In conversation with Rijish Raghavan, Vice President, PAYBACK India

Rijish Raghvan, Vice President and Head of Partner Management, PAYBACK India are the brand custodian for PAYBACK India and takes care of the revenue generation for the company through retention and acquisition of partners. Playing a key role in identifying new business lines to bring in profitability, Mr. Raghavan has over 2 decades of experience and his commitment to process excellence, execution and mentoring a large team of partner managers has enabled PAYBACK to emerge as a partner of choice for leading corporate. In this exclusive conversation with Mr. Raghavan, we explore more about his corporate and personal journey:  

The corporate journey: Mr. Raghvan shares, “It’s been an exciting career spanning of more than two decades. I have invested 22 years of experience in Partner management and business development in Loyalty marketing, financial services and travel industry. I have seen Indian businesses evolve over long periods in two dynamic industries - travel and financial service sectors. My stint with travel and financial services sector was quite demanding, however with a sharp learning curve, focus on quick turnaround solutions and strategically planned marketing programs to constantly meet industry demands.”

He adds, “Prior to PAYBACK, I was associated with American Express for more than a decade and before that, was associated with COX & Kings for over six years. At PAYBACK, too, it has been an extremely rewarding and fulfilling career graph. As a part of the senior management team at PAYBACK, I am enabled to explore and successfully drive many deals in loyalty space and launched new business verticals like insurance and tiered memberships which generated significant incremental revenues. Have also launched mobile based redemptions and card less enrollment at key partners”

The most exciting part about work: Sharing more on what he enjoys the most about his work, Mr. Raghvan shares, “This is one of the most dynamic industries to be a part of, and I enjoy working in such a fast-paced environment. With the epoch of retail and online stores, engaging and rewarding partners and customers on an equal basis is something which is always needed by someone with an eye for detail. The most enriching moments are when we achieve great customer feedback, thus giving us more reasons to innovate and give back to them. This is a platform where it is vital to keep key partners and client stakeholders engaged by building strategic vision and meaningful content. The exciting part is when you see your initiatives succeed, which entails building the strategy aimed to generate revenue and growth for the organisation.”

Work culture at PAYBACK: “PAYBACK is a young and vibrant organization and I enjoy working with an energetic & dynamic team. I love the dedication and passion in our employees, which they invest every day at the workplace to achieve better results,” shares Mr. Raghvan.

Challenges faced and what keeps him strong in tough times: Sharing more on the challenges faced and what keeps him strong during tough times, Mr. Raghvan says, “Challenges and success go hand in hand. Managing the downfall of any situation strengthens one to deal with challenges and provide logical solutions on the spot. So far my journey has been an incredible mix of the two. For an instance, we almost lost an account; one with great potential for our company. Eventually, collaborating and delivering effective solutions helped retaining the account. That’s how we managed to salvage the situation. Today, we are successful with our portfolio, which is growing at an unprecedented rate.”

He adds, “It always motivates me and strengthens my goals when I witness such experiences. I love facing challenges and I think that’s what makes you a wise individual. Also, it’s refreshing to learn on the job when something like this happens. It’s one of the most crucial ways to build an exigency plan. I am proud and confident of my team and my colleagues for always having faith and fighting the situation in spirit.”

Proud moments around his work: “There are myriad moments to be proud of, but my favourite and proudest moments are sales and business development initiatives where I bought large business deals on board. It’s like an adrenaline rush when I think of the days when we used to push the envelope to achieve all at stake. These are some of the most satisfying and career defining moments for me,” says Mr. Raghvan.

Plans for PAYBACK for this year: Mr. Raghvan shares, “This year we are planning to extend partner engagements. We are focused on taking new initiatives and strategies that will be beneficial to our large customer based through joint efforts with our partners. This is a crucial element for us this year. We are going to keep our focus on this and see it scaling new heights in the customer engagement.”

Other than work, things that he loves to do: “Running is my passion. I enjoy running and it helps me to de-stress. My quest for running helped me to complete 3 half marathons and many more to come. Apart from this, I love to jog and play squash,” shares Mr. Raghvan.

Best advice received: Mr. Raghvan shares, “I have been extremely fortunate to have been given the opportunity to work with some of the most dynamic leaders in my career. Given the fact that challenges and successes have followed me, the privilege of learning from such individuals has only led me to become more cognizant of my work and ecosystem at my workplace. I think it is very important to have a leader who encourages and believes in your potential to achieve great heights, a leader who completely trusts you; these two factors have been instrumental in my growth and have taught me to constantly innovate and remain updated for the future. Another huge influence on my life has been my father as his advice of putting lots of emphasis on hard work, sincerity and fairness into everything.”

Advice to young professionals: “It’s a competitive world out there, and one needs to constantly evolve and learn. My advice to people would be, remain a lifelong student to your workplace, no matter where you are and the position you hold, remember your responsibilities towards your organisation and to yourself. Learn from the leaders and set meaningful and achievable goals; be a leader who is approachable and a solution provider. Gone are the days when you had the “carrot and stick” methods of working, the millennial’ of today are savvy, smart and can acquire knowledge sooner than you could turn a page, and that’s the beauty of being young, you must be ready for challenges. I’d say, keep that attitude with a strong willpower to create and contribute to those around you.”

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