The proverb “Necessity is the mother of invention” applies to e-Sewa Nepal as the company acknowledged the hardship of people who had to travel kilometers just to make an electricity bill payment of a mere amount of Rs.80. The company conceptualized such an amazing concept of online payment platform back in 2006 when internet penetration was just 2% and was released in 2009 and finally started service on 25th Jan 2010 with the intension of solving common men’s problems. Who would have imagined that e-Sewa would reach 10 million users and would become a household name in 2020?
Man Behind e-Sewa
Mr. Biswas Dhakal is the founder of e-Sewa, a pioneer in digital payment service. A curious child who found great joy in dismantling and repairing electrical equipment went on to join electrical engineering but sadly struggled with complex diode and circuits and lost interest and discovered programming to be his true love. This failure in life pulled him into such a stoop of depression that he attempted to physically harm himself.
Fortunately, he came out of it and joined software and became a software engineer. His passion for software led him to start a company called F1soft along with his other futuristic friends Asgar Ali, Subash Sapkota, and Subash Sharma, which was Nepal’s first domain registration and hosting company. However, he could not reap much of success in the field and got an idea to diversify his business into an online payment service as he saw that an easy payment gateway was the need of the hour. The company went on to do extensive market research before venturing into digital payment. His life story from a depressed boy to a successful entrepreneur is a ray of hope to youth to follow their passion with complete involvement, determination, and patience.
e- Sewa Business and Revenue Model:
hin from the agent.
e- Sewa Business and Revenue Model
The company offers an e-payment platform where consumers, banks, customers, remittance transfers transact. It has two models i.e. B2B and B2 C. Users can use this platform to send, receive transfer funds from, and to more than 90% of banks in Nepal. It can also be used to withdraw digital money from ATM, online shopping, ticket purchase, subscribe for online courses. Knowing that not all Nepalese have access to the internet or smart-phone, it is providing some of the services via SMS and e-Sewa centers across the country. e-Sewa charges revenue based on transactions. While merchants have to pay commission on every transaction users are charged only interbank transactions.
Revenue analysis of the last few quarters:
quarter 19-Q1 19-Q2 19-Q3 19-Q4 20-Q1 20-Q2
Revenue($) 7M 6M 6M 6M 6M 6M
Note: Above Data is taken from Zoominfo.com
Funding and Investments
It was launched by E-Soft in 2009 with the initial investment from the company. As the entrepreneurs were young and the idea was new in Nepal, it was tough to pitch in investors for the start-up. However, they were successful in getting Laxmi Bank on board to start with. Now different investors are keen on investing as it has grown multiple folds and has a good future prospect. The startup has received the largest investment in Nepal’s tech industry from the most prestigious media group “Kantipur Media group”.
Employee and Competitors
e-Sewa currently has around 31 employees. It has also helped several people get business through its counter across the country. This has helped people not having internet connectivity to enjoy its service through their counter service. They have been able to reach the rural unbanked population and also provide additional income to families operating e-Sewa centers.
Mobile wallets like Khalti Digital wallet, IME pay, Prabhu Pay, ipay Nepal are its main competitors. However, Mr. Dhakal believes in not getting intimidated by competitors instead have a solid strategy to beat them through excellent service. E-Sewa is still leading due it’s long-standing goodwill in the market despite cut-throat competition among e-payment platform.
e-Sewa has an excellent marketing strategy with a focus on social media, webinars, sponsored events, awareness activities, offers, and contests. It does offer a value proposition to its customer and also awareness to bring in more customers. It has tied up with various banks for advertisement and marketing. It keeps bringing offers like cashback offers, referral offers to lure customers. It also does indirect marketing via the blog.
Number of People fallowing e-Sewa on various social media platforms shows that it has stayed relevant over the years and is quite in the game:
It was not a bed of roses for e-Sewa to start online payment gateway back in 2009 in a country like Nepal where internet penetration was as low as 2%. It was a task to bring investors and users on board as they could hardly trust in the vision of young entrepreneurs in their 20’s. It is still a challenge to reach rural Nepal as most of them do not have smartphones and internet connectivity. Government regulations like not allowing the use of credit cards for international purchases pose a great challenge for e-Sewa to establish itself in the global market. People still prefer cash over digital transactions. However, in spite of all these and few other business dips, e-Sewa has been successful in making solid marks and presence in Nepalese market.
Future of e-Sewa
As Nepal is willing to head towards the digital economy with encouraging government policy, almost every budget, e-Sewa has great potential and prospects in flourishing in the almost untapped digital market of Nepal. It is sure to receive various investment and partnership offers from various international and national investors given the milestone it has achieved in the last decade. With an experience of over a decade and investment from biggest media houses like Kantipur bringing more than just money on board, e-Sewa will emerge to serve most Nepalese ensuring more security, reliability, and efficiency in the coming days as Mr. Dhakal envisions.