Raj Pathak on how Qoin is a step ahead for global commerce
In April 2017, sitting at the airport lounge on a flight from Perth to India, Raj Pathak was having a conversation with his son Mihir, who wanted to know his opinion about bitcoins. As the then General Manager of Bartercard, an Australian company that enables businesses to exchange goods and services without the use of cash or cash equivalents, or without a direct swap, Raj was intrigued by Mihir’s interest in the subject and his proposition that he buy out Bartercard.
“Where is the money going to come from?” laughed Raj, at which Mihir quipped, “Mate, you will never tell me how much money you have.”
The Pathaks shared a bond few would understand. After that conversation, Raj mulled over it. He really didn’t know how he was going to do it. But things would take a turn.
Mihir unexpectedly passed away in November that year. He had just turned 30. “When he left, I really lost my sense of purpose,” reflects Raj.
“Mihir had joined business with me and was passionate about work. He understood my journey and was really proud of me. He never treated me as his father, often calling me brother or mate. He kept me young.”
But it was a time where everywhere people were talking about blockchains and cryptos. So, when Raj suddenly got the opportunity to work with Cashback, a company dealing with complete cash back promotion strategies and solutions, it brought him closer to the world of digital cash.
Later, drawing on his own research and with Mihir’s words still ringing in his mind, he decided to head to Sydney to talk with the CEO of Bartercard.
“I asked the CEO if he had any intention of selling Bartercard. He replied if I was keen, I needed to send him an email. So, I went straight to the hotel and shot off an email.” The rest, as they say, is history.
Raj and his like-minded business partner Tony Wiese acquired Bartercard in 2018. “We went on the bandwagon after a lot of research. We realised that technology is only as good as it is if you haven’t got merchant and people on to the technology; it means nothing,” says Raj.
Thus, Raj found a template for Mihir’s story and a dream he aspired to became true. On 14 February this year, the birth date of Mihir, Raj, along with his partners, launched Qoin in Australia.
“It was purely a tribute to Mihir because he gave this vision to me and the company. Strangely enough, we often think there is some special energy which is opening few doors which we never thought of and where and how these miracles are happening we don’t know. That is what the journey is.”
With over 29 years of success supporting small business’ globally through the Bartercard brand, Qoin is a step ahead for global commerce by adopting a widely used, reliable digital currency platform that enables consumers to spend with their favourite merchants instore or online.
Qoin offers participating merchants, the opportunity to increase their customer base by accepting Qoin as payment therefore reducing their spare capacity and building more profitability. All this in a zero cost to merchant model.
So how does it work? “It is just like any app, download the Qoin wallet on your phone and register your business by going to qoin.world. But read the white paper. It is a seamless process. Also, any business that joins between now and end of July stand to gain 250 coins (about 125 AUD),” says Raj.
In the very first month of its launch in February, Qoin had 20 agents on board with 200-plus merchants on its wallet. Last month, its numbers grew to 80 agents and 1,600 merchants
“Now, every businessman has an ideal capacity, they are now tokenising that ideal capacity and putting it on Qoin. It is a unique proposition. Today, every business is discounting their overstock inventory, if they put that on to Qoin, the ideal capacity and overstock inventory will go up in value because the more the merchants, the more the value of the Qoin appreciates, like the Metcalfe’s law. And this is just the beginning.”
In the very first month of its launch in February, Qoin had 20 agents on board with 200-plus merchants on its wallet. Last month, its numbers grew to 80 agents and 1,600 merchants. The goal was to have 5,000 merchants by the end of December, but the company is well on its way to reach the target months ahead.
“We launched it at 15 cents, today the value of the Qoin is 60 cents in just three months. Why? Because we have 5,000 businesses whose average is 25 per cent, their ideal capacity. That is roughly about 125 million dollars’ worth of goods and services which every merchant has agreed to take on Qoin to sell their stock. That is the beauty of this currency,” explains Raj.
Raj attributes the success to the beautiful strategic partnership he shares with his agents “who are willing to do more and learn more sales”. “Every Monday, we have the full compliment of the agents and each one is on the Zoom call,” he says.
However, it would not be wrong to say that Raj’s background and his instinctive understanding of how to succeed is part of his prolific career.
His roots go back to North India but he was born and brought up in Kenya when he made the decision to migrate to Australia in the early 1990s. Raj ran a travel agency there and Australia was uncharted territory. Recession was its peak, jobs were not easily available but, fortunately, he got an opportunity to work with Bartercard in sales—a completely new field for him.
“At that time, the company had a maximum of 200-300 merchants on board, it was very small. I started with a franchisee who basically didn’t interview me but gave me the opportunity. I loved the concept and I understood what was needed in the economy.”
In three years, he did about 1200-plus sales and his commission earnings became such that the company found it challenging to fund him. He was asked to take over sales management role, which he accepted reluctantly. And he would go on to build a very strong commission sales team in Queensland.
The promotions kept coming. From National Sales Manager, he became the General Manager with the responsibility to fix Western Australia which he did in 2013, accompanied by Mihir. They became the formidable father-son team and went on to win the franchisee award branch of the year in 2015.
“Sales has always been my passion and people development my second passion. Nothing excites me more than understanding the psychology behind why people do what they do, what makes them tick… I ask people if I can play just five percent role in their journey to make it more exciting. And Bartercard gave me that opportunity to nurture relationships. I share my story on Qoin. Someone I had helped out once gave me a 100,000 cheque when I started this venture. That is the power of relationships. Life is all about relationships. So, I am a bit mindful of that. That is how I got a little bit of my fulfillment.”
Qoin will be listed in one of the crypto exchanges by November, which will enable one to encash one’s coins. “Qoin is all about utility, it is digital cash,” says Raj
Raj also acknowledges Mike Caladine, his first sales trainer at Bartercard, with whom he shared a dream to build a very strong sales organisation. “He is passionate and now we are both together in this journey – and that is the key to our success so far.”
So, how does he convince sceptics to come on board? “We always have the fear of the unknown. The most important thing is the fear is all inbuilt and it is always linked to your past, say, an experience with a salesman who sold you something that did not meet your expectations. It is what we call the value proposition. By value, I mean the benefits outgoing the price. But here, we have taken that fear away from the merchants, which was joining fee, transaction fee, et al. All they have to do is try it out. Tomorrow, if it doesn’t work, they are free to pull out.”
Today there is so much uncertainty everywhere, he says. “Merchants pay rent through their blood, toil, sweat and tears and they are still have to discount; they are paying commission to Scoupon, Groupon etc. If they come on Qoin, they are building this unique value proposition for the world. And this is completely revolutionary.”
Qoin will be listed in one of the crypto exchanges by November, which will enable one to encash one’s coins. “Qoin is all about utility, it is digital cash. We just got our first approval of the exchange, so now it’s in the developmental stage, it will be a block trade exchanger,” says Raj.
Looking ahead, Raj insists there is a massive future for digital currencies.
He wakes up at 4 am every day, goes for his jog, and takes mental notes. I like to relate everything to nature because after losing my best mate, I have come to a transition now. The reality is: nothing belongs to us, it is only time which we have with us. So, let’s make the best use of it and be of much help to human society.”
The Indian Sun