All businesses are excited about Gen Z: Abhineet Sawa, Snapmint

Sawa, the Co-founder of Snapmint, lets us in on the BNPL platform's unique proposition, empowering customers to buy commodities with a hassle-free EMI option

Generation Z, popularly known as Gen-Z, has been giving sleepless nights marketeers across categories and dynamics. Given their unusual preferences and unpredictable nature, brands are confused as to how to cater to this segment. That being said, Gen Zs are the new power purchasers with more disposable income to buy luxury and electronic products, making them impossible to ignore. 

“The Gen-Z segment is what everyone wants to appeal to,” says Abhineet Sawa, the Co-Founder of Snapmint, a Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) platform for a hassle-free EMI purchase using minimum documentation and leveraging on technology. The Mumbai-based fintech platform has recently raised a total of US $21 million in equity and debt as a part of its latest fundraising round.  

In an exclusive conversation with e4m, Sawa talks about the objective behind the platform's launch, its marketing strategies and, of course, appealing to the Gen Z population.

Edited excerpts below:

There are many BNPL platforms in the market. How does Snapmint stand out?

In 2016, my co-founders and I were running an ad tech company. The objective was to run campaigns for different brands and generate ROI from the campaigns. One of our clients was a fintech company offering EMI. However, we noted that the campaign was a huge hit and people were adding a lot of products to the cart but there was no increase in transaction, despite the EMI option.

That was the one thing that intrigued us and when we interviewed a lot of people we got to know that customers are in need of installment base financing. Even if the purchase is based on installment, few customers have credit cards or EMI access. Today there are 550 Million PAN card holders in the country but only 30 million citizens have credit cards another 20 Million have EMI-based debit cards. 

While on popular e-commerce platforms, we see that there is an EMI option, we think it's there for everyone, but it's not there for roughly 500 million Indians. Even if it is there, it is only for high-value purchases not for smaller purchases like for smartwatches or other electronic devices. That's where we decided to come up with Snapmint. 

How are you cutting through the clutter amongst legacy brands in terms of service?

EMI has been there in India, and a lot of banks provide this kind of service. In offline stores, you will find these kinds of services. Every successful player has found the niche where they have made the channel and the category work. Think of the gen-z segment. They are not buying a TV or a fridge but are buying accessories, clothing, smart gadgets, and travel. A lot of it is happening online. 

We have enabled these 550 million consumers without any account with Snapmint or credit score to go to any of the online players and avail of an installment option at the merchant's platform. It is on 0% interest. And this is how we are cutting through the clutter. 

How do you keep track of the EMI without structured paperwork? 

Technology is at the heart of it. Customers don't want too many complicated steps, so we have built an elaborate tech system that is integrated with the merchant and they share a lot of information with us. We have an NBFC license of our own, and with respect to the guidelines of RBI, we have access to the KYC database. This is how we keep a track of payments and customers.

On what channels are the Snapmint services available?

We have two sets of channels. One is the website of the D2C platforms where we give installments. We have 350 merchants on board with us. The other is our own app where we have many categories; the electronic category is the most popular one. We will soon be launching travel as well. 

How does your market segment look like?

A lot of our businesses, 70% of it, come from non-metro locations from the gen-z segment. A whopping 90% of our customers are below the age of 30. All the businesses are excited about Gen Z, whom everyone wants to appeal to. 

Can you tell us about your advertising budget and marketing strategies?

First is of course the brands we have integrated. They prominently promote Snapmint on their websites, and they actively mention Snapmint in their transactions and campaigns. One of our partners, Cashify mentioned us in their radio campaign. 

Second, is Google and Facebook ad campaigns. 20-30% of consumers come from Facebook or from Google campaigns. With the raised Fund, we plan to invest more in marketing the platform. 

Do you promote brands on your platform?

Yes, we do. Brands give us more margins to acquire customers and then we invest those higher margins in marketing campaigns or the credit we give to customers.