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

Vidit Agrawal of GajiGesa needed 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 progress is an effective factor. However endurance is best.

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

GajiGesa is within the enterprise of “earned wage entry,” which means the corporate lets employees withdraw their earnings as they earn them reasonably than ready till the tip of the month to receives a commission. Gaji means “wage” whereas “gesa” means “haste” in Bahasa Indonesia.

“Vidit is a good particular person by way of at all times pushing boundaries, at all times attempting one thing new to assist the complete ecosystem,” mentioned Anuj Kumar Maheshwari, Chief Monetary Officer of retailer Kanmo Group, a buyer of GajiGesa.

Our HR division makes use of [GajiGesa] Akin to [a part of] Employer model, the place we will entice expertise [with the perk] The flexibility to withdraw [portions of their salaries] Earlier than the tip of the month,” Maheshwari mentioned.

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 along with his spouse, Martina Malinowska, who leads engineering and merchandise.

On the one hand, they have been attempting [lend] cash for the employees. Then again, they have been attempting to gather cash from the employees,” says Agrawal, who has held management positions at Uber, Stripe and Caro for almost 8 years.

“It is a very dangerous expertise,” Agrawal mentioned. “The employees had no selection.” 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 mentioned they used to get quite a lot 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 mentioned.

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

Vidit Agrawal

Co-founder, GajiGesa

As we speak, there are 42 totally different options – which embody paying electrical energy payments, buying pay as you go recharges or petrol vouchers – on the GajiGesa app.

GajiGesa companions with greater than 300 firms 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]. Once you speak to the traders out there, who speak to all of the gamers on the earned wages, they inform us we are the greatest.”

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

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

1. Sustainability first, progress second

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

“If I’ve to pay two {dollars} to earn one greenback, it’s not enterprise,” mentioned Agrawal.

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

The secret is to strike a steadiness between progress and sustainability.

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

Vidit Agrawal

Co-founder, GajiGesa

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

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

“We do not need to hand over on high quality however we additionally need to be frugal as an organization,” he mentioned.

2. Reduce off the surplus “bone fats”.

He was so frugal that his workers fretted and known 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 positive individuals actually loved themselves,” mentioned Agrawal.

He can even 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? Would not he have higher issues to do? If I can eat cheaper however nonetheless wholesome meals, or I can journey on a finances, I need my staff to see that.” “.

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

Vidit Agrawal

Co-founder, GajiGesa

He mentioned that they had 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 embody January Capital, Northstar Group associate Patrick Walugo, European agency Wagestream, and Subsequent Billion Ventures.

However he careworn that they’re spending on issues which might be important 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 mentioned.

3. Workers welfare

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

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

“All of us should pay our payments and deal with the household. If the corporate is doing nicely and there’s a great way out in any method form or kind, the staff will get actual worth from that,” Agrawal mentioned.

GajiGesa Staff


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