Paresh Davdra

Paresh Davdra, co-founder and CEO of Xendpay

'Brexit could boost our innovative fintech businesses', Xendpay chief says

After seeing his company become the first of its kind to expand into India, Xendpay co-founder Paresh Davdra believes Brexit could prove a boon to innovative fintech businesses looking to expand overseas.

Xendpay, which prides itself on being ‘the world's first free money transfer service’, has become the first company of its kind to expand into India after obtaining approval to offer its outbound remittance services from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

The company, which reduces the cost of international money transfers for millions of migrants around the world, now operates in almost 200 countries and chief executive Paresh Davdra sees no signs of the company slowing down.

He told BQ: “We have immense expectations from India. Our vision of providing an international money transfer service which is cheap, fair and easily available to those who would make the most of it aligns perfectly with an introduction of Xendpay to India.

“This expansion is a logical step that naturally unfolds our long-term plan. Moreover, it also provides us with an opportunity to assess what else we can offer our customers – especially in a new international market. It’ll help us understand client needs and build customer trust from the ground up.”

The expansion into India was a logical step for the company. As well as Paresh and Rajesh both having Indian roots, the Indian market is one of the fastest-growing in the world and is establishing itself as a real haven for innovative tech businesses from across the globe.

Davdra adds: “India is the biggest and most promising market in the world right now. With a rapidly urbanising population, along with increasing digitalisation, the country currently has a huge appetite and support for ventures that have the capacity to make a real impact on people’s lives. Innovative solutions to age old problems are currently being tested in India on a large scale; increasing adoption of technology also makes it a perfect sandbox.

“Recent Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) data shows that remittance from India to foreign countries has grown more than three times, a staggering US$4bn, in the fiscal year ending March 2016. International money transfers through traditional banks and money transfer companies are expensive, inclusive of hidden fees and unfavourable exchange rates.

“Many individuals who rely on sending money abroad to their friends and families such as migrants find their hard-earned income is lost due to money transfer fees. This is one of the prime reasons why we wanted to enter the space. There is clearly a big gap in the market and we are confident of capturing a substantial market share for outbound money transfer from India.”

The company’s expansion into India also offsets any uncertainty which could surround the sector post-Brexit. However, Paresh is unfazed by the result of the EU referendum and believes London will continue as a global fintech hub regardless.

“The UK is undoubtedly the Fintech capital of the world, and as it already holds the leadership in the banking, finance and Euro clearance sectors, it’s only natural that London incubated the sector’s growth,” Davdra said.

“While Brexit is certainly challenging, it also comes at a period when the fintech companies are looking set to grow beyond the European region. It is certainly fitting coincidence that Brexit happens to be confirmed at the same time we are looking to expand.

“That being said, we also acknowledge the challenges we will be facing when the UK leaves the EU. It is not yet apparent how Brexit will pan out, but we are confident that our commitment to our European partners would only be reinforced going forward.

“The very tangent of our business will have to be remodelled once we attain more clarity on the negotiations. It is an exciting period for us to be honest.”

So, after breaking into the Indian market, what next? Davdra concludes: “The emerging markets are a great place to start for us. Once we solidify our operations out of India, our natural expansion would be for the South and East Asian countries.

“We chose India first because of the potential the country holds, with its growing economy and remittance transactions. In fact, India being a vast region, there is scope for us to add other allied services including inter-state money transfers and payments. India is going to be the launch pad for us to enter other emerging markets."

BQ recently interviewed Paresh to hear all about the story behind Xendpay and his first business RationalFX. You can read the interview here.