“I would rather do business with the likes of Paytm and PhonePe than with Banks”

More than just a business

Sagar Bhatia, a 42 year old businessman, named his shop ‘Emotion’ when he opened it in 2005. “Back then, we were the first gift shop in this area and people used to flock the store during festivals and happy occasions. For me, this has always been more than just a business and hence I named the shop Emotion”.

A few years down the line Sagar realised that gifting and decor alone cannot promise both steady revenue and high margins. This led to a slight shift in the business and they started selling groceries and other essentials as well.

“It was the 2009 recession that hit my other business (transport service) really hard and the shop had to suffer too. More than a decade later, I’m still financially recovering from that slump.”

Let down by Banks

For his business, Sagar did need working capital from time to time for which he turned towards banks or private lenders. His experience with either of them hasn’t been great and he feels that banks in particular fail to recognise the potential and vision of a business person.

“Everyone goes through financial ups and downs in their life and during my difficult phase only friends and family stood by me. I tried very hard to get a business loan but none of the banks approved.”

Sagar claims to have all the necessary documents and papers to prove ownership of the shop and also files taxes. He had a solid plan to get his business flourishing but the lack of capital prevented him from dreaming big. He feels it is different with the new age companies and thinks they understand business better.

His trust in technology

His positive experience with payments and e-commerce companies makes him believe in them. While any business partnership has profit at its centre, new age internet companies understand the marriage between technology and business, Sagar feels. Their customer centricity also impresses him. He has read several articles of their plans in helping small businesses in India.

“I accept payments via Paytm, PhonePe, Google Pay and UPI. Never faced any issue and love how easy their interface is. I wouldn’t think twice before doing business with them.”

If these payment companies were to disburse small loans, Sagar Bhatia would definitely apply for one. His only condition is that the process shouldn’t be cumbersome and interest comparable to market standards.

Sagar believes digital is the future and wants to embrace the channel before becoming outdated. He thinks the younger generation is more comfortable buying online and businesses that do not adapt will perish sooner rather than later.

Merchants of India is an Insights Series from IDfy to help India discover its merchants.

IDfy helps e-commerce, payments, wallets, and consumer goods companies onboard merchants from anywhere, anytime, with any document. For more information, please write to shivani@idfy.com

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