Nitin Motwani tells 'India Global Business' about tapping into his Silicon Valley experience to set up a start-up in India, future plans and developing a niche foreign exchange market product with overseas expansion plans. As a former Silicon Valley professional who helped build TelePresence, Cisco system's ultra-high resolution video conferencing product, and a member of several start-up communities in the Valley, Motwani brought his experience of product ideation, start-up advisory and building minimum viable products for young start-ups to BookMyForex as its founder & chief technical officer (CTO). Does Start-up India hold promise for start-ups like yours These are still early days for Start-up India and we′re yet to receive clarity on many aspects of the program. The initiative is extremely positive in intent and some of the actions such as tax exemptions on capital gains and investments above fair market value should make the process of receiving funding much easier for start-ups. Likewise, reduced red tape and streamlined processes for receiving IP protection will help start-ups like us to invent faster and to protect our inventions. That said, several aspects such as the utilisation of the Rs 10,000 crore ($1.5bn) fund are not clear yet but may prove to be highly beneficial to start-ups like us. All in all, the initiative is very positive and will certainly help brand new start-ups and even early stage companies like us. Is the start-up ecosystem building up in the country The start-up ecosystem in India is well past the point of just building up. With over 4,000 start-ups, India already boasts the third largest start-up ecosystem in the world and we′re likely to become No. 2 within the next year. Start-up as a phenomenon has gone mainstream with an inherent shift in the mindset of youngsters to start their own venture as opposed to joining the corporate world and this trend is likely to continue. Can India match up to Silicon Valley in the next decade Being a very trend following society, it is very possible that the start-up ecosystem in India could expand to the level that we see in Silicon Valley today. However, we′re still quite some time away from that. A lot would depend on the investment climate and the success of some of the largest start-ups in India over the next few years. There is no dearth of talent or hunger in Indian start-up enthusiasts and with a few very large and successful exits we could very well see a fresh new wave of highly valued and innovative companies come up in India. What is the USP of your company BookMyForex is disrupting a very niche yet large retail foreign exchange market. Our differentiator lies in the use of technology to fix some of the issues that have plagued this industry since the beginning of time. The currency exchange market has forever been opaque with regular customers having no insight into the actual forex rates. Additionally this $40 billion market has been dominated by tiny mom and pop stores with no clear market leader. Using technology, BookMyForex is able to consolidate this market and make forex rates transparent to the general public. Our application is designed to discover the best forex rate in your vicinity from hundreds of competing banks and forex vendors and to transparently display these best rates on our site/ app. Users can simply book their forex order in a matter of minutes and be assured of not getting ripped off, something that is all too common when exchanging foreign currency. Additionally our customers are also insulated from the several unscrupulous players that exist in this market. Our partnering forex companies and banks are hand-picked and committed to meeting service standards as per pre-defined SLAs in order to ensure an excellent customer experience. What are your expansion plans Over the next few months, we will be enhancing our product to offer an even better value and experience to our customers. Once the product is ready, we plan on pushing our presence in several Tier II and III cities with plenty of forex demand. Within 12-18 months, we will also be expanding to one or two very large international markets where the power of this idea can truly be demonstrated. Fact File Nitin Motwani, Founder and CTO Spokesperson profiling: Former Silicon Valley professional. Helped build TelePresence, Cisco system's ultra high resolution video conferencing product. Member of several start up communities in the valley with experience of product ideation, startup advisory and building minimum viable products for young startups in the valley Key roles and responsibilities in the company: CTO Details of your Educational qualification: Bachelor's in computer science, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign Please share details of your professional qualification: None What are your professional achievements so far/ Any specific career milestones that you think have shaped your professional graph: Helped build the management framework that drives all Cisco Telepresence deployments. Conceptualized and architected BookMyForex's entire platform from scratch Since when have you been a part of the company Since inception / 2011 What are your future plans for the company I would like to drive BookMyForex's growth till the brand becomes inseparably associated with forex transactions of any kind. As CTO, I'll be working towards this vision by coming up with innovative products that will help us increase our reach, improve customer value and provide a superior experience. We will also be exploring multiple new verticals and new geographies once the time is right Where do you want to see the company five years down the line In 5 years time, a good majority of the forex transactions that happen in India, either via the B2C route or the B2B route would happen via our platform. By then I'm confident that our presence would extend into several new countries. With several new products we would completely change the way money is exchanged and the way foreign currency payments are made. Any Social Activity like any association with NGO Or any other such activities None yet Brief on your family! I'm fortunate enough to have extremely supportive parents who have gone beyond just supporting my entrepreneurial journey and instead being an active part of it. I'm very lucky to have my father also be my partner in my venture.