S02E07: The one with Rohit Kulkarni (Payoneer)


Welcome to The Digital Couch Season II where every week we publish another conversation featuring leading global thinkers from the world of business, management, and marketing. Who all are coming for Season II? Discover and learn more about the people, their stories as we move clockwise, episode by episode!

In this episode of The Digital Couch, Shoury Gupta (ValueFirst) is joined by Rohit Kulkarni (Payoneer). Rohit is Vice President at Payoneer and is driving growth in South Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East. In his career spanning over two decades, Rohit has held roles at Amazon, Yahoo, GE Money, and Sodexo. Catch this episode as they speak about SMB’s, digital payments, COVID-19, and more!

"If not in the current profession, I would have been a chef"

Rohit wanted to be a chef but ended up spending more than two decades experiencing versatile roles in marketing, sales, distribution, product management, and operations. He has a Diploma in Hotel Management from the Institute of Hotel Management & Catering Technology and a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of Pune. Rohit began this episode by sharing his journey and what he brought to the table in terms of his values and skills.

"It's an interesting space of what you really create for them"

Rohit Kulkarni has put his hands in multiple businesses, programs, and services to the retail, SMB, and Enterprise customers. Our sixth guest sits on The Digital Couch to speak about the-not-so organized sector like SMB's and what Payoneer is doing to create a platform where they could compete with big brands.

"Somehow regulations are always looked at as a taboo"

Moving forward, Rohit speaks about the digital transformation that has taken place in the last five years and managing the most regulated industries. He shares what he learned from customers and partners, creating a strong framework thus, giving a fruitful and meaningful outcome.

"This entire ecosystem is what really makes Payoneer standout"

Furthermore, as people continue to accept digital payments, Rohit expresses his views on taking advantage of the digital ecosystem especially SMB's that is growing by the second. "If you look at our strategy if you look at our approach, we obviously are a payments platform", said our guest while telling us how they help explore and expand new markets. Catch the episode to understand Payoneers philosophy, as Rohit puts in- "We help people to launch globally, manage their business globally, and then grow globally."

"It's really hard to believe that everyone across the globe is facing the same issue"

We cannot have an episode of The Digital Couch without talking about pandemic times that have disrupted the whole world. Asking our guest how he survived the pandemic professionally and personally, Rohit had a lot to spill. He shared his engrossing stories of the rough times he experienced through March to June and getting back to growth rates. Baking halwa cake after 35 years to having two schools and one office together alongside the home is what his personal experiences looked like.

"Between a reset and managing expectations"

When asked about the sectors that help us come back on track and live a normal way, Rohit believes that everything has to be reset. Pandemic has brought a scope of innovation and has let people analyze where they stand, giving a push towards digitization.

"You've been pretty much industry-agnostic of any service clients across industries across the world"

Rohit talks about topsy-turvy changes as he takes a poetic turn when speaking about the world that suddenly turned virtual. From growing 30% even during pandemic still not meeting their aspirations of growth to always going digital, our guest shared some interesting insights.

Catch Rohit Kulkarni, Vice President at Payoneer and a novice food blogger, sharing his riveting stories of creating space for SMB's, surviving pandemic, digital ecosystem, and growth only on The Digital Couch.

Shoot us an email at thedigitalcouch@vfirst.com if you found value in this episode and have suggestions for our upcoming episodes.