From digitising tax-saving reimbursements to encouraging e-rewards and recognition and automated cafeterias, Zeta is changing the way corporate India functions. This fintech start-up, founded in 2015, offers digital solutions to make everyday corporate and employee-related processes simple and efficient. The Zeta platform was first used to develop Zeta Tax Benefits, a suite of tax-saving employee benefits that allows businesses to administer and manage multiple benefits programmes via one online digital dashboard. “Over the last three years, we have seen tremendous growth and today we have 13,000 corporate clients, 1.4 million users and achieved a run rate of 14 million transactions per month and growing,” Ramki Gaddipati, CTO and co-founder, Zeta, tells Sudhir Chowdhary. Excerpts:
What are the major employee benefits products that Zeta offers? What are the benefits of these products?
Zeta offers a variety of reimbursement and claims for employees such as reimbursements on LTA, fuel and vehicle maintenance reimbursement, telecom reimbursement, gadget allowance, gift vouchers and so on. By leveraging Zeta’s digital dashboard, HR managers can transfer grants for the respective benefits, to employees in just a few clicks. For corporations, it offers the unique advantage of managing all grants digitally on one single portal, which significantly reduces the cost, effort, resources and the time taken to manage these benefits in a non-digitised format.
Being digital, employees are able to submit claims without the tedious paperwork. They can keep a track of the spends and balance and be notified on the status of the claims. The entire process is so simple that it encourages employees to avail all their benefits and hence save upto Rs 80,000 every year.
Which are the major corporates, which are making use of these products?
Some of our key clients are HPCL, Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency, Tata Motors, SBI life, BNP Paribas and many more.
How many customers do you add on an annual basis?
In the last quarter, our growth had been pegged at 22%, on a month-on-month basis. We are currently adding about 239 corporates a month, which equates to about 8 corporates a day. We also expect to expand our pan-India presence from 11 major cities, to tier 2 and tier 3 cities as well. Our aim is to expand our user base from 1.4 million to 2.5 million in FY 2019.
Can you describe the revenue model?
Our business model relies on a fee we collect from the corporates in lieu of offering our services. Transaction fee paid by merchants for transactions made via the Zeta Super Card and online purchases/payments made via the Zeta app forms another important part of our revenue. We have also collaborated with Sodexo, one of the biggest players in the employee benefits space in India. Sodexo also becomes a reseller partner of Zeta and actively pitches our other solutions to its clients. We have also signed reseller partnership agreements with leading payroll and HR process players such as Excelity, PeopleStrong and ZingHR who are pitching our solutions to their clients.
Can you explain the technology that Zeta has developed?
Zeta products are built around the idea that spending and receiving money should be seamless for everyone. At the centre of the idea is Zeta’s digital payments system that is intuitive and has some of the most stringent security standards ever built. Earlier companies were processing bills manually which was a time- and labour-intensive process. At Zeta, we have put in place technologies that can detect tampering and duplicates by extracting various features of images submitted by employees.
This helps our back-end operators to discard invalid bills in an instant and notify users accordingly. Bills are thoroughly vetted before approvals are made. This prevents discrepancies and also discourages misconduct of any sort. We use AWS and for compliance reasons we have our own data centres as well. We use microservices architecture which is built on topout microservices framework, providing us with linear scalability. In terms of specific technologies, we use Java, Node.js, Postgres, Cassandra, ElasticSearch and Redis.