Loyalty is serious business

Loyalty is serious business

Consumer Tech

Customer relationship management and consumer tracking is an industry whose business potential lies vastly untapped, opines Bijaei Jayaraj, founder-CEO, Loylty Rewardz. With plans in place to grow its ‘Max Get More’ loyalty platform and through focused efforts in the mobile space, the company aims to touch the Rs. 100 crore mark in the next fiscal

DIVYA M. CHANDRAMOULI

“Change is a natural state at a fast growing company,” observes Bijaei Jayaraj, founder-CEO, Loylty Rewardz (Loylty). This is especially true for a young company such as his and since we last wrote about Loylty (May 2011), it has taken rapid strides towards being the foremost name in the CRM industry in India. While the company’s core, its technology, has not changed, its volume of business and workforce has grown by over five times, in the last four years. “Our current volume of transactions per month is over 30 million transactions worth over Rs. 5,000 crore per month, and our infrastructure has been scaled up to process our current business volume,” says Jayaraj. Today, Loylty has touched a card base (credit and debit) of 331 million. At the heart of Loylty’s business is its data analytics engine and its capabilities include techniques like exploratory data analysis, statistical modeling, machine learning, text mining, descriptive dashboards and more.

Loylty is also focused on increasing reach via its multi-currency, consumer commerce platform called ‘Max Get More’. This platform was created for the benefit of consumers from the banking industry and at present, there are close to 331 million users on this platform.

And while it continues to build on its capabilities and grow in India, the company has begun testing international markets too. “We have gone live with one bank in Bangladesh and are looking to expand to South-East Asia and the Middle-East,” shares Jayaraj while adding that things are in place to commence operations in Dubai in 2015. In each market, the company will look to aggressively court clients in financial services and retail.

As of today, Loylty manages reward programs for several leading banks including State Bank Freedom Rewardz, HDFC Infinia, Regalia and Diners Club, IndusInd Bank’s World Miles, among several others. On the retail side, it works with India’s leading brands including Lifestyle, Dominos, Louis Philippe and Godrej Interio, among others.

Maximising its reach

One of the fundamentals that Jayaraj is building Loytly on is the team. He insists on high quality hires in the areas of technology and analysis. In the last fiscal, the company made over 15 job offers at IIT-Kharagpur and 17 offers in IIT-Kanpur. Creating the right mix between academic pedigree and work experience is what works for Loylty as Jayaraj’s personal management style is defined by establishing a highly empowering environment. “There is no point in constantly trying to steer the ship. You have to leave people to their job and get out of their way,” he opines.

The team at Loylty maintains a strict focus on consumer behaviour analytics and as Jayaraj points out, this has become far more critical to the growth of any business than it ever was. “We are putting in a big effort on our own cluster of big data,” emphasises Jayaraj.

Loylty is also focused on increasing reach via its multi-currency, consumer commerce platform called ‘Max Get More’. This platform was created for the benefit of consumers from the banking industry and at present, there are close to 331 million users on this platform. How it works is simple; the platform has on board several merchant partners across various retail segments such as lifestyle, apparel, jewellery, electronics and these partners offer consumers more reward points when they use a participating bank’s credit or debit card to make a purchase. This way, we are able to add decisive value to the loyalty programs of the banks we work for. “Currently, we are associated with about 6000 retail outlets and over the next 12 months, we would like to take that number up to a 100,000 outlets,” says an ambitious Jayaraj.

When asked what sets Loylty apart from its competition, Jayaraj is quick to respond; it is all in the approach to building consumer loyalty. “We have to provide both the consumer and the retailer what each wants. A bigger retailer’s loyalty programme will call for consolidation of large amounts of data whereas a smaller retailer might have a more customised need. At the end of the day, it is about delivering significant value to the client and the consumer,” he explains.

Technology is everything

At Loylty, its technology platforms are prized assets. Even when it comes to identifying the company’s challenges to growth, Jayaraj speaks of technology and upgradation, “Technology is catching on like wild fire and keeping pace with it is one of our biggest challenges,” he says. One of the focus areas for the company is mobile technology and in the next three months, it plans to launch an application that is oriented towards the retailer and by doing so, it aims to boost interaction and forge a better connect with them.

With plans in place to grow this business well into the future, Jayaraj shares his financial outlook for this fiscal, where the company achieved a top line of Rs. 50 crore. “In the next fiscal we hope to hit the Rs. 100 crore mark,” he adds. There is definitely scope for Loylty to get there as, by his estimate, only one percent of India’s US $ 500 billion retail industry tracks its customer interactions and invests in loyalty programmes. “At present, only the much bigger retailers invest in knowing their consumers when I believe every retailer must know his consumers and their behaviour patterns,” says Jayaraj. He also urges retailers to open their minds to investing in consumer tracking as he believes it pays better dividends than say an expensive communication campaign. “A retailer who earns revenues of Rs. 100 crore will not hesitate to spend up to Rs.10 crore a year on communication and those results cannot be measured. However, when it comes to consumer tracking, even two per cent of the topline when spent wisely can yield great results,” says Jayaraj as he signs off.

Then (May 2011) Now (April 2015)
Revenue: Rs. 5.8 crore Revenue: Rs. 50 crore
Team Strength: 68 Team Strength: 270
No. of offices: 1 No. of offices: 9
Investors: Ventureast Investors: Ventureast, Canaan Partners

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