In October 2017, LALA World raised an incredible $2 million during a round of Series A funding. It was an amazing achievement by the Singapore-based company, who has made it their mission to properly serve the “underbanked” population.
LALA World founder and CEO, Sankalp Shangari, created LALA World to work with migrant workers. Shangari developed his company to help those individuals become better served when it comes to their finances. Shangari hopes to eliminate the high costs migrant workers are subjected to when transferring money to their families. By giving these individuals a new option, Shangari hopes to help them become more stable financially.
Shangari hopes to revolutionize the way workers send money, but LALA World isn’t stopping their. The company is also focusing its energy on students and hopes to make life easier for those gaining their education.
Shangari recently sat down with Totalprestige Magazine to explain more about his company and LALA World’s mission to help migrant workers.
Sankalp, can you please let us know about LALA World and what makes your company unique?
While most projects talk about the unbanked population and put across an unrealistic vision, we at LALA have picked up a niche segment from this unbanked population. A target audience of migrant workers is one such aspect.
We have partnered with Bestinet, Malaysia’s largest migrant management system company, so you can easily relate to our objective and the path we have chosen towards it. Similarly, we have 50-plus global partnerships. So, real partnerships is another of our aspect which sets us apart.
We already have a live product in Malaysia and India, while others are still conceptualizing. LALA is a financial ecosystem consisting of five major products. These five major products are:
LALA ID – One person – one global ID, inclusive of all your records. This by default also allots LALA Score to each individual. This score is a credit score for easy and smoother loan processing.
LALA Bill Pay – Ability to make payments for various utility bill payments for not just yourself, but for your family and friends as well
LALA Lends – P2P lending platform and marketplace for the lender and borrower to meet and transact. Borrower gets the opportunity to pick the best offer from the group of lenders.
LALA Transfer – The international money transfer service which takes place over blockchain and cost just a fraction of what traditional money transfer services agency would charge. Perfectly suited for poor migrants and their families.
Now all these services are what we are starting off with for the target audience of migrants. But students and global travelers as well can benefit out of them. In addition, we have LALA kit which t is a physical kit consisting of an android phone.
Can you please tell us about the LALA Token?
LALA Token is a utility token on LALA World. Consider it the Altcoin or the new bitcoin. We would be circulating the tokens as a new acceptable currency for the users. They would be able to do all activities of our wallet using this. We are even building partnership with retail outlets.
Our pre-ICO received overwhelming response. We have sold over 10 Million LALA tokens during our pre-ICO. It started off on November 25, 2017 and will be live till December 15, 2017. Our in-house technical team has been able to develop the entire site, crowd sale platform, airdrop campaign site and much more. This is where we stand out the most. An experienced management and development team that has built and rebuilt businesses.
Our ICO is going live on January 5, 2018 till February 5, 2018. We have a gap of about a month between our Pre-ICO and ICO as we are in the process of product development, API integrations, building partnerships and some real big announcements. We want a live product while our ICO takes place.
Can you tell us how LALA World began and what some of the highlights have been?
Coming myself from an immigrant family, I am someone who has witnessed the migrant woes while travelling to various countries. That is one of the reason, why I am doing it in the first place. We got ourselves registered in April 2016, and have been on the drawing board ever since, building and re-building the entire project plan.
In a short span of time, the sort of partnerships we have built across the countries and companies is nothing short of amazing. The social reason of eradicating migrant woes, is something all our partners have been able to connect with.
Ari Paul (Blocktower Capital) doesn’t get on to ICOs, now consider this, he is on board with our project for no fees. Our airdrop campaign had the maximum partnership which in itself is a record.
Sankalp, instinct versus expertise: Which is more important and why?
Instinct. Nothing beats that. Big turnaround decisions have always been instinctive. It helps to have expertise, but can it be hired or built upon. Instincts on the contrary are significant as they turn the tides.
Sankalp, what have you learned about yourself while running your own business?
Coming from an investment banking background, I realized very early in my career the importance of a self-sustainable business. It has taught me so many things, one of which that I would like to mention is to learn making decisions. Good or bad is a later part. As a banker, I could always rely on the knowledge and wisdom of my boss for making a decision, but out here when you are running the business, it is always you. That is one thing I have learned and learned really well.
What is the most challenging part of your work?
Travelling. I am constantly travelling across the globe and stay disconnected with my family for a long period of time. Besides that I don’t recall the last time I had a relaxing dinner with my friends. Thanks to the technology, mobile and internet, I am able to coordinate well with my business and technology team all the time.
What do you have your sights set on next?
Come what may, I am doing this project. For the very vision we envisage. It would be tough, it would be risky, but I think it is worth it.
Apart from migrants we need to increase our audience base and have decided to include students and global travelers as well. They too can use the financial services we offer. In addition, we intend to include services such as VISA, health, employment and more for the convenience of migrants.
Were you ever influenced by other entrepreneurs?
Yes, entrepreneurs are the perfect stories of rags to riches.
What is a day in your life like?
Busy! You have got to live it to feel it. Difficult to put it in words.
What makes you smile?
When my team delivers what I did not expect. Also a good joke.
What scares you?
The number of fraud ICOs that keep coming has created a very wrong perception for even genuine players. This could prevent us from getting the initial momentum.
What has been your greatest achievement?
I don’t think I have achieved anything of such magnitude as yet.
What is your secret talent?
Singing. I try to do that while driving.
Which historical figure do you most admire?
Do you have any hobbies?
Music, mostly cult classics, old ghazals and Hindi film music.
What are you never without?
A good book
Can you share two of your favorite quotes with us?
“It is difficult, but not impossible to conduct strictly honest business.” – Mahatma Gandhi.
“It’s a Long road, so we are just trying to stay focused and grounded and keep moving forward. I’ll take it, though.” – Sturgill Simpson
How do you define success?
Being able to create a self-sustainable business that contributes to the greater good of the mankind.
What advice would you give to anyone starting a new business?
The number one reason why Startups fail is because they think they are needed. A major reason why companies fail, is that they run into the problem of their being little or no market for the product that they have built.
For more information on Sankalp Shangari and LALA World, please visit www.LALAWorld.io.