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Anurag Jain

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Profile

Anurag Jain is the co-founder and CEO of Prepay Nation. The New Delhi-native began his higher education at Babasahep Bhimrao Ambedkar University, earning a Bachelor’s in Engineering and Telecommunications in 1994. He then proceeded to the ICFAI Business School, earning his CFA in Finance in 1997. The telecom engineer then took a management position at HFCL, followed by another at Parsec Technologies in 1999.

In 2001, however, Jain’s life took a twist. His new wife was setting off to begin a post-doctoral fellowship in the United States. Wanting to be near his bride, Jain followed her to the United States, taking a management position with Indian call center company SM Telesys. The company also ran GiftstoIndia.com, a website targeted at transplanted Indian software developers looking to send gifts home. During his four years with SM Telesys, Jain discovered a means of turning the excess airtime of mobile telephone providers into a viable business opportunity. Leaving the company in 2005, Jain partnered with university friend Ajay Vikas Goyal to found MagicPins.com. The new venture offered mobile companies an interesting new proposition, distributing talk-time PIN numbers digitally rather than on scratch-off cards. By 2011, MagicPins was the leading processor of airtime in the United States, boasting partnerships with mobile operators including TMobile and Sprint and processing more than $250 million in prepaid airtime at approximately 50,000 retail points.

In 2011, after handing over the business to a new CEO, Jain left MagicPins to embark on new ventures. Building on the GiftstoIndia concept, Jain and Goyal founded Prepay Nation, helping expat and immigrant customers send cell phone minutes to friends and family back home. Based in Berwyn, PA, the company resells excess airtime, receiving a commission from the mobile operator in exchange. With sending money back home such a common problem, one the co-founders had experienced themselves, the company soon found its footing. By 2014, Prepay Nation was pulling in $110 million in revenue, a far cry from the $3 million of three years prior. By 2015, the company had processed around $250 million through approximately 20 million transactions. It operates in more than 100 countries, partnering with more than 200 mobile operators and available at 175,000 retail locations.

The thriving company was ranked #97 on Inc.’s list of the 500 fastest-growing companies in the United States in 2014, as well as #52 on Forbes’ list of America’s Most Promising Companies that year. In 2013, the Wharton Business School and Entrepreneurs’ Forum declared Prepay Nation the “fastest growing company” in the Philadelphia Region, and it was the winner of the TIF 50 Award in the Mobile Category.

Companies and Investments

Prepay Nation (Co-founder, CEO), Magicpins.com (Co-founder, CEO), SM Telesys (General Manager), Parsec Technologies (Regional Manager), HFCL (Manger)

Lessons Learned

I think success comes when you try to go out of your comfort zone. A majority of the mentors I got advice from are American citizens. If you're trying to do business, the more kinds of people you know, the better. If you just stick to your own community members, your perspective is going to be more limited. (Anurag Jain on getting out of your comfort zone and seeking outside perspectives, in an article in Inc. Magazine.)

Surround yourself with smarter people, and don’t be afraid to discuss your ideas with others. Chances are that you will get sincere feedback on your ideas, and that feedback will help you plan better and build a stronger business. (Anurag Jain on surrounding yourself with smart people and seeking out feedback, in an interview in The South Asian)

We are very sensitive to the fact that we are serving customers who have come to a foreign land, and saved their hard-earned money to send it to help their families back home. And because we keep that in mind, it is so important to us that we deliver the best value to our customers. Profitability on these transactions is secondary to us. We believe that it is this mindset which has helped us grow as fast as we have grown in the last 4 years. (Anurag Jain on putting customers satisfaction first, in an interview in The South Asian)


Inspiring Quotes

Anurag Jain's Quotes

I think success comes when you try to go out of your comfort zone.

Anurag Jain

Business is always done between the two people. Your personal reputation, working style and demeanor become critical in building a successful business.

Anurag Jain

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