The founder of Xare is changing the concept of remittance! Her solution of sharing money is unique.
Padmini: I started my journey as a banker in California, where I grew to run a multi-hundred million portfolio of loans, dealing mainly with small to medium businesses, and won two US SBA awards for being the best banker in California. After spending several years in banking, I quit to pursue an MBA degree at Oxford and then joined the World Economic Forum as a Global Leadership Fellow. Later, I returned to Dubai, where my family had a business.
My entrepreneurial journey started about seven years ago when the Nepal earthquake hit in 2015. Our nanny lost her family home and shop in the aftermath and asked for a sizable loan. It made me realize that most migrants do not have access to traditional banking services, and they relied solely on their employers for financial support. I built my first venture, Rise, as a platform to help migrants gain access to financial services and launched it in the year 2017.
Over the next 2 years, Rise grew multi-fold – touching half a million users in the UAE, nurturing the migrant community, and scaling through partnerships with marquee brands like AXA Insurance and Carrefour.
When COVID hit in 2020, the migrant community was severely affected – it became impossible for migrants to send money home and difficult for families to spend it in their home countries. We realized that the real problem at the heart of migrant troubles was the one financial tool they use the most – remittances!
So, Xare was born – it effectively allows anyone, anywhere to share their bank card with friends or family members, instantly with full security and control. With Xare, you can
safely share money with anyone without revealing your card details, even if they don’t have a bank account. Just a phone number will do. And they can spend money online or offline (in select countries) using the shared card.
Xare connects income earners and their dependents on a common platform so they can easily and safely share money.
Padmini: I would say I have had the most impact on financial services – as a banker previously and now as an entrepreneur.
As an entrepreneur- initially the work I had had the greatest impact on female migrants in the UAE. A little-known fact is that 1 in 4 women in the UAE is a domestic helper. My maiden enterprise targeted this segment, and we built a lot of important tools for this community – bringing more than 100k domestic helpers into the digital finance fold.
With Xare, we enable anyone, anywhere to share their financial access with people they care about – effectively bringing the power of financial product creation into the hands of the masses. We have built a global platform allowing users across 180+ countries to share their financial access and in doing so created a new kind of financial services platform, enabled by a
differentiated tech stack.
Who benefits from Padmini’s work?
Padmini: We serve millions of users across the world, and each uses the Xare platform slightly differently to sort their finances.
We serve thousands of migrants who are tired of sending money home month after month, without any visibility and control over how the money is being spent.
We have changed their lives, enabling them to manage their finances seamlessly even across borders.
We have also changed the lives of income earners who have financial dependents in their homes or anywhere in the world. We enable them to set controls and limits and share their card with their loved ones without worrying constantly about sharing OTPs, giving card numbers, and wondering if that transaction on their card is genuine or not.
Finally, we are also fueling communities or Xare clubs, where friends come together to share their bank card benefits – allowing members to earn points / get discounts on cards they may not own. We have made credit and debit card benefits fully trade-able.
Gender Parity & The Glass Ceiling:
If you look at any metric – whether it be the amount of money raised by female founders or the percentage of female founders that get funded or the percentage of VC investors that are women – on all these metrics, it will seem that there is a glass ceiling. And this is acknowledged by industry veterans even in the most developed markets.
The same conditions and challenges exist in the Middle East. As a woman, you manage by doing what everyone else says – work twice as hard and run twice as fast. The only way to get past the barriers is to jump higher than male entrepreneurs do.
Women can RISE:
Padmini: There is no universal advice – but I would recommend for any aspiring female entrepreneur do the following:
– Build your pride – your herd of lionesses who will support each other and help each other grow.
– Find mentors – both female and male, who will help you open doors and navigate
some old boys’ clubs – having insider knowledge is critical.
– And finally – accept it will be tougher. You can hope it’s not, but plan like it will be. If a male colleague raised 2 million, expect you will raise 1 – or work twice as hard to get 2. It’s always better to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
Future Goals & Plan:
With a sizable user base and an enviable ecosystem of partners, Xare is poised for the next stage of growth.
We recently launched a path-breaking, AI-powered feature called Xare Anywhere that allows users to shop from any website in the world, in any country or language. And more product launches and community partnerships are in the offing.
We opened 2023 with another unique offering called the XareClub that allows users to create private groups on the app and invite friends to share bank cards. So, if you spot a good bank offer on a product you want to buy but don’t have the right card, you can simply ask a friend to share his or her card with you.