ex-Stripe exec wants to stay in power over explosive growth

Vidit Agrawal of GajiGesa needed to supply staff entry to their wages as they earn them, between conventional month-end pay cycles. This offers staff extra liquidity and protects them from predatory lenders.


Vidit Agrawal, co-founder of startup GajiGesa in Indonesia, is aware of that insane progress is an efficient factor. However endurance is best.

“Everyone seems to be speaking about profitability these days,” mentioned Agrawal. “I hope it stays that means. Constructing a revenue-based or worthwhile enterprise is one thing I’ve championed over time.” CNBC Make It.

GajiGesa is within the enterprise of “earned wage entry,” that means the corporate lets staff withdraw their earnings as they earn them fairly than ready till the top of the month to receives a commission. Gaji means “wage” whereas “gesa” means “haste” in Bahasa Indonesia.

“Vidit is a superb particular person by way of at all times pushing boundaries, at all times making an attempt one thing new to assist your complete ecosystem,” mentioned Anuj Kumar Maheshwari, Chief Monetary Officer of retailer Kanmo Group, a buyer of GajiGesa.

Our HR division makes use of [GajiGesa] Equivalent to [a part of] Employer model, the place we will entice expertise [with the perk] The flexibility to withdraw [portions of their salaries] Earlier than the top of the month,” Maheshwari mentioned.

It was a “visually insane” sight – mortgage sharks circling on two sides of a manufacturing facility in Semarang – that prompted Agrawal to discovered GajiGesa in 2020 together with his spouse, Martina Malinowska, who leads engineering and merchandise.

On the one hand, they had been making an attempt [lend] cash for the employees. Alternatively, they had been making an attempt to gather cash from the employees,” says Agrawal, who has held management positions at Uber, Stripe and Caro for practically 8 years.

“This can be a very unhealthy expertise,” Agrawal mentioned. “The employees had no alternative.” The common Indonesian employee earns about IDR 2.9 million ($192) a month and are struggling to make ends meet.

HR Supervisor for Restaurant Administration PT. Inovasi Kuliner Indonesia mentioned they used to get a whole lot of cellphone calls from “screaming” sharks who lent cash to their staff.

“The cellphone calls stopped two or three months after I began utilizing GajiGesa,” Raya Al-Amin mentioned.

I am okay with giving up 100% or 100x progress yearly if I can construct a sustainable revenue-driven enterprise.

Vidit Agrawal

Co-founder, GajiGesa

At present, there are 42 completely different options – which embrace paying electrical energy payments, buying pay as you go recharges or petrol vouchers – on the GajiGesa app.

GajiGesa companions with greater than 300 corporations and serves greater than 750,000 staff.

Agrawal claims that GajiGesa is the best paid participant in Indonesia. “I am not simply saying that [myself]. Whenever you discuss to the buyers available in the market, who discuss to all of the gamers on the earned wages, they inform us we are the largest.”

“On the identical time, we’ve by no means over-hired, so it’s a blessing that we don’t have to put off staff,” mentioned Agrawal. Know-how retrenchment continues to mount in Southeast Asia.

The entrepreneur shared extra about how he runs a enterprise that lasts:

1. Sustainability first, progress second

Agrawal doesn’t consider in utilizing incentives to maintain the consumer engaged, as he has “seen many corporations” doing so. If the product does not work, it is going to shut it down.

“If I’ve to pay two {dollars} to earn one greenback, it isn’t enterprise,” mentioned Agrawal.

Whereas they provide incentives after they be part of a brand new firm, they don’t proceed to encourage present customers.

The secret is to strike a steadiness between progress and sustainability.

We did not have a elaborate dinner. However we do not hand over on the enjoyable. We did occasions within the workplace the place we served meals. The associated fee is low, however we made positive folks actually loved themselves.

Vidit Agrawal

Co-founder, GajiGesa

“I am okay with giving up 100% or 100x progress yearly if I can construct a sustainable revenue-based enterprise,” mentioned Agrawal.

He mentioned that in Malaysian used automotive market Karu, the place he was COO, they’ve a precept known as saving balanced with high quality, which he applies to his startup in the present day.

“We do not wish to hand over on high quality however we additionally wish to be frugal as an organization,” he mentioned.

2. Minimize off the surplus “bone fats”.

He was so frugal that his staff fretted and known as him “low-cost”.

“We by no means get fancy dinners. However we do not compromise on enjoyable. We did occasions within the workplace the place we served meals. The associated fee is low, however we made positive folks actually loved themselves,” mentioned Agrawal.

He may even discount for a 5% low cost, regardless that the corporate has the cash to pay for it. “Wherever we see extra fats on the bones, we attempt to reduce it off,” he added.

“When folks be part of GajiGesa, they’re like: Why does the CEO actually care about $10? Does not he have higher issues to do? If I can eat cheaper however nonetheless wholesome meals, or I can journey on a funds, I need my workforce to see that.” “.

Personally, I take nice delight in constructing somebody’s profession as a result of I’ve at all times had nice managers at Stripe who’ve helped construct my profession.

Vidit Agrawal

Co-founder, GajiGesa

He mentioned that they had already reduce prices for the primary two years of operation regardless of having $9 million within the financial institution.

GajiGesa raised a $2.5M seed spherical in February 2021 and a $6.6M pre-Collection A spherical in November 2021. Traders embrace January Capital, Northstar Group accomplice Patrick Walugo, European agency Wagestream, and Subsequent Billion Ventures.

However he burdened that they’re spending on issues which can be crucial to enterprise.

“We do not give away engineering. We do not give away technical instruments. We do not give away commissions for our greatest folks,” Agrawal mentioned.

3. Employees welfare

When he was on Stripe, he discovered how you can care for folks. “Stripe actually handled you want a human being, not a quantity,” mentioned Agrawal.

All full-time staff of GajiGesa obtain worker inventory choices.

“All of us should pay our payments and care for the household. If the corporate is doing properly and there’s a great way out in any means form or kind, the workforce will get actual worth from that,” Agrawal mentioned.

GajiGesa Group


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