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The Year Of The Mavericks

Robin Raina’s EbixCash is building a future-perfect model with the objective of dominating the Indian fintech space

Photo Credit : Ritesh Sharma

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“Taking risks, breaking the rules, and being a maverick has always been important but today this is more crucial than ever.” — Gary Hamel

As we draw the curtain on 2021, one is tempted to reflect on what the first year after a global crisis has been like. Was it a good year? In one word, I would say, yes. I am an optimist and a believer by nature, so this should not come as a surprise to those who know me. That being said, even if one took the most sceptical view, why would we not call this a good year? India as a country and as an economy, pushed forth despite a soul-crushing second wave of the pandemic. A month ago, Goldman Sachs forecast that India’s GDP would grow to 9.1 per cent year-on-year in 2022 from eight per cent in 2021. The International Monetary Fund retained its projection for India’s economic growth in the current financial year at 9.5 per cent.

No doubt, recovery gained momentum, and this will continue in 2022. All vectors point in that direction. Sectors such as supply that continue to face challenges, too are expected to stabilise in the years ahead. In the backdrop of all the positive strokes is the grim reality of a tougher-to-operate-in world. Systems – internal and external – are more complex. There is a continuous erosion of trust. Economic volatility has impacted society and the workplace equally. The good run despite all of this, re-emphasises that it is people who make change happen. Many traits will define 2021 but the most important continues to be how leaders and leadership reacted to continued uncertainties.

I would say the year belonged to the unorthodox, the out-of-box thinkers – those who have always challenged norms and conventional wisdom. These mavericks did not stop in the face of fears. They modelled their businesses to identify even the tiniest sliver of growth and seized it to bloom it into an opportunity. The leaders of our country are among these, and so is the company leader, whom we focus on in our cover story.

I have always found the Ebix story and the EbixCash story fascinating. Robin Raina’s vision was to converge different fragments in the payment solutions, financial technology and travel sectors into holistic offers. It may seem simple to connect many dots but it is only after you peel the layers that you realise how much work has gone into simplifying these very complex structures. Every conversation with Robin gives you insight into just how many ways you can break the mould. His ambition now is to create a financial technology brand in India that could dominate the global stage. I feel this is a goal he can achieve. And numbers show that my thinking is on track. In this issue, we have also looked at the Indian aviation sector as travel opens up. The time for the much-awaited take-off of the sector since the crisis, is finally here. Top business and economy leaders take us through different facets of the industry, each of which is a learning experience.


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Magazine 28 Dec 2021 Robin Raina Ebix EbixCash