Most of the financial companies in India are on a growth path like some are growing adequately while others are doing the same exponentially when it comes to digital adoption. In the same content, there is a new term in the market named as FinTech companies. At its core, ‘fintech’ is utilized to help companies, business owners and consumers better manage their financial operations, processes, and lives by utilizing specialized software and algorithms that are used on computers and, increasingly, smartphones. Fintech, the word, is a combination of “financial technology”. Shanker Ramrakhiani, a long-timer in the industry currently heading Governance Risk and compliances (GRC) in a leading financial institution tells me easy tips that will help channel partners dealing with the BFSI and NBFC or partners who are aspiring for that industry verticals. Edited excerpts.
How much financial companies in India are focused on digital adoption and how Indian BFSI/NBFC companies are heading in terms of technology?
Traditionally, innovations in the technology space have been held back by regulatory uncertainties and a conservative approach on the part of the government on such matters. As technologies develop further, they enable significantly more transparency to exist in financial systems, and regulatory authorities can strongly benefit from such developments. Further, improved data analytics and mobile connectivity offer incumbents a chance to create stronger, more profitable propositions for customers and positively impact their own top and bottom line growth.
In what ways technology adoption are different for NBF companies different from BFSI? Are the needs, threats and spends of NBFC companies are same as BFSI?
It is different in a couple of ways like the ‘Banking Technology’ includes Software Solutions, fraud, and risk management suites, regulatory compliance and other solutions for banks and other financial institutions (FIs). This segment forms the bedrock for FinTech solutions offered by new and existing FIs since it enables the entire process chain underlying digital transactions to move towards real-time, verifiable systems.
Evolving technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning have the potential to revolutionize the customer experience, especially at the ‘last mile’ by providing greater levels of personalized service and greatly improving the back-office proficiencies at financial establishments. The past year has seen the implementation of these technologies for testing and implementation of a variety of use-cases like bot enabled conversational banking services at large commercial banks in India, more intelligent recommendation engines for targeted marketing of financial products.
The NBFC segment has been developing more predictably than traditional FinTech segments like payments and alternative lending. However, as NBFC companies demonstrate greater value to insurers by sales improvement, cost reduction, better risk management, and process efficiencies, the scope for growth is quite high. The insurance sector in India has been traditionally quite slow to adopt innovation, but with rising consumer expectations and increased access to technology-enabled efficiencies, insurers are looking to incorporate solutions that improve customer arrangement, retention and improve the complete customer lifecycle.
As a head of Technology what level of influence a channel partner can have on you? Do you go by partner suggestion of OEM suggestion?
Answer: Well this is a very important question for any person like me playing an important role in an organization on IT and Security front. What we need to majorly focus is on the end-to-end understanding and alignment of any solution or tool we need to incorporate or implement into our environment should give us required results with adequate cost-effectiveness. This will help the organization to achieve desired results to strengthen security posture. When it comes to influencing from a channel partner it is more likely to happen when they give the inputs based on my requirements and organizational level aligned goals.
What are the key expectations as a head of IT in an NBFC entity you have on a channel partner?
The role of channel partners in today’s marketplace is very much crucial as they help organizations to reach to their targeted audience and enhance business growth.
Some of the expectations from channel partner can be:
Technical Know-how Robust Execution
Support Services Strategic Alignment
Experience Territory Coverage
Logistical support Marketing support
Debt collection Value-add packaging or selling
In the end, they are our extended arms to enable us in a more effective way.
With respect to partners specializing in information security, what are the technical and operational skill sets they should train their team?
Organizations are looking for candidates who can jump right in on the first day of work and start helping the company achieve its goals. That means finding people with the right skills to get the job done. Some abilities which come useful are:
- Eagerness to dig into technical questions and examine them from all sides
- Enthusiasm and a high degree of adaptability
- Strong analytical and diagnostic skills
- A current understanding of common web vulnerabilities
- Maintaining awareness and knowledge of contemporary standards, practices, procedures and methods
Some of the technical and operational skill sets they should train their team members:
Networking Basics Risk Management, Situational Awareness Toolkit Maintenance, Threat Assessment Vulnerability Assessment, Penetration Testing Log Collection and Analysis, Active Analysis of Disaster Recovery, Forensics Identity and Access Management, Network Configuration System Hardening, Software Development Lifecycle Management Software Testing, On top of this the positive attitude and approach towards solving an issue as and steward is most important.
What are the three tips you can provide for channel partner which will help them crack NBFC deals
For me, the three major tips for a channel partner to crack any NBFC Deal is to
- Be wholly factual with your client at all times and give the right picture of solution/tool
- Highlight any challenges or shortcomings in the starting to the client to avoid any last minute surprises or discomfort
- Put yourself into the situation of the client and understand their pain area before suggesting any solution or workaround