While waiting for her bill for 20 minutes at a restaurant, Natasha realized that this tedious process can be streamlined into a much faster payment method and ease the everyday scenario. And from this thought sprung an idea that brought Natasha from Silicon Valley to India and gave birth to Ruplee, a payment solution for the offline space. Ruplee enables a consumer to walk into a physical outlet and pay without the need to carry cash, card or wallet and allows them to maintain their loyalty at a place by maintaining their payment history.
Ruplee allows its customers to pay through their phone at offline stores like restaurants and salons which cuts down the need of physically carrying a wallet with you. This payment portal makes transactions easier and that’s what makes it unique.
Masters Degree Holder in Management Science Engineering from Stanford University, Natasha moved to India after quitting her job as the Supply Chain Manager at Labo America. Natasha has also successfully managed the FreshMentors initiative that she started in 2012 which is an online college mentoring platform that helps students get live one-to-one video interactions. Ruplee is now up and rolling in multiple restaurants and pubs in New Delhi. Two successful ventures and a woman in her mid-twenties, this is Natasha’s story.
Today’s success is always a bumpy road of challenges, pitfalls as well as achievements. She recalls her journey from Labo America to founding Freshmentors and Ruplee as diverse and educational.
“It has taught me aspects of running operations for a large manufacturing plant and then applying that to the operations/marketing of a start-up. Freshmentors has taught me in general what are the factors in involved in running a company from scratch, building a team and launching a product. “
As a young entrepreneur, Natasha faced several obstacles on her way.
“Challenges faced while starting Ruplee was integrating extensively across so many merchants, dealing with network issues. Personally the challenges I faced was recruiting and building a team to execute the concept.”
But she did not let any of them deter her spirit as she boldly moved towards her goal. With her family’s support and belief, Natasha moved forward and established Ruplee. One of the other challenges of setting up a business is to organize an investment. Ruplee, which started by the fundings of Natasha’s family and friends is now receiving several interests from investors because of the company focus on perfecting their product.
As she recalls her journey, Natasha shared with Hersaga the following memory.
“It’s about the time when we did our first Ruplee transaction and the customers loved the concept. Seeing an idea come to life and getting positive feedback on it is really fullfilling. “
And with time when one looks back, the once bumpy road becomes a priceless adventure.
With her venture on the road to success, Natasha envisions an even brighter future for Ruplee in the coming future.
“I see Ruplee as being the universal mode of payment for the urban user. In 3 years users should be able to pay at restaurants, salons, stores and more places in the physical world with Ruplee.”
Natasha looks up to Sheryl Sandberg the Chief Operating Officer at Facebook and Marissa Mayer, the President and CEO of Yahoo as her role models. But when asked about the best advice ever given to her, Natasha cherished the priceless words of her college professor.
“The best advice given to me was by my Stanford professor who said that if you are trying to be a rockstar don’t be an entrepreneur. One should only be an entrepreneur, if they are passionate about the idea.”
And she would like to pass on the same message to budding entrepreneurs. “It takes a lot to create and survive a start up, therefore, you should really have the courage and passion to keep going.”