API enabling newer business models with lead aggregators, marketplaces, and manufacturers: Rishabh Garg, CTO, U GRO Capital

Rishabh Garg, Chief Technology Officer, U GRO Capital

With the advancement in technology, OCEN and AA framework’s true financial inclusion is becoming a reality. With digital onboarding, customers from far-off locations can apply for loans without any physical presence of the lender, shares Rishabh Garg, Chief Technology Officer, U GRO Capital with Shruti Jain of Elets News Network (ENN).

How are you leveraging technology to drive a better customer experience, operational efficiency, & data security at U GRO Capital?

At U GRO Capital, to drive a better customer experience, we are building omnichannel interfaces for customers to raise service requests and apply for new loans. Customers can apply for new loans or raise service requests via mobile applications, chatbots, and embedded web journeys. The focus is on minimal customer inputs, and data is pre-fetched through OCR of documents and API integrations with various third-party government or private data sources. Solutions such as face liveliness checks, geotagging, e-KYC/video KYC, and e-signature replace in-person customer visits. Automated identity, bureau, fraud, banking, and GST checks, coupled with our proprietary GRO Score, help us to underwrite our custmers with zero to minimal manual intervention and thus enable us to disburse quickly.

We are entirely cloud native and have imbibed industry best practices on data security. AI is powering our application firewalls and SIEM solutions for anomaly detection. Our AI-enabled systems generate alerts for any data shared by employees through the external world, based on the sensitivity of the content.

What are the key challenges faced while onboarding and implementing AI/ML to enhance key business processes?

The foremost challenge while onboarding and implementing AI/ML is business alignment. Key goals and outcomes must be clearly defined to select the right solution. Cost vs. benefit should be periodically reviewed. The ML models require massive data covering multiple training scenarios before rendering accurate insights. Infrastructure costs for the computation and processing of data may spiral out of control. Finding the right talent in AI/ML is another big challenge due to the demand-supply gap.

What is your digital strategy for driving growth & innovation across the organisation?

Our digital strategy at U GRO Capital focuses on leveraging data and technology to provide a superior experience to our key stakeholders – customers, partners, and employees. All our processes for employees, from onboarding to exits, are digitised. Important notifications are disseminated across the organisation through Chatbots. Chatbot for servicing employee requests will be introduced soon.

Innovation is part of U GRO Capital’s culture, and employees have a strong orientation towards digital tools and applications and their impact on business transformation, as digital is the way forward for our growth as an organisation.

In what ways has the adoption of technology made SME lending easier for both consumers & lenders?

With the advancement in technology, true financial inclusion is becoming a reality. With digital onboarding, customers from far-off locations can apply for loans without any physical presence of the lender. With advances in AI & ML, systems can underwrite customers in near real-time who do not fit into a typical bank’s risk profile.

For lenders, technology helps them to reduce their credit and operations costs which reflects in their interest rates. With the introduction of AA (Account Aggregator) and OCEN, credit has been further democratised.

According to you, how is digital transformation paving the way for better cloud security & data protection?

With vast amounts of business and personal data transmitted and stored electronically,
the opportunities for data breaches have dramatically increased. Government regulations continue to raise the standards for data security practices; contracting parties also expect greater accountability for these standards.

We are moving towards an open API architecture. This enabled us to explore newer business models and opportunities by partnering with lead aggregators, marketplaces, manufacturers, and co-lenders. All this comes at a cost; we are becoming increasingly vulnerable to the outside world with each exposed public interface. Digital transformation warrants a robust and secure infrastructure.

At U GRO Capital, we have mitigated those risks by building secure DevOps in our software development lifecycle and strictly controlling what APIs are being exposed to the external world. AI-based security tools are in place, which collect logs through the entire infrastructure and generates insights on any anomalies. Automated vulnerability management tools scan and patch servers automatically. Critical data is encrypted, whether at rest or in transit.

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