Money matters. Or does it really? Outlook Money brings to you this series through which we explored the under 35's take on money matters. Every generation has its share of distinct events that later gets recounted. Those from the early 1990s India had consumer durables as their object of desire. By the end of that decade and turn of the millennium, fancy cars had taken that place. Gen Z has grown up in a time of rapid change, giving them a set of priorities and expectations sharply different from previous generations. Demographically speaking, those under 25 comprise 50 million of India’s population. This is more than that of the total population of Brazil, Russia, Germany and Canada combined. Being personal finance specialists, it was only natural that we at Outlook Money got curious to investigate what Gen Z thinks about money.
The Recipe for success
"You almost take money for granted as long as you have more than you want to spend. It's only when you're running short that you start putting in efforts to make some more," says John, Co-founder of Riafy Technologies. An engineer by profession, in his own words, he is a code-design-algorithm sandwich. He started this company with his friends who have been in his life since school, through college and now at work. Apart from the 6 co-founders, there are only 3 other employees in the firm.
Besides being one of the world's finest Android developing companies, it is also the first Indian company to have received both Top Developer and Editor's Choice badges on Google Play. Their apps cater to the domains of photography, food and fitness and over the last three years they have acquired over 16 million users spanning 171 countries and 21 languages.
He always knew that he wanted to do something on his own and says that he was greatly influenced by his school principal and mentor, Father Joy. He has bought himself a car, his first car, a Honda City Automatic and says that he will not be buying a house at least for the next 5 to 6 years as his business is expanding and is not yet sure which city will he be settling in the long run. He currently resides in Cochin with his wife Anu, who works for Tata Consultancy Services. When asked what his wife thinks about him being an entrepreneur instead of having a regular job, he says, "She's all in and we do crack some code together for the company."
Though John considers himself to be a sloppy investor, he does however manage to save tax. He says that he rarely saves the 1.5 lakhs in 80C tax deductions. Also, his wife pays for the Health insurance with TCS and she gets the 80D deductions, as well as the PPF. His company uses their profits for expansion, moving out to new markets and also on sophisticated servers and related infrastructure.
When asked about what his goals are financially and otherwise, he said "As the good folks at Disney once put it 'We make movies to make money, and the money lets us make more movies'. All our efforts are focused on building awesome user experiences for everyone regardless of their language, the cost of their phones, connectivity and so on. " He admits that though when they started the company back in 2013, their goal was to earn 5$ a day, then it escalated to 10$, then 25$ and so on. But once they started making steady money they realized that the one thing that made them the happiest was the smile on the faces of their users - people whose lives they could have never touched otherwise. He has even given two TED talks. One of which, Building Experiences - a Recipe for Success, can be watched here.