Nepal is one of the top 20 markets for Xpress Money
Vinesh Nair is the vice president, global marketing and communication, of Xpress Money -- a UK-based remittance company. He was recently in Nepal to launch Xpress Money Eco-Everest Expedition 2012 -- a clean-up campaign on Mount Everest -- in partnership with Asian Trekking. In an interview with Republica, he discussed the company´s role in the Mount Everest clean-up expedition and company´s experience in Nepal. Excerpts:
How much are you spending on the Everest clean-up campaign?
At this point, we are spending in excess of US$15,000. But we will contribute more if the need arises. We believe it is just the beginning and we understand what it takes to make the campaign successful. We are very committed to it and we want to continue this partnership.
Are you implying that the company plans to support the event in the years to come?
Yes of course. We have spoken to the expedition team here and we know the journey they have embarked on is genuine, worthwhile and very well-planned. Besides, the expedition consists of a team that is very experienced and the person who is leading the expedition (Apa Sherpa) has been to the Everest summit for a record 21 times. So we definitely intend to be a part of it in the future.
Let´s talk about the company now. How do you see remittance market in Nepal?
Nepal is one of the top 20 countries in terms of revenue generation for Xpress Money. The county receives remittances of $3.5 billion per year. With an agent network in over 6,000 locations in the country and 26 agent partners onboard, we believe we bring a significant chunk of money to the country. And in the last four years since we entered Nepal, we have made significant inroads into this market. We see a promising future for Nepal.
But there is a huge competition in the market isn´t it as there are experienced players who have been in the business long before you joined the race?
Yes there is huge competition. But we believe the reason why the company has been successful in just 12 years of its existence is that we have a clear roadmap. In 12 years, we have managed to expand our business to 135,000 locations in 125 countries and by 2015 we intend to be on every country on the planet. Besides, we have very clear product offerings, which include cash to cash and cash to account facilities.
All the companies have those product line-up. So what gives your company the edge?
Our biggest advantage is that we work very closely with customers on countries from where the money is sent and in the country that receives the money. This is because you need to understand what customers want. At the same time we also work closely with agent partners as they play a critical role in delivering the quality of service that the company envisages.
But at the end of the day everything boils down to cost isn´t it, since most of your clients are migrant workers who cannot afford to fork out huge sums?
You will be surprised but many people are willing to pay a certain premium for certain experience they want. Would you like to have your cash delivered at the time you want or pay little less and face a lot of problems? You can compare our service charges with some of the biggest players on earth and our rates are far more competitive. That´s why many customers are switching to Xpress Money.
You´ve been in Nepal for four years. How is the business growing over the years?
We do not disclose the revenue that Nepal is generating for the company. But in terms of revenue and customer growth rate, it has been significant.
Any future plans for Nepal?
Currently, we are offering cash to cash and cash to account services. In future, we are planning to increase product offerings and introduce services such as mobile payment. We will be providing the platform to our agents to deliver these services, as our focus is on providing convenience to our customers.