Point to note

The Mumbai-based digital payments company was founded by Gupta in 2011, and acquired for $130 million by Naspers-backed PayU in September 2016.

Mumbai beginnings

Citrus Pay started out of an office in the basement of a building in Vile Parle, which didn’t even have a washroom. Its second office was at a manufacturing hub in Santa Cruz. It was quite difficult to convince employees to join in that office, says the founder.

“On one of the off-sites in Lonavala, we were 20 and got budget for only 4 rooms. I still remember how we all got stuffed in those rooms," says Gupta. “We made a work-from-Goa week. All team members moved to a villa in Goa for a week. After M&A deal with PayU, we all went to Phuket. We were 300-people company then. Out of 300 team members, 250 were travelling for the first time out of India."

How the city helped in business

The city taught me how to hustle and find my way, says Gupta. He says he came to the city all alone in 1999, with Rs5,000 from his parents. “People here have this unique quality—a committed, no-nonsense approach, and ready to deliver—which is not the case in other cities," he says.

Transition and the future

PayU and Citrus merger happened successfully and the combined entity is now 2.5 times bigger (in revenue) from the time of acquisition, says Gupta. The team has found a new home in PayU and still maintains the same vibrant culture across the group. “Personally, life has not changed much. I still have same desk and office," he adds.

As told to Kavya Kothiyal

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