Finjinn was born from the dreams of two wizards who with their powers of peeping into the souls of businesses, uncovered the biggest pains of small businesses. Payroll!
Finjinn, a robotic finance Genie, can grant you any wish to cure your payroll pains for good.
Samira Rao, Co-Founder, Finjinn, tells us more. Excerpts from an interview:
DQ: Give us an overview of Finjinn and its journey so far?
Samira Rao: Finjinn’s journey has been quite exciting so far. We have received more than 50,000 downloads of the Finjinn app within just 6 months of its launch. Several big brands in India have approached us for partnerships, and we are actively working with them to reach small businesses in every nook and corner of India. We have already onboarded some big partners and the press releases for those will be out soon. More importantly, the feedback from the initial customers is very inspiring. They are just loving it. They tell us that Finjinn – the genie – is fulfilling their long-pending wishes.
DQ: What problem is Finjinn solving?
Samira Rao: Finjinn solves two big problems for small business owners. Firs, small business owners find it very difficult to comply with laws. There are so many laws in India, and they all vary with states and industries. So, most business owners don’t know what payroll laws they need to follow in the first place. Also, they can’t afford costly compliance professionals or agencies and as a result, they end up paying penalties. Finjinn solves this problem in 3 steps:
First, it automatically suggests the payroll laws applicable to small businesses based on their headcount size and location. Second, it automatically calculates all taxes, files the reports on government websites and even makes the payments. Third, it gives a written guarantee that since the business is using Finjinn, it is compliant with all payroll laws. If, by mistake, Finjinn misses something, it will pay the penalty on behalf of the customer.
So, all small business owners can sleep peacefully even if they don’t know anything about laws because Finjinn is doing all the heavy work for them. The second problem is that the current salary payment system in India is broken and involves multiple steps. It is frustrating. To pay salaries, a typical small business owner makes the calculations in spreadsheets and then makes salary payments by writing checks, going to bank branches, or using net banking to make transfers one by one.
Even if a business is using payroll software, the software stops at telling the business owner how much salary is to be paid, but it doesn’t transfer the salary to employees’ bank accounts. The business owner still needs to make the transfers manually by uploading payment instruction files to bank accounts.
So, the current methods are not only painful and time-consuming, but they are highly error-prone and employees getting the wrong salary is quite rampant, which is disastrous for small businesses. Finjinn solves this problem by completely automating employee payments. It automatically calculates salaries and taxes as per the latest laws and even transfers salaries to employees’ bank accounts from its digital autopay account. The only thing a business owner needs to do is to approve the payments by entering an OTP. That’s it. So, Finjinn reduces the time spent in payroll and compliance from 2-3 days to just 2-3 minutes. That’s a dream come true for all small businesses.
DQ: What is Finjinn offering, and how is it different from its competitors?
Samira Rao: Finjinn is a payroll app that runs payroll & compliance for small businesses on autopilot. Finjinn automatically calculates salaries, files taxes such as PF, PT and ESI, and pays them from a free virtual autopay account.
Finjinn’s USP is that it is the first product in India that comes with a written guarantee for payroll compliance. It manages end to end payroll compliance for small businesses and if it misses anything, it will bear the cost of all penalties and will pay it on behalf of the customer. That is something no other product offers in India.
Secondly, Finjinn runs the entire payroll and compliance on autopilot. Once the setup is done, which takes 5-10 minutes, the customer doesn’t even need to login into the app. Finjinn does everything on its own. The customer just needs to approve the payment, and the entire payroll & compliance is run by Finjinn on autopilot.
It brings down the payroll processing time from 2-3 days to 2-3 minutes.
DQ: What are Finjinn’s long-term goals?
Samira Rao: Finjinn aims to be a one-stop automation solution for all employee management related functions of small business owners. Doing everything necessary around employee-employer financial touchpoints to delight employees and to provide worry-free month ends for small business owners is the goal of Finjinn.
Finjinn also aims to lead on the automation front and introduce more HR and Employee Management related functions on autopilot using AI and ML.
DQ: What are your visions for the brand?
Samira Rao: It is: Building an Employee Payments Solution for the first million micro category business owners. More than 80% of payroll in the sub-30 employees’ segment in India is in the informal segment, which uses ad hoc, manual, and incomplete methods and tools to manage employee salaries and payments.
Over the next 15-18 months, there will be a big shift towards the formal segment. Rapid digitization and the government’s push with the implementation of the new Labor Codes will be a major driver for this shift, just like how the GST implementation resulted in doubling the taxpayer base very quickly. Finjinn has a vision of powering the micro and small segment business owners with a very simple and affordable tool to simplify their month ends, and enable seamless employee payments.
DQ: How has the brand navigated through the pandemic? And post-pandemic, how has the brand changed its communication approach?
Samira Rao: Finjinn was in the ideation stage when the pandemic started. Just when we started building the product, the pandemic broke out and we had to pause everything as there was a big confusion everywhere because of the lockdowns and shutting down of offices. But, very quickly, we realized that the pandemic would force faster digitization and adoption of online tools by businesses. So, amid the pandemic, we all shifted to a work from home culture and started to build Finjinn. All meetings, discussions, brainstorming sessions happened online.
During the second wave, we faced a lot of obstacles due to our team members and agencies getting directly or indirectly affected. We overcame everything and launched Finjinn on Aug 21. The rest is history! Finjinn crossed 50,000 downloads in less than 6 months since launch.
DQ: What are your plans and top priorities for 2022?
Samira Rao: Finjinn’s plans for 2022 include building a strong network of partners who work in the Micro and Small Business segments and targeting the business owners with complementary digital tools.
Finjinn also aims to evangelize and simplify employee management, payroll compliance and payments in the micro-segment business owners who today struggle with manual and error-prone methods to manage employee payments.