Cxo of the week: Amit Sharma, CTO & Co-founder at Twid

Amit Sharma, CTO & Co-founder of Twid, emphasized in a CIOL interview the pivotal role of data analytics. Twid leverages data to unify customer rewards and offer merchant insights, all while prioritizing robust data privacy and security measures.

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Amit sharma

TWID, founded in 2020 by Amit Koshal (Co-founder & CEO), Rishi Batra (Co-founder & COO), and Amit Sharma (Co-founder & CTO), transforms reward points into a fungible currency usable anywhere. Integrating with major points issuers like Axis Bank and Flipkart Supercoin, TWID accesses a points pool of $2.2 billion, utilized at over 100,000 merchants in India. Their 'Pay with Rewards' checkout option drives over 10% of digital transactions for key merchants, addressing gaps in digital reward systems. Recently, TWID secured $12 Mn in Series-A funding from Rakuten Capital and Google, joined by JAFCO Asia and others, and is involved in the VISA Accelerator Program 2023 to innovate payment solutions.


Amit Sharma is the Co-Founder and CTO of Twid, the world’s first rewards-based payment network. He oversees Twid’s technological infrastructure development, ensuring alignment with strategic objectives and user needs. Previously, he co-founded Fashalot and led Intuit India’s Data Analytics team, with prior roles at Oracle and HP. Amit holds a Bachelor of Engineering from Ramaiah Institute Of Technology and a degree from MES College, Bangalore.

In an interview with CIOL, Amit Sharma, CTO & Co-founder of Twid, highlighted data analytics as foundational. Twid uses data to consolidate rewards for customers and provide insights for merchants, ensuring strict data privacy and security.

Can you elaborate on the technology stack used for data analytics at Twid?


We at Twid employ cutting-edge technologies & infrastructure for the data analytics requirements which includes leveraging tools like ClickHouse for high-performance analytical queries, Metabase for data visualisation and business intelligence, and AWS Athena for querying data stored in Amazon S3. These technologies enable Twid to process and analyze large volumes of data efficiently, deriving valuable insights to drive informed decision-making for merchants as well as our customers.

Could you explain the methodologies employed to derive valuable insights for merchants from consumer spending data?

At Twid, we leverage our unique network effect platform to map the entire consumer journey, tracking their interactions across various merchants and payment channels. We provide merchants & issuers with actionable insights into consumer preferences, enabling them to optimise their product offerings to better cater to their target audience. 


Can you elaborate on the encryption and authentication mechanisms employed by Twid to safeguard financial transactions and personal data?

Twid accords utmost importance to the security and privacy of its  customers' financial transactions and personal data. We incorporate a multi-layered approach to encryption and authentication to ensure the highest levels of protection. All personally identifiable information (PII) and transactional data are stored separately and double-encoded using Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256-bit encryption. We leverage the AWS Key Management Service (KMS) for encryption key management and rotation. This cloud-based service allows us to create, store, and rotate our encryption keys securely, adding a layer of protection against potential vulnerabilities. 

Given the large-volume financial transactions and personal data involved, how does Twid ensure strict adherence to data privacy and security standards?


Twid is a PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) certified company. This rigorous certification ensures that our systems, processes, and infrastructure meet the stringent security requirements set forth by the payment card industry for handling cardholder data. Moreover, Twid is in the process of obtaining ISO 27001 certification, demonstrating our commitment to implementing a systematic approach to managing sensitive company information, including financial data, intellectual property, and employee details.

Could you provide insights into Twid's disaster recovery and business continuity plans for its technological infrastructure?

Acknowledging the sensitive nature of financial transactions and customer data involved in our operations, we have implemented robust disaster recovery and business continuity plans to safeguard our technological infrastructure and ensure operational resilience. Twid has comprehensive and well-documented plans, response strategies, and recovery procedures to effectively manage and mitigate the impact of any potential disruptive event. We have our DR setup in a different region. We periodically also validate the DR setup to ensure that it is working smoothly. 


How has your previous experience, particularly at Fashalot and Intuit, influenced your approach to technology leadership at Twid?

My previous experience, particularly at Fashalot and Intuit, has taught me the importance of investing in the right technologies to scale the business while keeping a close eye on the return on investment. I've learned to avoid the pitfall of chasing technologies without considering their direct impact on the business. These lessons have been invaluable in building a lean and focused technology team at Twid.

How has your academic background in ECE and your bachelor's degree contributed to your career trajectory and your role as the CTO of Twid?


My academic background laid the groundwork for a deep understanding of computer systems and software principles. However, it's my real-world experience that has allowed me to truly unlock technology's potential. By aligning Twid's tech initiatives with business goals, I ensure we leverage the right solutions to drive growth, efficiency and customer satisfaction.

What future technological innovations or advancements do you foresee impacting the rewards-based payment industry, and how is Twid preparing to leverage them?

The rewards-based payment industry is poised for significant disruption driven by the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. AI will play a pivotal role in improving the customer journey. By analyzing customer data, spending patterns, and preferences, AI algorithms can provide highly personalized and intelligent recommendations, enabling customers to maximize their rewards and savings on every transaction. At Twid, we are actively exploring ways to harness the power of AI to enhance the customer experience and drive greater value for our users.