GB Club : How would you describe Slonkit?
Mr. Murad : Slonkit is a smarter money management tool for parents and children. It is a VISA-powered prepaid card and digital wallet, linked to a mobile app. You just need to download the Slonkit app, which is available on both – android and iOS, register yourself and your child, and order the Slonkit card by pre-loading it with only Rs. 200. The card reaches you within 10 days with the Rs. 200 loaded on it for your use.
The card can be used online, as well as for in-store purchases at all VISA-accepted merchants. For parents, the value lies in the fact that they can now transfer their child’s pocket money for the month with just a click, on the go, and let the child learn to manage it smartly through the month, using the intuitive features of the Slonkit app.
We have a different version for youngsters as well, which is an 18+ app and does not need parent registration. It is a product for the digitally advancing India – making money management easier, laying the foundation for a cashless economy.
GB Club : How you decided to start Slonkit?
Mr. Murad : It was a self-realized need from real-life situations. Our founder, Javed Tapia, is a father of two teenaged daughters. His experience was that children keep asking for pocket money on several occasions in a month. He said, he also lost track by the end as to how much money was given to each child, how much they spent and where.
While sharing his views, I could relate to it. I also told him what children are missing in terms of learning the ropes of money management and valuing the money they have.
The conversation went for long and marked the genesis of Slonkit. Slonkit will enable children to manage their money independently, yet smartly, and for parents to occasionally guide them and prepare the children well for managing their own money in the future.
Tell us the story behind the name “Slonkit”
While it is not a formal abbreviation, “Slonkit” stands for Save, Learn Organize moNey (with) Knowledge and Intelligence.
Tips you would like to give to the startup founders who are coming up with innovative ideas like yours?
Keep working on the idea and be agile, keep doing pilots and improvising it till you get it right
Focus on solving customer problems. If it makes their life easier, they will stay with you.
Build a great team and empower them – it is the single most important factor for success of startups
GB Club : Your views on Startup India?
Mr. Murad : India is still an unexplored market. This is the reason why young entrepreneurs, buzzing with ideas, are taking the plunge and founding startups across industries and customer interests. It is good for the customers as they are spoilt for choices and tech-startups have made life incredibly easy. But, the key to creating a successful startup is funding, and managing your brand better within the available resources. While you need to be fast and agile, you also need to give the start-up some time to grow. You cannot always expect your business to be an overnight success. Let your startup establish itself as a brand first and find its place in the customer preference list through a better customer experience and offerings.
GB Club : Your views on Digital India?
Mr. Murad : The digital literacy in India has been growing exponentially. Telecom players have been splurging customers with data, leading to more data-enabled mobile devices.
The government has also introduced several digital initiatives making the Indian population
more tech-savvy. All this has given rise to more tech-startups and mobile-based services. It
is empowering startups and entrepreneurs; they can now reach customers easily,
provide services remotely and also use customer analytics to fuel insights to their think tank.
GB Club : Who or what have been your inspirations?
Mr. Murad : Money management has always been a tough task. It was this commonly prevailing problem that inspired us to provide an innovative solution. We aim to impart the necessary skills to the younger generation and help them – by imparting knowledge, inducing great money habits, encouraging savings, and making money management easier.
Tell us about your future plans We plan to create a financially prudent generation. This can be achieved by not only teaching about the importance of smart money management, but also giving them a tool to practice these learnings. To realize this, we have been partnering with educational institutes and student bodies – enabling youngsters to manage money smartly and plan their expenses better from an early age.
We aim to create a cashless ecosystem, where even children are enabled with digital payment methods and realize the value of managing money better. This is also in the accord with the honourable prime minister’s vision of creating a cashless economy, encouraging digital and transparent transactions.