more, with a shift in consumer and workforce demographics, pressures to address social issues are now coming from the bottom up, as well as from investors and regulatory bodies. For future targets or acquirers, ESG must be embedded into the enterprise at all levels.
Businesses today have no choice but to put time, resources and effort into understanding what is relevant to the industry they’re in and the jurisdictions in which they operate. They must then find effective ways to roll these changes out across the enterprise – such as through behavioural motivations and incentives.
To help navigate this ESG journey, we’re seeing more organisations hiring experts in the space. This helps to make sure that ESG requirements aren’t overlooked, as this can have major impacts both legally and on the organisation’s value when a buyer takes an interest.
It’s time to act now
With the growing perception that ESG performance directly correlates to commercial strength, ESG will undoubtedly have a defining impact on dealmaking over the next 12 months.
Dealmakers are holding companies to a higher standard today. Business leaders must act now to get on top of the ESG agenda and carefully consider relevant regulations to embed specific ESG frameworks successfully into their whole organisation.
How Dynamic Pricing Impacts Product Valuations & Brand Reputation
Author: Gediminas Rickevičius, VP of Global Partnerships at Oxylabs
Dynamic pricing, in one form or the other, has been around ever since people have been exchanging things among themselves. After all, in this most basic setting, the price is negotiated between the seller and the buyer and may thus vary depending on circumstances.
Negotiations between buyer and seller are also the defining factor of the market value of any product or service, albeit on a grander scale. Ultimately, the price of the product is constituted as the middle ground where consumers are willing to buy and the supplier is willing to sell.
On the one hand, dynamic pricing is clearly based on the idea that a product’s or service’s market value is not set in stone. On the other hand, with the surge of dynamic pricing strategies, we now witness a more interesting phenomenon – valuations changing due to the unstable character of pricing.
Scarcity and strategic buying
Special offers are the most familiar (slow) form of dynamic pricing that we, as customers, constantly encounter. Another way in which dynamic pricing has made its mark on the markets is as the staple of the travel and hospitality industries, where factors such as dates might change the value of a service.
Buyers accept them both as understandable price fluctuations over time due to the changing scarcity of certain products. However, they are different with respect to the possible effects on valuations.
Studies of online markets also recognize strategic buying as one of the aspects influencing buying decisions in dynamic pricing environments. When buyers are strategic and recognize the dynamic aspect of prices, it is likely that the perceived scarcity of the commodity will have a great effect on valuation.
These phenomena ground the difference between such industries as the restaurant industry on the one side and the travel and hospitality industries on the other. An opportunity to eat a meal that you like at a restaurant is usually not perceived as scarce. While seats on a plane or rooms at a hotel, when tied to particular dates, are finite.
Web scraping remains the main method of figuring out what sort of pricing strategies are likely to bring the best results. Naturally, companies first and foremost utilize web scraping to watch the prices of the competitors to see whether they have some room to outprice them.
However, web scraping might be even more effective when used to monitor the stock of other online stores. Nowadays, companies tend to freely display the availability of each product on their websites. They do it to avoid situations when only after ordering does a customer realize that the product is out of stock.
Scraping these sites to find out if the competitors are running out of stocks allows them to identify the approaching scarcity of particular commodities. Thus, prices can be adjusted to predict the rising valuation of these goods. And as scraping provides information almost as soon as it is reported online, it will also let the retailers immediately shift back to the lower prices when stocks get refilled.
In turn, such a process induces an overall advantage for the consumer. Outside of monopolies and cartel agreements, dynamic pricing creates near-equilibrium in product value across many different companies, making the competition much more fierce.
A dynamic pricing feedback loop
The rapid spread of information, which is one of the defining features of our times, is also one of the main factors affecting valuation in dynamic pricing settings. While price matching is the most common way to implement dynamicity, rising interests and trends might also play a role.
For example, artificial price changes can be used to boost customer awareness of the product or service. Lower prices for limited periods of time might help the provider to reach the high-valuation buyers it would have not with fixed higher prices. Such a step away from automated pricing algorithms might produce increased attention for the company.
On the other hand, if increased interest becomes apparent, dynamic pricing should be undertaken with care as it can lead to unintended consequences. This happens, for example, when customers realize that someone else paid significantly less for the same product.
Disgruntled customers may ask for businesses to cover the differences, leave bad reviews, or, worse, start shopping elsewhere. As a result, dynamic pricing can lead to a negative feedback loop where changing prices might cause effects that end up costing the company more than the additional profit made.
Since low prices were the main selling point, customers felt cheated when seeing the updated pricing, leading to decreased sales. The speed of the information flow first formed certain expectations, then led to their disappointment on account of the pricing algorithm reacting to changing market value too fast. Yet, negative perceptions often last longer than pricing changes, which can negatively affect the brand’s reputation.
Dynamic pricing affects significantly more than the prices of products and services. As all of them have underlying value, which buyers intuitively grasp, dynamic pricing has the potential to affect it. If price flexibility is perceived as understandable or even beneficial from the buyer’s side, it will raise the market value of products and services.
However, the perceived value will drop rapidly if the buyers feel that they are being taken for a ride. Which will be the case when in the vast volume of information available to them they will not find sufficient reasoning for specific price changes. As a result, improperly implemented dynamic pricing can negatively affect brand reputation.
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