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Reshaping of the financial service spaces & its future opportunities in India.

Ramesh Iyer, Vice Chairman & MD, Mahindra Finance gives insights in to how frontier technologies like AI, Blockchain & IoT are reshaping the financial services space in India and how well technology partner are willing to accept customer’s knowledge as the input for developing new technology while emphasizing working with partners in the technology space is going to be a must.

Excerpts from the interview

How the breakthrough technologies like AI, Blockchain, intelligent automation and IoT are reshaping the financial services space in India?

For long years, all of us have use the knowledge that we have and we have done what is required to be done and I am speaking more from a rural perspective. We have not possibly respected data as much but once you put in a proper AI process in place, it crunches all the data you have and come out with models with are very – very trend setting. I can give you one example: Let’s take our recovery trends.  We would have had similar customer behavior the last 25 years. Have we cracked when we do the future lending?  Possibly not, because we used our knowledge and not the data adequately. But with AI coming in, we are able to forecast the behavior of a consumer going forward and then be able to guide the team on the ground has to how and what they should be doing. And we have done this and put to practice in our collections and I think that’s done a great job.

Similarly, on the block chain : we’ve been talking about it for sometime but importance is how do you bring in that set of consumers who otherwise don’t get credit from the banking or the other system and  you have all the providers of credit on one side and you have  these kind of suppliers on one side. Once you get exposed to their ledgers correctly, I think the two works together and you can crack working capital needs of the consumers very well.

 What are the opportunities IT channel partners have in the Fin-tech space? How can they address their customers’ financial requirements with the partnership with Fin-tech players?

The whole space is going to work on a partnership approach. Gone are days where anybody can say that they will do it all by themselves.  Not from just the investment and cost perspective but even from the changing technology perspective, you need a technology partner who has the ability to keep bringing in the emerging and upcoming new technology. So, partnership is going to be a must. But the real requirement and what needs to be addressed is, how well are these partners willing to accept your knowledge as the input for developing new technology and I think their selection of partner will be very important but as I said, working with partners in the technology space is going to be a must.

What are the future opportunities you see in the Fin-tech space in India?

All these fin-techs are really  taking up our challenges that we have not been able to address as an organization and they do come out with some solutions but my concern around that is most of them come with a solutions for lending  but the  real challenge for a financial service is, how do you crack the recovery challenges. We will be willing to  put in lot of personal  efforts as an organization working with fin-techs and then helping them understand  the challenges from the recovery perspective and if they can come out with solutions.

Fin-techs are here to stay they are the ones who help financial services crack multiple solutions and if cracked well can open up multiple opportunities.

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