Embarking on a journey from being a Stanford graduate to the co-founder and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of a highly successful mobile payment company, Upasana Taku’s story is a testament to the courage it takes to leave a high-paying job and start something from scratch. The company, MobiKwik, achieved significant profitability in the March quarter, marking a milestone in Taku’s entrepreneurial journey. With ambitious plans for the future, she envisions MobiKwik becoming fully profitable and doubling its revenue to Rs 1,000 crore in the current fiscal year.
Upasana Taku’s inspiring journey resonates with those who dare to take risks in pursuit of their dreams. Born in Gandhinagar to a Kashmiri family with academic roots, Taku’s educational journey included schooling in Surat and engineering studies at NIT Jalandhar. Her passion for entrepreneurship blossomed during her Master’s program in Management Science & Engineering at Stanford University.
After graduating, Taku gained corporate experience at HSBC and Paypal, yet her heart yearned for grassroots-level impact. In 2008, she returned to India, a decision that initially disappointed her parents who sought to dissuade her from leaving the comfort of life in the US. Undeterred, Taku began her journey in India by working for the non-governmental organization Dristhee, although she found the operations of NGOs in India lacking.
In December 2008, destiny led her to Bipin Preet Singh, who would become her co-founder at MobiKwik. Singh, then working with a Noida-based chip company, shared Taku’s vision of establishing an e-wallet firm. Despite facing challenges such as difficulty in securing a platform from banks, hiring employees, and funding issues, the couple persevered. Taku also confronted gender discrimination as an entrepreneur, but their determination prevailed.
In 2012, Taku launched Zaakpay, a subsidiary of One MobiKwik Systems, providing a digital payment gateway for e-commerce firms. Recognition followed, with Taku receiving an award from the President of India in 2018 for being the first woman to lead a payments startup. She also earned a spot on Forbes Asia’s Power 25 Businesswomen list in 2019. The company’s valuation soared to $700 million during a fundraising round in 2021, marking a remarkable milestone in Taku’s entrepreneurial journey.