The Indian FinTech industry holds the potential to add $700 billion to India’s GDP by 2025. FinTech in India recorded an explosive growth in the last three years and has placed itself second, right behind the US FinTech landscape by the number of new startups that emerged in 2015–2018. It attracted over $1.8 billion in funding in 2018 alone and is poised to scale up in the near future. However, the industry is facing an acute talent shortage as proactive measures to create and attract skilled talent pool have not been taken.
Skilled talent is one of the key elements for any region to establish itself as a prominent FinTech hub; with access to capital, progressive regulatory environment & strong government support, and B2C/B2B demand for solutions forming other key aspects. Among these, creating a talent pool requires a relatively long-term action plan. FinTech hubs across the globe are working on strategies to develop and retain talent in technology, finance, and entrepreneurship. Some of the global initiatives include:
Hong Kong’s FinTech career accelerator scheme co-organized by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Hong Kong Applied Science & Technology Research Institute.
The UK’s Tech Nation Visa, which aims to attract tech talent from across the world to work in the UK’s digital technology sector.
Singapore’s MAS established R&D collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab to facilitate BFSI and FinTech players to collaborate in a wide range of pilots and experiments.
Unlike some of the established FinTech hubs, such as the UK, that are struggling with narrowing graduate bases and availability of skilled talent, India is uniquely positioned to leverage its vast talent pool of STEM and management graduates if it can increase its FinTech business exposure.
The industry needs to facilitate educational content and create a reputed platform where students can be exposed to FinTech and broader financial services industry concepts. It can benefit technology freshers who lack the understanding of financial services businesses, such as insurance lending and wealth management, which is a stepping stone for InsurTech, Lending, WealthTech, and other FinTech businesses. Moreover, tenured BFSI professionals can leverage a deeper understanding of technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data analytics, and blockchain to keep pace with disruptive business models. The FinTech industry is creating new jobs that are very different from conventional BFSI or technology jobs and require very different skill sets, which makes FinTech education the need of the hour for India.
In an exciting development, Mumbai FinTech Hub, one of the leading FinTech hubs in the region, under the aegis of Maharashtra Information Technology Corporation Ltd. (MahaIT), has collaborated with industry players to address the skill gap challenge. In March 2019, Mumbai FinTech hub launched UDAY, a financial education platform, to provide a holistic FinTech e-learning platform for students. It is a one-of-a-kind collaborative effort where industry players and subject matter experts have come together to collaborate & create this platform. The platform offers a specialized FinTech course that includes:
An industry snapshot module to provide an understanding about the scope and future of FinTech in India
A discussion forum to encourage peer-to-peer learning and assessment
And a certification module to promote market-ready talent for the FinTech industry
E-learning platform UDAY aims to help FinTech organizations scale fast with ready access to a talent pool while saving costs and serving as a platform to connect the industry with the available pool of talent. The UDAY platform will benefit the industry by facilitating access to job-ready talent with polished skills, which would translate into their ability to scale operations at speed and lower costs. Beyond these, a broader community – which includes educational institutes and assisted learning partners focused on rural inclusion – will benefit from this FinTech education initiative.
PwC implemented UDAY using Sunbird’s technology platform (an open-source contribution by EkStep Foundation). The platform’s BFSI industry partners include ICICI Bank, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), FlexiLoans, Kotak Mahindra Bank, and APAC Financial Services Private Limited, who have helped in creating the content. The focus of the initial pilot of the education platform is on fresh graduates in engineering and management institutes. The platform has already partnered with multiple educational institutes across Maharashtra, including SP Jain School of Global Management, National Institute of Bank Management, Rizvi Institute of Management Studies & Research, IIIT Nagpur, Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute, and more.
Mumbai FinTech Hub’s initiative to create a FinTech education platform is a remarkable initiative for technical and management institutes to provide relevant skills to the new wave of students. The platform is accepting registrations from trainers, students, and corporates to provide learning or content development opportunities. UDAY initiative can deliver a more profound impact if it integrates with the Government of India’s initiatives such as ‘Swayam,’ and receives aid from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology for developing the course as well as the delivery mechanism.