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

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


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

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

GajiGesa is within the enterprise of “earned wage entry,” that means the corporate lets employees withdraw their earnings as they earn them somewhat 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 good particular person when it comes to all the time pushing boundaries, all the time attempting one thing new to assist the complete ecosystem,” stated Anuj Kumar Maheshwari, Chief Monetary Officer of retailer Kanmo Group, a buyer of GajiGesa.

Our HR division is utilizing [GajiGesa] Equivalent to [a part of] Employer model, the place we are able to appeal to expertise [with the perk] The flexibility to withdraw [portions of their salaries] Earlier than the top of the month,” Maheshwari stated.

It was a “visually insane” sight – mortgage sharks circling on two sides of a manufacturing unit 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 attempting [lend] cash for the employees. Alternatively, they had been attempting to gather cash from the employees,” says Agrawal, who has held management positions at Uber, Stripe and Caro for almost 8 years.

“This can be a very unhealthy expertise,” Agrawal stated. “The employees had no alternative.” The typical 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 stated they used to get a variety of cellphone calls from “screaming” sharks who lent cash to their workers.

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

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

Vidit Agrawal

Co-founder, GajiGesa

In the present day, 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 workers.

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

“On the similar time, we’ve by no means over-hired, so it’s a blessing that we don’t have to put off workers,” stated Agrawal. Expertise retrenchment continues to mount in Southeast Asia.

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

1. Sustainability first, development second

Agrawal doesn’t imagine in utilizing incentives to maintain the person engaged, as he has “seen many corporations” doing so. If the product would not work, it should shut it down.

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

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

The hot button is to strike a stability between development and sustainability.

We did not have a elaborate dinner. However we do not surrender on the enjoyable. We did occasions within the workplace the place we served meals. The price is low, however we made certain individuals actually loved themselves.

Vidit Agrawal

Co-founder, GajiGesa

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

He stated that in Malaysian used automobile market Karu, the place he was COO, they’ve a precept referred to as saving balanced with high quality, which he applies to his startup at the moment.

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

2. Minimize off the surplus “bone fats”.

He was so frugal that his workers fretted and referred to 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 price is low, however we made certain individuals actually loved themselves,” stated Agrawal.

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

“When individuals 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 group to see that.” “.

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

Vidit Agrawal

Co-founder, GajiGesa

He stated they’d already minimize 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-Sequence A spherical in November 2021. Buyers embrace January Capital, Northstar Group companion Patrick Walugo, European agency Wagestream, and Subsequent Billion Ventures.

However he pressured that they’re spending on issues which are 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 individuals,” Agrawal stated.

3. Employees welfare

When he was on Stripe, he realized how you can maintain individuals. “Stripe actually handled you want a human being, not a quantity,” stated Agrawal.

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

“All of us need to pay our payments and maintain the household. If the corporate is doing nicely and there’s a great way out in any manner form or type, the group will get actual worth from that,” Agrawal stated.

GajiGesa Staff


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