LTP and Opus Consulting Solutions teamed up to host the Pune FinTech Meetup on August 2. Amidst the heavy rains, FinTech folks from Pune attended this meetup full of energy and enthusiasm. The meetup had a diverse crowd from banks, NBFCs, FinTech startups, VCs, technology firms and MBA students.
The meetup kicked off with an interactive presentation and discussion by Amit Goel, MD & Co-founder of LTP on “Smarter Financial Services for a Better World” based on the insights from LTP’s innovation platform, MEDICI.
The presentation highlighted the massive FinTech investments made by big banks and Internet companies, key factors driving FinTech innovation, regulations in FinTech, developments in India highlighting the payments infrastructure, Aadhar, and contributions by NPCI. It also captured the interest areas for VCs and investors, i.e., funding/investments in various FinTech segments which showed payments and lending leading the way when it comes to investments. The presentation also captured FinTech funding in India and globally, the IPOs and acquisitions that have happened in this space.
The final section of the presentation was devoted to capturing the consumer FinTech startups in India and LTP’s thoughts on future of banking where banks will work with startups to devote or focus in one area of interest like lending, payments, PFM, exchange transfer, etc.
Following the presentation, the meetup had a very insightful panel discussion on the topic ‘Bank (R)evolution and Opportunities in FinTech,’ which was moderated by Ashish Raina, Head of Marketing and Alliances for Opus Consulting Solutions. The panel comprised of some eminent and innovative personalities who included:
- Anand Ramakrishnan, President and CEO of Opus Consulting Solutions
- VK Singh, DGM of Central Bank of India
- Priti Agarwal, working on digital lending initiatives in Bajaj Finserv
- Arpit Ratan, Co-founder of Signzy, a digital trust startup
- Ankush Tiwari, CTO of Mobiliya Technologies, a provider of device-to-cloud software engineering and system integration services
- Sachin Vyas, Founder and Director at augmentIQ Data Sciences, a big data startup
Various interesting topics with respect to FinTech were discussed in the panel discussion; we highlight some of the key points below. Discussing the emerging and promising areas in FinTech, Anand Ramakrishnan felt that blockchain is one key area and also felt that the Ripple protocol has the potential to be a surrogate for bitcoin. For the aspiring student community who are looking to venture into FinTechs and start a FinTech firm, Sachin Vyas' advice was to focus on a specific problem that customers face and provide solutions for it. Ankit added that the top priority or focus must be customers rather than revenue or funding. Ankush also made an interesting point that banks and FinTech startups must coexist if banks are looking to grow their revenues. Mr. VK Singh was really appreciative about the technology developments that he has been seeing in banking and said that robust strides have been made from the technology side to improve the security in banking like biometrics.
With respect to the point on the role of FinTech in banking, Arpit felt that FinTech will be an enabler for banks and NBFCs to go up the ladder and improve their revenues. He also added that FinTech will not replace banks. Sachin felt that startups will play a key role in financial inclusion. Anand commented that banks and startups will figure out their core competencies in the future and will work on it to excel; he further added that banks will partner with FinTech startups, particularly in spaces like channel management. Mr. VK Singh also added that FinTech must bring the technology connect that is needed in rural banking. Priti Agarwal felt that FinTech and banks must work together to solve the bigger problem of the customer; for example, when it comes to lending, they must work together to monitor the customer and their journey. Anand made an important point that banks and financial institutions have many processes and regulations to take care of which slow down innovation internally and that is the reason they look to work with innovative startups.
Finally, the meetup concluded by providing a platform to network, discuss, share and collaborate on ideas.