Chitresh Sharma is the CEO of Refyne. For those who are curious, said company offers earned wage access, meaning that it provides the employees of its clients with the chance to use some of their earnings before the end of their payroll cycle. As such, this kind of financial service has been compared to payday loans, though the extent of its similarity to payday loans depends a great deal on its exact implementation.
1. Went to the University of Strathclyde
Sharma went to the University of Strathclyde. Said school is named for a Brythonic-speaking kingdom situated in what the Welsh called Yr Hen Ogledd, which included parts of both what are now southern Scotland and northern England. Eventually, the Kingdom of Strathclyde was conquered by the Kingdom of Alba in the 11th century, though the region remained Brythonic-speaking throughout the 12th and 13th centuries.
2. Studied International Marketing
There, Sharma studied international marketing. Unsurprisingly, this has a lot of similarities with its standard counterpart. Nonetheless, there is a need for it to be its own thing. This is because different cultures can have very different reactions to the same marketing, meaning that it is a good idea for businesses with international ambitions to have people on staff who can plan out a proper response.
3. This Isn't His First Start-Up
It isn't uncommon to see someone being involved in more than one start-up. Sometimes, this is because an earlier start-up wasn't successful, meaning that they have moved on to the next start-up. Other times, this is because they enjoy being an entrepreneur, so much so that they choose to move on when they feel that the time is right. Whatever the case, Refyne seems to be Sharma's third start-up, having been preceded by both Cloud9i Solutions and Swipii.
4. This Isn't His First Time in Charge
On a related note, this isn't the first time that Sharma has been in charge of a start-up. After all, he was the CEO of Swipii, which presumably provided him with experience that he is now putting to good use at the head of Refyne.
5. Promotes Earned Wage Access By Comparing It with Payday Loans
Sharma has promoted earned wage access by depicting it as a superior alternative to payday loans as well as similar short-term financial products. This makes sense because of a couple of things. One, payday loans have a notorious reputation, which has been earned through their predatory nature directed at some of the most vulnerable segments of society. Two, payday loans nonetheless see widespread use because they are meeting a genuine need even if they are a less than stellar solution for it. Combined, that makes a huge potential market for earned wage access, assuming that Refyne and similar companies are capable of making progress through entrenched opposition.
6. Says that Earned Wage Access Offers High Liquidity
Naturally, Sharma has brought up the advantages of earned wage access to make it seem like a useful tool for employees. For instance, he says that it offers high liquidity, which is good for a couple of things. One would be the ability to meet any unexpected financial responsibilities, which is extremely important in a time of widespread financial uncertainty. Having said that, Sharma brought up the desire for instant gratification as well. Something that isn't as pressing but is nonetheless a real consideration.
7. Says that Earned Wage Access Offers Financial Stability
Sharma also mentioned how earned wage access could help out with financial stability. The ability to meet any unexpected financial responsibilities is useful for this. However, he says that there is the ability to avoid predatory lending as well, which is important because that can trap people in a crushing debt cycle.
8. Says that Earned Wage Access Offers Increased Control and Convenience for Employees
Besides those, Sharma also brought up how earned wage access can provide employees with both increased control and increased convenience. The increased control comes from the fact that employees have greater choice over when to access their earnings because they are no longer restricted to receiving their earnings at the end of their payroll cycle. Meanwhile, the increased convenience is reliant on the tech being used for earned wage access. Essentially, the nature of implementation means that there is no need for employees to contact the payroll team. Instead, they can just handle everything on their own by using an app on their phone, thus making matters much easier for everyone with a stake in the process. Of course, these two things feed into one another because control and convenience are very much connected with one another.
9. Based in Bengaluru
Refyne is based in India. Given that information, interested individuals might be able to guess that it is based in Bengaluru, which might be more familiar to some of them under the name of Bangalore. This is because said city is famous for being a tech hub, with the result that a lot of Indian tech companies are headquartered there. On top of that, it is interesting to note that Bengaluru is also the home of the Kannada film industry because the Indian film industry actually encompasses a number of different film industries operating in a number of different languages.
10. Seems to Have Found a Fit in India
Earned wage access is something that has seen use in a number of countries. However, Refyne seems to have found a fit in India, as shown by how it is planning to serve 3 million users by the end of the year. For that matter, Sharma seems to have been quite successful at fund-raising because $82 million in his start-up's Series B funding should go a long way towards meeting that as well as other goals.
Written by Allen Lee
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