Topic : Leveraging AI for sustainable growth in BFSI sector
On 26 August 2023, The Corporate Interface Team of Symbiosis School of Banking and Finance organised a flagship event ‘Symposium 2023’ with our knowledge partner- Edufund. There were four panellist who covered the topic leveraging AI for sustainable growth in BFSI sector. The panellists were Dr. Vikas Raj, Mr. Madhusudan C Warrier, Mr. Pankaj Mishra, Mr. Mayur Pakeria. The session began with an opening speech by Mr. Naveen Chandani who is the president of issuing business of Pine Labs.
Mr. Naveen Chandani introduced the session with the beginning of AI, cloud computing. Mr. Chandani further stated the importance of financial inclusion, financial literacy. Mr. Chandani explained the importance of credit bureaus and how the credit history plays a vital role in the managing the loans. Alternate Data is also crucial while looking for loans. Mr. Chandani then emphasized on the two most important questions during the covid times which impacted the banking segment, how will the loans be recovered and secondly, can more top up loans be granted. Mr. Naveen the covered the digital payments part and how India has been a huge contributor globally with 46% of total digital payments. He then concluded with the topic of digital lending.
After the conclusion of the speech by Mr. Naveen Chandani the panellist started the discussion on the Leveraging AI for sustainable growth in BFSI sector. The panellists were Dr. Vikas Raj, Head of Business Analytics and new initiatives, Bandhan AMC Ltd, Mr. Madhusudan C Warrier, Chief Technology Officer of Mirae Asset Capital Markets, Mr. Pankaj Mishra, Executive Vice President and Head- Digital UTI Mutual funds, Mr. Mayur Pakeria Head- PMS and Fund manager, Wealth Managers India Pvt Ltd and the Moderator Mr. Sirshendu Basu, Head of Produts, Bandhan AMC Ltd.
The discussion started with increase in use of AI in Hedge funds with top managers with 50% increase in AI use. They covered the topics such as live data, difference between computer program and AI, importance of learning AI. Importance of Idea generation, analysis and allocation, also behavioural finance, arbitrage strategy were also taken into consideration by them. The panellists concluded the discussion by stating that human touch is also crucial in the operations of AI. It was an enlightening session for everyone present at the auditorium.
Topic : Navigating the Digital Lending Frontier: Opportunities and Challenges
On 26 August 2023, The Corporate Interface Team of Symbiosis School of Banking and Finance organised a flagship event ‘Symposium 2023’ with our knowledge partner- Edufund. There were different panels speakers which delivered a session on the topic “Navigating the Digital Lending Frontier.” The session began with keynote speech which was delivered by Mr. Mahesh Ramamoorthy, who is the Chief Information Officer of Yes Bank.
He emphasized the transition from traditional banking to digital banking at the beginning of the discussion. Mr. Mahesh Ramamoorthy discusses how data is easily accessible to the telecom industry's transition to mobile phones. He claimed that this information that was created in front of user’s hands. He stressed during the discussion that the ecosystem and technical accessibility are suffocating the market possibility for digital lending and that technological data is enabling it. Mr. Mahesh Ramamoorthy discussed that entrepreneurship should be given opportunity and should be pushed forward in India. According to him, Artificial Intelligence plays an important role in analysing the behavioural and GST data of digital lending in India.
After the speech by Mr. Mahesh Ramamoorthy, the panel speakers started the session on Digital Lending: Opportunities and Challenges. The panels speakers were Mr. Rishiraj Sisodiya, Senior Solution Consultant of Lentra AI Private Limited, Mr. Vamsi Krishna Maramganti, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of QRC Assurance and Solutions Private Limited, Mr. Akshay Mehrotra, Co- founder, and Chief Executive Officer of FIBE (Formerly Early Salary) and Mr. Arjun Upadhyay, Business Head- Digital Lending, ICICI Securities. The panel speakers started the session on digital lending. They emphasized that digital lending allows you to provide loans with the help of digital technologies and online platforms. The panel speakers discussed that the digital industry has increased through volume of 130% transactions. There are still 20 crore Indians that push to grow digital lending of data.
The session talked about the innovations in digital lending in India. They emphasized on protecting the individual data access and many lending bank services are providing to use the app. They also discussed the account aggregator where consent framework of data is provided to the customers in a specific time period. They stressed on the usage of UPI where many new players and consent has been introduced to joint account holders.
The guest speaker emphasized that the Reserve Bank of India is creating an innovation hub for democratizing the data in Medium and Small Enterprises sector (MSME) which will create a new marketplace in BFSI Sector. Lastly many students asked the various questions related to the risk mitigation strategies of digital lending banks, recent issues while creating an ecosystem for the banks and how to verify the data frauds in the digital era period. For all students it was a fruitful and productive session to learn the growth of digital lending banks in India.
Symbiosis School of Banking and Finance organized Symposium 2022 with the theme “Fintech- Redefining Banking And Financial Services Industry” at Sandipani, SIU Lavale Hilltop Campus, Pune on 24th September 2022.
The guests Mr. Sanjay Pote (MD, CEO of SHCIL), Mr. Vinod Kumar (EVP, CIO of Fino Payments Bank Ltd.), Mr. Shailendra Abhyankar (Founder of FinSoftAi), Mr. Maneesh Bhandari (Founder and CEO GrowthPal Tech.), Mr. Anirudha Ambekar (Director Product Manager Oracle Financial Services), Mr. Ashish Chugh (National Head of Purnartha Investment Advisors), and Dr. Rajani Gupte (Vice Chancellor of SIU) were first welcomed following which the lighting of the lamp ceremony took place.
Opening Remarks by Dr. Neha Parashar, Director, SSBF
Inaugural Speech by Hon’ble Dr. Rajani Gupte, Vice Chancellor, SIU
The guest and all the attendees were then shown the SIU & SSBF films which showed the rich heritage of SIU & SSBF and the aim with which it was conceived, opening remarks from Dr. Neha Parashar was next where ma’am emphasized the importance of Fintech companies and the fast pace at which it is growing and its future prospects. Ma'am shared some facts and figures about the Fintech Industry like its adoption rate in India v/s the rest of the world. The Opening address was followed by the Inaugural Speech given by our Hon’ble Dr. Rajani Gupte Vice Chancellor of SIU. Ma'am told us how the SIU and SSBF films only showed a macro view of what Symbiosis Stands for. Ma'am then went on to cover the importance of the evolution of the banking system and told us about the difficulties she faced during the COVID lockdown like not being able to go visit the bank to transfer money and finding it hard to trust payment apps like Gpay. Then went on to elaborate on how fintech is a rich domain for startups and great innovative ideas.
The Chief Guest Mr. Sanjay Pote (MD, CEO of SHCIL) delivered an introductory speech. The summary is as follows –
- He at first broke the ice in the room by asking the question “Which language are you students comfortable with English, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati?”. To which the students replied “English”. To which sir commented, “You have made my life very difficult with that answer.”
- Then he asked the question “What do you think is required to be successful in life?”. An answer like Knowledge, Skills, Experience, etc. came from all over the audiences hearing all this sir said “Let me simplify it for you by rephrasing a famous Vidya Balan movie, to be successful you need – Information, - Information, - Information. All the things you said can be crunched down to information”
- Sir talked about his days when he used to work with start-ups who were the first to develop Roboadvisory technology which we now call ‘Automated Wealth Management.
- Talked about money under which he covered how money has to work for you by multiplying itself and do this he believes technology will play a huge part.
- While concluding talked about some facts and figures like the current market capitalization and Adoption rate of Fintech in India.
Address by Chief Guest Mr. Sanjay Pote, MD, CEO, SCHIL
Mr. Vinod Kumar EVP CIO of Fino - Payments bank Ltd addressed the room with the Keynote Speech for the morning session where he covered topics like -
- What and Why Fintech? Add Technology to the existing financial system we get from Fintech. It empowers consumers to take charge of their financial lines.
- Business Aspirations of Fintech like Brand respect, Speed, Security, Long term sustenance.
- Discussed the challenges the fintech industry faced during the COVID lockdowns like challenges of scalability, remote access for employees to work from home, System responsiveness and all this had to be dealt with while sitting at home.
- Fintech provides all the required channels to experience the services the consumer requires.
- Broad coverage of Fintechs
- Payments and currencies
- Data analytics.
- Cyber Security
- Compliance Management
- Risk, detection, and other actions
- Vision is not strong
- The idea is not forward-looking
- Easy availability of money
Keynote Speech (Morning Session) by Mr. Vinod Kumar, EVP, CIO, Fino Payments Bank Ltd.
This was followed by panel discussions, there were two-panel discussions during the event and the topic for the first discussion was “Future Of WealthTech - Challenges and Opportunities in Fintech Era” the panelists for it were Mr. Sanjay Pote (MD, CEO of SHCIL), Mr. Shailendra Abhyankar (Founder of FinSoftAi), Mr. Maneesh Bhandari (Founder and CEO GrowthPal Tech.), Mr. Anirudha Ambekar (Director Product Manager Oracle Financial Services), Mr. Ashish Chugh (National Head of Purnartha Investment Advisors)
The discussion was moderated by Dr. Arun Singh (Global Chief Economist, Dun & Bradstreet) and he started by adding to Mr. Sanjay Pote’s 3 requirements for success the fourth one being Curiosity. Sir then went in to talk about where India was 250 years ago comparing its Real GDP with countries like the USA, UK, Japan, France Germany, and China. It was noticed that India was ranked 3rd in this list and was looking for ways to become number 1. But as time progressed forward India started falling down the Ranks due to it missing out on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd industrial revolutions. Then sir posed the question “How should the Fintech stakeholder feel about the rapid technology innovations happening in the industry?”
Mr. Manish answered the question by saying that there are multiple stakeholders in companies (Fintech) like equity, promoter, institutional, etc. and all these stakeholders come with different expectations so all the stakeholders need to understand the vision of the company and what is it that the company is trying to solve in the market, what is the product, etc…. This will help the stakeholder to understand and grow their expectations of the business.
Mr. Arun then posed his question “Which new technology will help Fintech companies grow at a faster rate?” to Mr. Shailendra Abhyankar.
To which sir answered that it is very easy to go back even 500 years but is very difficult to go forward even 10 years but one thing is for certain that no single innovation is going to be dictating this future but rather it will be a combination innovation. Some economists believe that there will be a moment of singularity soon wherein technology will manage all the assets and people will just relax in their homes but sir personally doesn’t agree with such a line of thought rather he thinks that as AI, quantum computing, AR and VR will be the technologies that will he fintech’s move forward. This is a can’t-miss revolution for India and slowly we will move to a borderless world in the future.
“How do you see the consumer adoption rate of Fintech in India growing in the future and what could be its driving force?” was the question posed to Mr. Aniruhda Ambekar. To which sir answered that the classic example for this fintech adoption rate is UPI in which 46 billion transactions were done last year alone and the transaction value touched nearly 1 trillion dollars. This year so far, the run rate is around 6 to 8 billion transactions per month so it is expected that the industry grows by 50 to 60%.
This has helped a lot with financial inclusion for India and an important aspect is that this is a technology that India is exporting to the world and vice-versa.
Panel – 1(left to right) : Dr. Arun Singh (moderator), Mr. Anirudha Ambekar, Mr. Maneesh Bhandari, Mr. Shailendra Abhyankar, Mr. Ashish Chugh, Mr. Sanjay Pote
Following these questions on regulatory bodies and the merger in the fintech space were posed by the moderator to the panel.
The panel discussed how regulatory bodies are just gate openers and everything, in the end, boils down to wants and needs and the regulatory bodies come in when the need arises. Mergers are a natural progression in the growth of a profitable fintech company. This is because the end motive is to make money and when an established fintech with a vast customer base acquires a company it is generally done so that it can cross-sell new products to its existing customer base.
The Moderator then asked for their concluding statements and the panel member concluded by saying how hunger is very important for success, the 5 P’s – People, Planning, Protection, Product, Pain point, to not be afraid of failure, Consumption will be the driving force behind the growth of India in the coming years, and finally ended by saying that Fintech is a rewarding journey into the future of finance.
The session ended with a very insightful Q&A session from the students , which the panelists answered in great detail. The discussion was highly informative and truly enlightening for the students, teachers as well as others who had attended the session.
The second session started with the introduction and felicitation of the panelists following which a keynote speech was given by Mr. Kaushik Chatterjee (Senior Director, FIS). Sir talked about his personal experience with fraud and his learning from it like how with rapid growth in technology we have to be very careful and build proper safety measures around it to prevent fraud as it will lead to customers losing trust in the company, this especially true when it comes to customers’ data. Sir when on to elaborate on how to go about protecting personal data and concluded by saying that while fintech is growing it is very important to have a very user-centric design, have things like a threat model, and security is part of the end-to-end lifecycle. Security is not an option but a mandate as Fintech grows.
Keynote Speech (Afternoon session) by Mr. Kaushik Chatterjee, Senior Director, FIS.
Following this, the second-panel discussion took place, the main focus of which was “Transparency and Governance – A perspective on Cyber Security and Data Privacy”.
The panel consisted of esteemed personalities like Mr. Alok Kumbhat (Director – Data & Strategy, Dun & Bradstreet), Mr. Sunil Agithakaliya (Sr. Vice President, CRIF HIGH MARK Credit Information Service Pvt. Ltd.), Mr. Rishi Agrawal (Co-founder & CEO, TeamLease Regtech), Mr. Rahul Patil (Partner – Cyber Security, Privacy and Data Protection, Baker Tilly), Mr. Ashish Sharma, Partner, Deloitte). The moderator for this panel was Mr. Amol Dethe, Editor – ETBFSI, and ETCFO.
Mr. Amol started the session by talking about how the world is talking about Privacy and Data but nobody knows how to tackle it. He compared the current cyber security situation with Dr. Frankenstein’s monster, meaning that he was able to create the monster but was unable to tame it, leading the monster to go out of control and start killing people. With this thought in mind, sir went on to ask the question “What is the current state of data in India?” to members of the panel.
The panel discussed topics like data being very critical in decision making from product designing to credit rating for individual customers, Speed at which data travels comparing 50 years prior and present, Data being the new oil, Data regulation, and the risk involved with data leakage like loss of customer trust and regulatory pressures, A users’ view on data, How India in the last 2 year created more data than before it and it is speculated that in the next 2 years we will create 5 times more data than we ever did. India’s growth to a 1 trillion-dollar economy and how data is playing a major role in it.
The moderator then went on to ask “What the new age start-ups and Fintech should do with regards to privacy?”. The panel discussed how start-ups need to have a very strong governance structure in place while they come up the valuation ladder, they should make sure that they are sourcing data from legitimate sources, Is the data accurate in nature as a lot of decisions hinge on it, so if it is garbage in then it will be garbage out for sure.
To Mr. Rahul Patil the moderator asked “How do the large Banks and NBFCs, Private and PSUs protect their data?”.
Mr. Rahul went on to discuss that large banks, unfortunately, have a traditional compliance mentality and most of the large financial institutions have no idea about the amount of data they possess, locating data is very difficult for large institutions, so to tackle that it is recommended that only required data be asked for, minimize the number of data copies, figure out the Retention period for the data collected and once that period is over the data should be destroyed or archived properly.
Panel – 2 (left to right): Mr. Amol Dethe, Mr. Alok Kumbhat, Mr. Rahul Patil, Mr. Rishi Agrawal, Mr. Sunil Agithakaliya
An audience member asked “How well should India’s Financial Sector be equipped with regards to these data breaches?”
The question was answered by Mr. Rishi, he stated the short answer would be that we are not prepared but then went on to tell the long answer where he discussed that when building highways we never think of accidents instead we think of speed which is a wrong mentality because when new highways come up people think that it is a license to drive at a faster pace this leads to increase in accidents the same things occur with data networks wherein we have built a lot of highways for data to travel quickly but no traffic signal to control the movement of data.
This was followed by questions like “How authentic is the data that is being collected?”, “What are the regulations already in place or can be implemented to prevent the piecing together of data from different sources?” Under this topic like PII, Data Protection Act, Privacy is a fundamental right but not an absolute right, how data should be handled, Aadhar Vaulting, Data Masking, etc. was covered.
During the conclusion of the discussion, the panel went on to enlighten the audience by saying that if consumers are used to consuming products for free things such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. consumer has given consent to all their terms and conditions without even reading then it is most likely that the consumer himself is the product.
The panel discussion was followed by a short valedictory address by Mr. Alok Sheopurkar (Head – HR, HDFC AMC) where sir covered the dos and don’ts of leading a successful professional life.
Valedictory Address by Mr. Alok Sheopurkar, Head-HR, HDFC AMC
The session concluded with a Vote of Thanks given by Dr. Jyoti M Kappal who thanked all the guests, faculties both teaching and non-teaching, and the organizing committee students for all the work they put in to make the event the huge success it was and finally ma’am thanked the audience for being attentive and interactive throughout the day.
Vote of Thanks by Dr. Jyoti Kappal
Symbiosis School Of Banking And Finance Organised Symposium 2019 With The Theme “Resilience And Dynamism Of Financial Intermediation” At The Convention Hall, SIU Lavale Hilltop Campus, Pune On 21 September 2019.
The guests were welcomed by Dr. R Raman, Director of SIBM Pune and Dean - Faculty of Management at Symbiosis International (Deemed University). It was followed by the lighting the lamp.
The keynote address was given by the guest of honour for symposium 2019, Mr. Pankaj Sharma (Chief Operating Officer, RBL Bank).
There were two panel discussions during the event and the topic for the first discussion was “Financial Intermediation: The Digital Way”. For the same, the panellists were Mr. Pankaj Sharma (Chief Operating Officer, RBL Bank), Mr. Rohit Kilam (Head Technology and Digital Lending, Aditya Birla Finance Ltd.), Mr. Prasanna Lohar (Head Innovation, Development Credit Bank Ltd.), Mr. Shiv Kumar Bhasin (Chief Technology and Operations Officer, National Stock Exchange of India Ltd.), Mr. Ashok Mathur (Ex-banker and innovator) and Mr. Anirudha Ambekar (Sr. Product Manager, Digital Banking and Payments Technology, Barclays UK).
The moderator for the event was Mr. Anirudha Ambekar. Sir started the discussion by throwing some light on the financial crisis of 2008 and its after effects, technology innovations like Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Sir spoke about shared economy and subscription economy, the impact of UPI transactions and volume of transactions taking place in India, how we are performing as compared to China and the impact of all these on financial intermediation.
Mr Ashok Mathur spoke on how technology is creating opportunities for households, corporates and firms. Sir explained who are the net consumers and net savers, and also the efficacy and efficiency of the financial intermediation.
Mr. Prasanna Lohar spoke on how with so many technological advancements happening, what are its impact on the intermediation model of the industry. Sir said that it is important to adopt the right technology at the right time. Technology is the driving factor to be successful, to understand customer’s portfolio and also to know what the customers need.
Mr. Shiv Kumar Bhasin talked about the changes in the capital market and on disintermediation. SIr also explained some of the key aspects of the blockchain technology and its impact on financial intermediation.
Mr. Rohit Kilam talked about digital lending and explained Insurtech, Healthtech, incumbent insurers and the digital products. Sir also explained how all of these are linked with Fintech. He said that financial intermediation is a way of changing a thought process.
Mr. Pankaj Sharma discussed how digital collaboration helps in increasing financial inclusion. Sir said that partnering with right banks and using fintech the right way helps in increasing financial inclusion. He talked about the disruptions emerging amongst segments of financial intermediation activity.
All the panellists gave their views on how to ensure that the financial establishment and the Consumer Protection Act do not hinder the innovations of the financial sector.
The session ended with a very insightful Q&A session from the students which were answered in great detail by the panellists. The discussion was highly informative and truly enlightening for the students, teachers as well as others who had attended the session.
The second session started with the hosts introducing the panellists. It consisted of esteemed personalities like Mr. Manish Sinha (MD and CEO, Dun and Bradstreet, India), Mr Vinit Bolinjkar (Venture Securities), Mr R Balaji (Senior VP, Marketing and Strategy, Mahindra Finance), Mr Yogesh Dixit (Chief risk Officer),Mr Shiju Rawther (Executive Vice President, Technology, IIFL) and Ms Maya Nair (Group chief information Security officer, Reliance Capital Ltd). The dice showered light on the topic “Financial Intermediation-Emerging practices and ethos.” It started with respected moderator Mr. Ashok Mathur asking the panellists about the opportunities or difficulties that they faced in this sector and what lessons these taught them. The panellists had an intuitive discussion and the entire hall was thriving with insightful information. Some of the key notes shared were- Mr Sinha enlightened the students on how he experienced organisational learning, when his previous company came up with projects in various parts of the world. He insisted that in any risk related industry, one has to be 99-100% right regarding your reports and no amount of outside research can come close to ‘on us’ performance data.
Mr Balaji highlighted the tremendous opportunities that lay in the rural sector of our country. He pointed out that in intermediation, empathy is the key. One needs to understand the environment in which he or she is working and come up with technologies suiting it.
Mr Vinit encouraged the students to break rules and make new rules. He asked the students to venture out interact in the industry and learn about the opportunities that lay ahead.
Mr Yogesh Dixit focused on the fact that risk management is going to be of high importance in the future. Also working for NABARD taught him that it is very important to understand the various strata of the country. Understanding the economy at a grassroot level helps one to strategize one’s policies and yield better results.
Mr. Shiju Rawther called his attention to the process of integrating multiple stakeholders and working in a holistic manner. He emphasized on understanding the rural economy as well, as it has a treasure of golden opportunities.
Ms Maya Nair enlightened the students on the topic from a business point of view. Her outlook was striking wave of change. She insisted that security is implemented in various layers and one needs to put security in terms of one’s advertising budget. If something is to go wrong, what amount is one willing to invest in advertising? Well investing 10% of it can assure a company of a secure blanket.
In the end the session ended with an open house for the students to ask their queries regarding the BFSI sector and its emerging practices. The energy and zeal of the students were unmissable. The questions led to discussions and the discussions led to knowledge that they are going to possess and cherish for lifetime. The event was inarguably a great success!
18 th August is marked as the Foundation Day of Symbiosis School of Banking and Finance(SSBF) and on its 8 th anniversary this year, SSBF organised the Banker’s Conclave, an annual academic symposium, on the theme: INDIAN FINANCIAL SECTOR AT CROSSROADS, CHANGING PARADIGMS.
The guest of honour for the symposium 2018, Ms. Mona Gupta, a senior public policy specialist with DIFD (Department of International Development) and Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, shared her experience and views regarding the current banking structure and importance of artificial intelligence in the coming years.
She started by saying, “Money is an instrument and banking is a tool.” She further added that the value of money differs from person to person, i.e., it depends on how an individual perceives it. The banking industry is linked with economics, credit growth, fintech, derivative market and most importantly, money.
The discussion then moved from the importance of banking sector to the kinds of threats the banking industry is exposed to. Security is a big issue in the industry as the information provided to the banks can be manipulated/ fabricated. Thus, cyber security is an emerging field in this sector.
Because of huge non-performing assets, strategic debt restructuring can be a solution to get rid of stressed assets. She mentioned cyber threats, partnerships and digital products as prospects in the industry. She also spoke about the employment opportunities that will happen due to artificial intelligence.
The BFSI sector, aviation sector, construction sector and tourism sector are some sectors that require more skill. Focus in all the above sectors is on inclusivity and women’s participation. Thus, all the sectors along with the banking sector have a huge scope in terms of jobs and contribution to the growth of the economy.
There were four panelists for the discussion and one moderator. Mr. Sunder Ram Korivi, a senior consultant with the National Institute of Financial Markets, was a moderator. The first panellist was Mr V.G. Kannan. He served as the managing director of the state bank of India and has more than 30 years of experience in the banking sector. The second panellist for the discussion was Mr. Ramkumar Subramanian. He is the associate director of PWC’s financial risk and assurance department and has more than 10 years of experience in the domain of financial services. The third panellist was Mr. Ashok Gautam. He is the executive vice president and head of financial institutions group at Axis Bank. The fourth panellist for the discussion was Mr. Shashikant Ramchandra Bhavsar. He holds the position of deputy general manager at National Banking Group.
Finance is the only sector where the raw material and the finished product both are same, i.e. money, as said by Dr. Sunder Ram Korivi. Because of this problem there is a financial dilemma regarding the lending and borrowing of the funds. The question he asked to the panel was, from where and when did the problem start? The Indian economy is a cash economy where less than 18% of the transactions are done through banks which again create a problem. Public sector banks are losing their market share as their credit growth remains considerably lower than the private sector banks. Gross NPAsratio of the public- sector banks continue to rise as restructured assets turn NPAs. Capital to risk adjusted ratio of certain public-sector banks is at critical level thus government is coming up with reforms like capital infusion to meet the BASEL 3 requirements.
It is because of the infrastructure sector that NPAs are rising. The companies in the real estate sector borrow money to take up new projects and are not able to payback which leads to non-performing assets.
The public-sector banks are exposed to corporate banking more than retail banking.According to one of the panelists it is important for the public-sector banks to concentrate more on retail banking rather than corporate finance to rebalance their business activities. The discussion was then moved to credit skills an individual would need understanding the human behaviour, study industry trends, location, type of industries and credit models.
The panellists agreed to a point that the banks need to clean up their balance sheets, access the capital market for long term loans and accept correspondence banking.
The discussions in the second half of the day revolved around ‘Small Finance Banks: Innovativeness and Sustainability’. It featured a highly accomplished panel of guests who are some of the biggest names in the field of microfinance- Mr. Narasimhan Srinivasan, an independent director of Equitas Small Finance Bank; Mr. Bharath Sondur, executive vice-president, Suryoday Small Finance Bank and Mr. Jolly Zachariah, COO( West Zone), Ujjivan Small Finance Bank.
The discussion started by talking about the history of each of these banks, which in turn led to discussions about the history of microfinance and small finance itself. They discussed about the difficulties such institutions faced in their inception stage- most of it owing to the apprehensions of bureaucrats regarding the need and sustainability of such businesses. The most important part of the discussion was when they explained how microfinance institutions differentiate themselves from other financial institutions- by serving the section of the society that was generally perceived to be ‘non-bankable’. That also happens to be one of the biggest reasons behind their success. They also spoke on how the success stories of Bangladesh and Kenya helped in the evolution of these systems in India.
The session came to an end with a number of very insightful questions from the students which were answered in great detail by the panellists.
Overall, it was a highly informative and enlightening experience for the audience. The learning from the session was immense and it provided insights to the students regarding the various opportunities that lie in the field of microfinance.
On Saturday, 9 th December, 2017, Symbiosis School of Banking and Finance held its flagship event- “Symposium 2017: Decoding the landscape of BFSI”.
Our Chief Guest and chair for the event was Ms. Savita Gupta (CFO, India Post Payments Bank).
In her inaugural speech, Ms. Gupta spoke about major changes taken place in the BFSI sector, such as Demonetization and implementation of the Goods and Services Tax. She also talked about the rapidly changing technology that is affecting the BFSI sector such as congruence of finance and technology (Fintech) in various finance companies and banks and the Bitcoin “Bubble”.
There were two panel discussions during the event and the topic for the first discussion was “Financial Ecosystem in the Digital Era”. For the same, the panellists were Mr. Prakash Joshi (Business Head - ATM Services, Electronic Payment and Services (P) Ltd.), Mr. Sourabh Chatterjee (President, Head – IT, Web Sales, Direct Marketing, Digital Marketing, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company), Mr. Javier Gonzalez Nuñez (Head of M&A department Business Associate– Spain & Belgium, Udyen Jain Associates), Mr. Parijat Garg (Vice President, CRIF High Mark), Mr. Kishor Pradhan (CEO, Global Trade Consultancy Services).
The moderator for the event was Mr. Parijat Garg. He began the discussion by talking about the fast paced technology and how it might someday lead to the extinction of ATMs. He continued the discussion by talking about how the demand for ATMs had fallen during demonetization due to lack of hard cash. He also talked about how we could do so much more than just surpass ATMs in the digital era that is upon us.
Mr. Javier spoke about the electronic payment systems and e-commerce brands like Paytm (that are yet to be launched in countries like Spain and Belgium) that have spread across the country following which India might actually go cashless one day. He also talked about the gap prevalent in India between the rich and the poor people i.e. people who use financial services and people who don’t and technology was only going to widen that gap which can only be reduced by education.
Mr. Kishor and Ms. Savita talked about how India is emerging as a digital economy at a fast pace. Financial players can leverage these platforms to venture and develop new business models in an attempt to increase revenue margins. They also spoke about crypto-currencies like Bitcoin that are changing “the game” and whether or not it is safe to invest in them.
Mr. Sourabh spoke about how the BFSI sector is more “customer-centric” now and how going digital is a need of the hour for India but digital for the sake of it would not always work. Some of the other topics discussed during the event were “Will ATMs vanish over time?”, How banks are more “customer-centric” now, Can artificial intelligence really replace humans and several other topics.
The discussion ended with a Q & A session from the audience and the event gave everyone an opportunity to contemplate the various aspects of the BFSI sector and left everyone with a thirst for learning more.
The discussion was highly informative and truly enlightening for the students, teachers as well as others who had attended the session.
The second session of the Symposium was structured around the topic “Growth through Innovations” The chair for the discussion was Ms. Savita Gupta (CFO, India Post Payments Bank). The discussion was moderated by Mr. Pankaj Setiya, (Deputy Manager & Member of faculty, RBI CAB). The panellists included Mr. Suresh A. Shan (Head of Innovation & Future Technology, Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services), Mr. Prasad Deshpande (Vice President, PNB Gilts.) and Mr. Atul Kumar (Deputy General Manager, HR, Union Bank of India).
Mr. Pankaj Setiya commenced the discussion by delivering a brief presentation on the topic, wherein he talked about the “GAFA” (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) world that we live in, and that these companies could be the Fintech leaders of tomorrow, adding that we are in the stage of “Digital Darwinism”, where the customers will have access to the best of the financial products. He also articulated that the digital transactions have surged drastically from 11% in 2013 to 38% in 2017, and that there is a huge opportunity for the financial institutions to provide credit to the SMEs that are the major contributors to the nation’s GDP.
The panellists held that customers are looking for one-stop solutions. To address this, Fintech companies are collaborating with those shops where footfalls are quite high, so that acceptance of e-payment modes rises. However, they ruled out the possibility of India becoming an entirely cashless economy, as long as the rural India doesn’t accept digitisation wholeheartedly. The discussion was also centred on data mapping, which can be effectively deployed to analyse the consumption patterns of the consumers, and design financial products accordingly. However, they held that emotions, rather than electronics, are a pre-requisite to the success of digitisation. This was subsequently followed by a Q&A session.
The key takeaways from the session included evolution of banking and finance from a product- centric to a customer-centric industry, crucial roles of Blockchain and Fintech in digitisation, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) that can be judiciously employed to slash the operational costs for the banks and create new jobs for the workforce.
The session gave the students an insight to the tremendous opportunities awaiting them when they make their foray into the world of banking and finance.
Symposium On Banking And Finance
On Saturday, 26th November, 2016, Symbiosis School of Banking and Finance held its flagship event Bankers’ Conclave – “Symposium on Banking and Finance.”
The Guests of Honour for the event were Mr. Sarat Malik (CGM, Securities and Exchange Board of India) and Mr. Pramod Kumar Panda (CGM and Principal RBI CAB, Pune).
In his inaugural speech, Mr. Malik spoke about the various guidelines SEBI has introduced for investor protection, rate cuts done by RBI and how India is now moving towards a cashless economy.
The symposium had two panel discussions. The first topic of discussion was on “Disruptive Innovation” from 11:15 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. The chair for the first panel was Ms. Mudeita Patrao (Head Digital, HDFC AMC). The moderator was Mr. Muthuselvan (Assistant General Manager, RBI CAB, Pune). The panellists included Mr. Ravi Srivastava (SVP & India Head, Jones Lang LaSalle), Mr. Vikrant Nagre (Cluster Head, HDFC Bank Ltd.), Mr. Kanchan Kulkarni (Regional Manager, ICICI), Mr. Ram Aparaj (Senior Manager, Staff Training College, Bank of Maharashtra) and Mr. Muralidharan R, (Group Head – Operations and Information Technology, L&T Financial Services).
The second panel discussion was from 2:15 P.M. to 4:00 P.M. on the topic “Changing Facets of Risk Management Strategies.” The chair for the discussion was Mr. Pramod Kumar Panda. The moderator was Mr. Biharilal Deora (Advisor, AIWMI). The panellists included Mr. Bhaskar Niyogi (Head Enterprise Risk and Policy, RBL Bank Ltd.), Mr. V. Hans Prakash (Head, Business Development, IL&FS Securities Services Ltd.) and Ms. Jayna Gandhi (Founder and CEO, Quant Mac Financial Services LLP).
The valedictorian speech was given by Mr. Panda where he spoke about the year 2017 being the best time for the finance sector. Sir spoke intensively on micro finance. His words motivated everyone to be able to do something for our country to make it reach new heights. The event was concluded by a small quiz organised by the Corporate Interface Team for the students attending the symposium. The event gave each student an opportunity to engage themselves in understanding the various facets of the BFSI sector. It exposed the students to a world which helped them learn a lot of new things about the industry.
No learning can proceed in a vacuum, and this is true especially for the BFSI. In SSBF’s tireless efforts to bring together academia and industry, we at Symbiosis School of Banking and Finance organized and hosted the Banker’s Conclave on July 25th, inviting eminent bankers and industrialists, to interact with the students and share insights on issues crucial to the business and banking worlds.
The 25th of July saw a large group of eager participants, including interns of RBI, College of Agricultural Banking, from University of Boston and New Castle University, and students from Symbiosis Institute of Business Management.
The event commenced with the lighting of the ceremonial lamp, and with the welcome address by our esteemed director, Dr. Manisha Ketkar.
Any growth that a country bears witness to is perhaps meaningless if that growth cannot offer meaningful impact to all the people of the country. In this context, the idea of financial inclusion has gained significant traction as a means of ensuring that as many people as possible can partake of the benefits of a burgeoning economy. This has particular importance in India, where 60% of the rural population is still unbanked. Recognising the importance of this issue, Financial Inclusion was made the first topic of discussion during the Banker’s Conclave.
The participants were introduced to the concept of financial inclusion through a short film, put together by the SSBF’s creative team, which explained the minimum requirements of financial inclusion, and showcased some of the efforts of SSBF’s Institutional Social Responsibility team in bringing financial inclusion and literacy to the underprivileged.
The discussion began with insights from the panel, each member noted for their efforts in bringing together everyone into the financial system.
The panel was moderated by Professor Samapti Guha, from TISS (Tata institute of Social Services), who noted that while great strides were being made to solve the issue of financial exclusion, not enough work has been done to understand the problem itself. India has been a frontrunner in improving financial solutions, but the aspect of Social, Institutional and Psychological Exclusion merits further research.
Mr. Muthuselvan, Faculty at RBI-CAB opined that India had made significant advances in this field and that the bank-led model of financial inclusion suited India, due to the presence of robust and tight regulations. While telecom-led or other-entity-led models were successful elsewhere, India’s strength lies in this model. In addition the introduction of Agent Banking models and Business Correspondence models has made significant inroads in addressing the problem. In addition, banks, in being allowed to liberally open centres in 2-6 tier regions has given them incentive to expand and improve the reach of financial services. Mr. Muthuselvan also pointed that basic consumer rights needed to be maintained even in the face of financial inclusion.
Mr. L. M. Deshmukh, General Manager, Financial Inclusion, Bank of Maharashtra, took the thread of the discussion and highlighted a few key statistics in India’s March towards financial inclusion. Nearly 16.71 crore have been accounts have been opened, however 50% of them alone have commenced operations. He also spoke of the importance of credit penetration, and the inclusion of overdraft facilities for over 80 lakh accounts. The importance of biometrics is not to be underestimated. He was optimistic that three to five years might be all India needs for financial inclusion.
Mr. Vaibhav Peshney, Assistant Vice President, YES Bank explained his organization’s approach to financial inclusion, wherein, they managed to gain a foothold by using credit services as a means of financial inclusion. He expanded on how financial inclusion isn’t an obligation but an opportunity for banks to expand their markets and their customer base. YES Bank’s banks partnering with SHG was a strategy that helped them increase reach, without having to rely on branch banking. Thus, alternate delivery channels needed to be looked into, and the best way to bring more people into the system was to help fulfil their needs.
The discussion moved from the panel to the audience, who took the opportunity to acquaint themselves better with Financial Inclusion. Some light was shed on how easy it has become to open an account, using minimal KYC norms for the excluded sector, and how it could be possible for moneylenders, and other financial agents outside of the financial system itself to partner with the banks and improve penetration of financial services.
The first half of the Banker’s Conclave was a very insightful session and added valuable perspective on Financial Inclusion.
The afternoon session of the Banker’s Conclave tackled the idea and implications of Corporate Social Responsibility. With the inclusion of mandatory CSR, through the Companies Act, as well as companies taking note of the many benefits of giving back to the community, CSR has become a topic of study and discussion, and thus, a very interesting avenue to explore during the Banker’s Conclave.
The session began with an explanatory short film, compiled by SSBF’s Creative Team, explaining the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility, and highlighting the growth in CSR activities in India.
Prof. Girish Agarwal from IRMA opened the discussion, noting that while CSR has been gaining popularity, companies shouldn’t invent theories to implement change. Research on the issues they wish to address is crucial, he felt. CSR should not be disconnected from the value chain improvement process, and information asymmetry should be reduced. He also stressed on the need to cultivate the right mind set towards CSR.
Mrs. Leena Deshpande, Head of CSR, Bharat Forge Ltd. Pune, spoke of the soft aspects of CSR, and how it goes beyond the boundaries of mere philanthropy. She also highlighted Bharat Forge’s CSR initiatives, which included promoting sports and sanitation in schools. Employee involvement was a key factor of in the success of these CSR initiatives.
Mr. Zubin Kabraji, Regional Director, Pune, Indo German Chambers of Commerce, explained that CSR can be implemented in many shapes and forms, for example, research on alternative energy sources, and how the Indo-German Chambers offers advisory services for the many German Companies operating in Pune. He also spoke of initiatives by Indo-German Chambers of commerce around the world, including development of competency centres, CSR training in Malaysia, Reporting activities in South Korea and how these led to positive impact on the community.
Mr. Srinath Komarina, Senior Vice President, YES Bank, Mumbai highlighted work done by YES BANK which has improved the life of the community around them, and explained how CSR had its merits even in the pragmatic view of running a business and making profits. In case of YES BANK the initiatives led to improved business and greater sustainability. Further, he highlighted YES Bank’s practices to improve sustainability, such as triple bottom line accounting, facilitating responsible investments, and investing in Green projects.
Mr. M. N. Sanyal, Head of CSR, Thermax Ltd. Pune, shared Thermax’s CSR initiatives, including the practicing of employing clean energy technology, and Thermax’s emphasis on improving education facilities in India, especially in government schools. He spoke of how, even without being envisioned as such, the CSR initiatives helped in brand-building for Thermax in the local community. In his view, the participation and contribution of employees is what elevates CSR from charity, to a catalyst for positive change.
During the question hour, the audience was curious of the Company Act enacted recently in India, which asks Corporate entities to set aside at least 2% of the post-tax profit for CSR related activities. The full implications of the Act are yet to be fully realised, and it would be interesting to see how it impacts Companies in the future.
The impact of CSR is best summed up in Mr. Srinath Komarina’s words- “The business of business is more than business.” And as the students of SSBF make their way into the world of business, these are words we shall remember.
The event was very well received by all the participants and other invitees in the audience. The invitees also enjoyed a campus tour and were pleased with the hospitality and other arrangements. Staying true to our vision, this was one of SSBF’s many endeavours towards becoming a leading centre for financial studies.