Rishabh Nagaich’s Internship Experience At Xpress Money, Dubai – IIM Udaipur
The moment you enter Dubai, you are in awe of what the place unravels for you in the form of its architectural marvels, roads that instil in you the urge to drive and of course, the Big Brand Cars. My internship at Xpress Money endowed me with a plethora of such ‘awe’ moments. The multicultural environment I worked in and the ease of interacting with senior management, offered a completely different learning experience about an organisational setup from what we experience in India. My supervisor was a Moroccan and one of my roommates was Kenyan – I hope that justifies the experience of a multicultural environment.
Before delving into the project description, let me give a brief description about Xpress Money. It is a global money transfer firm with a presence in more than 160 countries and is a subsidiary of UAE Exchange – a UAE based foreign exchange and bill payment solutions company. As far as the business is concerned, UAE Exchange is the interface between the money transfer service provider (i.e. Xpress Money, Western Union etc.) and the customers.
To begin with, my project was meticulously structured. It was about analysing the customer perception and behaviour of the Xpress Money Rewards (XMR) Program. As any other rewards program, XMR was introduced by the organisation to induce loyalty among its customer base. In a broad sense, my project was about analysing the efficacy of the program. For analysis, we dissected the project into two halves – quantitative and qualitative. The internship kicked off with a mathematical analysis of how the XMR program performed in comparison to similar programs offered by its competitor. This mathematical analysis involved calculating the returns that an XMR customer enjoys in terms of the transaction fees incurred and exchange rate margin offered by Xpress Money as opposed to a customer of competitor’s reward program.
Having established the competitive positioning of the XMR program through quantitative analysis, the next step was to understand how the program was being perceived by the customers. For the project the focus was on the UAE market – Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi to be precise (Yes, I had the perks of visiting those places on company expenditure). For this analysis, an on the ground survey was conducted across the customers of five nationalities – India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Philippines and Egypt as these formed the majority of transactions and redemptions. The survey provided an understanding of which nationalities formed the majority of XMR customer base, which nationalities showed maximum awareness about the program, among the non-XMR group which nationalities depicted maximum willingness to use the program so on and so forth. It also provided the information about the media consumption habits of immigrant interviewed – what were the common mode of media consumption and the preferred time for it. To derive an in-depth understanding from the data collected, statistical techniques such as chi-square test, cross-tabulations, correlation etc. were used. The statistical analysis provided information about the segment on which future marketing campaigns could be focused and the channels to be used.
The last leg of analysis focused on the analysis of cash back redeemed by the XMR customers. This analysis was carried out on the data available with the company. Statistical techniques were again used to understand whether or not redemption has an impact on the number of transactions. In simple terms, if a customer redeems the cashback accumulated in his XMR card, will it impact his transactions in future. The basis of this analysis was the fact that redemption amount is a liability for the company. If the number of transactions is dependent upon redemption then the company can focus on pushing redemption so as to generate greater revenue through increased transactions.
Separate from the objective of the project, the survey analysis also focused on understanding the efficacy of the advertisement campaign launched by Xpress Money in IPL 2017. This analysis again provided information about the nationalities and age groups showing a greater propensity for following cricket. It also provided information about the increment in brand recall for Xpress Money based on the launched advertisement campaign.
The learning from the two months internship was immense. The project provided a practical understanding of some of the business problems and how data analysis and consumer insights can aid in providing solutions to these problems. Interacting with around 270 people from different nationalities helped me to understand how consumer behaviour differs across geographies and how culture plays an important role in shaping this behaviour. It also helped me overcome the inhibition I feel when it comes to interacting with new people. Last but definitely not the least, the project bestowed me with an opportunity to understand the remittance industry closely. Having worked in the energy sector, exposure to remittance industry was immensely informative.
Above all, the mammoth impact that the project can have on the company is what renders a tinge of satiation in the entire experience.