CxO of the Week: Aditya Prasad, Co-Founder & CTO, OkCredit

Laxitha Mundhra
New Update
CxO of the Week: Aditya Prasad, Co-Founder & CTO, OkCredit

After graduating from IIT Kanpur in 2014 and interning at several companies, Aditya Prasad found his true calling in entrepreneurship. One day, when visiting a local grocery store with his two friends - Harsh and Gaurav to settle the credit balance, the seed for a digital credit app was planted. He realized the painstaking effort the store owner had to take to record, track and close all credit transactions of all regular customers. Thus, Aditya Prasad, Harsh Pokharna, and Gaurav Kumar founded OkCredit, to make the bookkeeping task simpler, digitized, and secure for small businesses. The app helps them to keep track of credit transactions, both payables, and receivables. He is currently acting as Chief Technology Officer at OkCredit.


Gaurav Kumar (Co-Founder & CPO, Harsh Pokharna (Co-Founder & CEO), Aditya Prasad (Co-Founder & CTO)Before OkCredit, Aditya interned at Hitachi, Baba Atomic Research Center, and National Informatics Center. He also worked as a Data Scientist for Fuzzy Logix and as a Product Manager and Android Architect for Reliance Payment Solutions Limited (JioMoney) for a couple of years. Additionally, he co-founded ClanOut, an app for people to discover and join their nearby friends' plans, with the same OkCredit founding team in December 2015. Aditya Prasad has been featured in the Forbes 30 under 30 and Asia 2020 list. Aditya has a plethora of interests such as Music, Anime, Science Fiction, Guitar, Swimming, Movies, and Physics.


In an interaction with CiOL, Aditya sheds light on his startup, and how it is impacting the industry. He also throws light on the future of Digital Ledger and its cybersecurity implications.

Does OkCredit cater to B2B SMEs or are you catering to start-ups too? How are you leveraging deep-tech (AI-ML) for providing an all-purpose solution?

OkCredit caters mainly to the B2B SMBs in the retail sector. Our customers are the big and small mom-and-pop stores and micro businesses. These businesses are spread across several categories- Kirana, apparel, medical stores, eateries, etc. And while the primary use case is for B2B, in many cases end consumers have also found our app to be quite useful. They use it to keep an account of the money lent across their relationships.


The main data asset of OkCredit is the commerce network (basically who does business with whom) and the activities (sale on credit, payment, reminders, etc) that happen over this network. A huge volume of both types of data is generated every day (~3M activity data points per day). We use machine learning on this data to grow our user base (targeting business based on the network), allocate cashback, prevent payment frauds, understand more about our users (their demography, suppliers, customers, etc), inform product decisions, as well as create data powered features for the users (like automatic collection reminders.

What are some of the challenges you face in driving product transformation?

With 60 million SMBs across India, SMBs are a pretty large market. It’s not homogenous and that’s why catering to different SMB verticals using a simple product solution at scale is challenging at times. Secondly, simplifying the product further for the early majority of the market after penetrating the early adopters with our initial solution, is a delicate balance we need to maintain all the time.


Overall, the biggest challenge for the adoption of digital tools including ours is not only trust and inertia but also breaking the chain of the traditional means of bookkeeping. Merchants have been using registers traditionally, so they are overly conscious and even a little skeptical of software when it comes to finances. People are creatures of habits. Hence, we had to really convince them of this idea by demonstrating the efficiency and convenience of our app, and how it’ll solve all of their problems and help improve their business. This has allowed us to attract many merchants to our platform.

What is your top priority while making decisions to improve tech infrastructure at OkCredit?

User experience (reliability and resilience of the platform), scalability, cost, and an intent to try out new technologies are some of the things we consider before taking important tech-infra-related decisions.


What does the future of Digital Ledger hold? Are brands harnessing data to trigger uninterrupted growth in 2021?

Digital ledger has been a great entry point into the SMB market. We see it evolving into a network of fintech by connecting retailers and their suppliers as well as customers on a single platform. The digital bookkeeping solutions of OkCredit have become more mainstream than ever before. The growing popularity of our solution has proved that with the right technology and features, the value proposition of digital bookkeeping can be immensely powerful. This will further spur demand for digital business solutions in the coming years and pave way for the new phase of growth in digital solutions for small businesses.

Before 2020, there was a small early adopter base among the current base of 50 million+ SMBs, who were exploring digital solutions. We see that going up significantly where even a normal businessman is curious about learning and trying out solutions that help him leverage technology towards business objectives. This indicates that there is a growing appetite for such solutions to solve problems of different segments of India’s diverse SMB base.


We sincerely believe that increased investment in digital infrastructure development, smartphone penetration, and increased consumer spending will write the story of the growth of digital business solutions in the coming decade. The fact that digital solutions make key business tasks simpler, digitized, and secure will form the crux of increased demand for such solutions going forward.

How can a company deliver a powerful brand experience along with data security?

At OkCredit, our strength lies in the robust, feature-rich product that improves the transparency in business transactions and helps in building a higher degree of trust among the participating individuals. The app is completely free to access and ensures 100% safety, data security, and accuracy. The app has an impressive retention rate and generates positive word of mouth through merchants who have found the platform to be simpler and easy to use leading to a strong referral-triggered growth pattern.

I would recommend organizations focus on making their product robust and feature-rich to address the specific needs of customers. It is also advisable to keep products or solutions simple and user-friendly to enhance the chances of acceptability and thus ensure better customer retention. This will also support the organic growth of the company by generating positive word of mouth through satisfied customers.