Prashant Rajkhowa is a meticulous Product Manager who keeps vision, positive team dynamics and user-first thinking at the forefront of every iteration. With 5+ years Product Management experience, he has worked through every aspect of the product life cycle including market and user research, requirements gathering, MVP development, sprint planning, go-to market strategy and stakeholder management. His domain knowledge includes personal finance – financial planning, stock and property investing, personal insurance – and cryptocurrency microinvesting.
In 2019 Prashant launched Chillur, a platform that simplifies the purchase of cryptocurrency. Beginners can buy cryptocurrency bundles and set up heir diversified cryptocurrency portfolio in minutes. The platform enables you to build long-term wealth through passive investing in new and established cryptocurrencies.
Check out more interviews with entrepreneurs here.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO GET FEATURED?
All interviews are 100% FREE OF CHARGE
Table of Contents
Thanks for doing this interview with us! Could you tell us how you first got involved in the Regtech or Crypto markets?
Prashant Rajkhowa: I started buying cryptocurrency in 2018. It was less than a decade since Bitcoin first appeared and everything around cryptocurrency was very chaotic. Think… today’s levels of confusion times 10. There was a lot of news, hype, and excitement; a lot more criticism, scepticism and lots of outright derision.
As someone who had been investing in traditional stocks and ETFs for a while, I was looking to do the same with cryptocurrency. Buy small amounts regularly and hold it for the long term. I figure if I held it for at least five years, it would grow substantially. Spoiler: I did, and it did.
The process of buying cryptocurrency was painful and complicated then as it is now. Cryptocurrency exchanges were built by financial traders for other financial traders. There was nothing for someone like me, which was someone that wanted to be a long-term investor.
So, I decided to do something about it… and launched Chillur a year later. The goal was simple: Even someone with no knowledge of cryptocurrency whatsoever could have an account and portfolio in less than five minutes. Everyone should be able to invest and that’s what the platform aims to do.
What are the five ways that Regulation and Regtech can help stabilize the Crypto Economy?
Prashant Rajkhowa: It may seem obvious but I’m going to say it anyway: regulation is not the magic pill that everyone seems to think it is. People think that simply regulating an industry is a way to banish the troll into the darkness. But the world has a long list of examples, in fact a continually growing list, of how regulated companies have managed to and continue to take advantage of customers.
So keeping that in mind, in order to truly be effective and working in the interest of customers and businesses, regulation needs to:
1. Be collaborative: Regulation isn’t about control. It’s about ensuring that all the stakeholders involved succeed and grow together. Regulation fails when it involves taking a sledgehammer to a wall to fix a tiny crack. The regulatory bodies need to take the time to involve a large number of stakeholders to understand the problem and work together to find a solution.
2. Step outside the building: Regulation doesn’t automatically make things “work.” There’s enough evidence of every industry working within the rules and regulations and still ending up taking advantage of their customers. And more often than not, that happens because the decisions are made by those in the room and by people you know. Confirmation bias is a very powerful concept and that can only be broken if you leave the room, leave the building and step outside.
3. Don’t shoehorn: The best way to stifle innovation is to shoehorn something new into a framework that already exists. New systems and innovations need new frameworks and guidelines for the entire ecosystem to thrive. All that forcing innovation into existing systems does is ensure that the faults and inefficiencies of the existing system block progress for innovation.
4. Strive for the goldilocks zone: Regulation needs to be thought of as a spectrum and there needs to be constant pressure from all stakeholders to stay in the goldilocks zone.
5. Be dynamic: Regulation is neither a once and done concept nor is there a guarantee that the first attempt will work. Regulators should not consider their job done after the first framework. Instead, they should follow a build-measure-learn loop to ensure that they are constantly innovating and improving alongside the industries they are looking to regulate.
What are the top things that crypto firms should think about so they can be more competitive?
Prashant Rajkhowa: First and foremost – be genuine. This is something that applies to every company in every industry but, unfortunately, more so with cryptocurrency. In the crypto world, there’s a concept called FUD – fear, uncertainty and doubt. When your industry has so much negativity that it’s actually part of the jargon, you know that you’re going to have to try harder. To that end, companies and leaders have to be genuine; about who they are, about what their service does and about how their service can help their customers.
Going hand in hand with that is the importance of solving customer problems. You can have a well-designed product with the most intricate algorithms, but it won’t matter if there’s no one around to use it. And the only way to get users to use your product is to find out what their problems are and how effectively your product solves that problem.
And you cannot effectively solve their problems if you aren’t being genuine about your product to them.
What are some things you do to protect your data from being stolen or accessed by unauthorized people?
Prashant Rajkhowa: I collaborate with the experts in the field of security. There is no sense in trying to figure out how to do it yourself when there are companies that have been doing it successfully for years. So, whether it is the mechanism to authorise and authenticate a user to the manner in which user data is stored to the handling and storage of cryptocurrency, I work with technology and security experts to ensure that users have a safe experience when they use Chillur.
Can you share a story of a time when things did not go your way? What helped you to keep going and to overcome that difficulty?
Prashant Rajkhowa: To be honest, Chillur’s story has been one challenge after another. The company launched in 2019 and just as we were getting into a bit of a rhythm, well you know what happened a year later. 2020 was a challenging year and more so for our users. More than half our accounts were closed in a month with one story another about people losing their jobs and needing access to what little savings they had. What kept us going was the fact that people were relieved that they had at least some money to fall back on because they had opened accounts with us.
The start of this year was probably the first time since we launched that we hoped for a little normalcy… and that lasted for all of three months. The last two months have been the most challenging for the cryptocurrency industry ever.
The one thing that has helped us keep going and stay the course is to be genuine. To borrow the answer from the previous question, it’s during the challenging times that customers need companies to be genuine and honest. I’m confident that so long as we stay genuine and continue to enable our customers to be successful, we’ll see this rough phase through.
What are some things you do every day, even if you’re busy?
Prashant Rajkhowa: I work out for an hour every morning, I eat clean, and play fetch my dog on the beach.
Can you please share with us a life lesson that is important to you? How has that lesson been relevant in your life?
Prashant Rajkhowa: Never stop learning. It is the lesson that has enabled me to navigate my professional life. I started my career as a business news reporter on TV. I started learning about websites and online content, which enabled me to make the switch to web journalism, where I continued learning about different ways to increase traffic to your site and how to set up your customers for success. It is this constant drive to keep learning that gave me the right skillset to start my own company in an industry that is only two decades old.
If you could start a movement that would help a lot of people, what would that be?
Prashant Rajkhowa: One of my favourite jokes is that it’s a good thing that I learned about photosynthesis in school because not a day goes by that I don’t apply that knowledge in the real world. As opposed to you know, how to set a budget, what is investing and how to start planning for FIRE.
The lack of personal financial education has unfortunately created an entire industry where people are taken advantage of purely because they didn’t have access to financial education. Personal finance has become this complicated, jargon-heavy nebulous world where only the “experts” understand things and the rest are left behind.
Chillur is a way for anyone to start investing. Some of the most successful customer stories I’ve come across are of those that have put away just $5 every week and now they have portfolios or savings worth thousands of dollars. So, it’s a step in the right direction… maybe it could turn into a movement someday.
Jerome Knyszewski, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Prashant Rajkhowa for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Prashant Rajkhowa or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
Disclaimer: The ValiantCEO Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.