Data changing the face of the Indian banking model

Rajendra Awasthi

AI and Robotics are going to replace old business models designed during the industrial era where every bank was a combination of three businesses, viz, manufacturer, distributor and consumer of products. The combination of Data, AI and Robotics is going to emerge as the new business model of banking, says Rajendra Awasthi, Co-Founder, EPIKInDiFi, in conversation with Elets News Network (ENN).

How Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics are driving service innovation and business model renewals?

I firmly believe that any data that can be digitalised will be digitalised and any process that can be automated will be automated. This means we are going to see more companies like EPIKInDiFi coming out with business models that will offer products and solutions which are smarter, faster and cheaper. I believe Data, AI and Robotics are going to replace old business models designed during the industrial era where every bank was a combination of three businesses, viz, manufacturer (back office), distributor (mid-office) and consumer of products (front office). Data, AI and Robotics are also going to force banks to merge these three independent businesses into one single seamless digital entity and that will emerge as a new business model of banking. The good news is that EPIKInDiFi provides a platform that will help financial institutions in driving towards this new business model of the future.

Recently EpikIndifi has partnered with IntelleGrow to enhance the digital lending platform. What are the new partnerships are you looking forward to?

We are a one-stop shop for all digital lending technology needs of financial institutions. Our partnership with IntelleGrow is very significant as we have built with them the best Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) digital lending platform. We believe the flexibility of the platform along with the richness and depth of functionalities and the number of pre-built integrations with outside systems is going to be a true game-changer in the SME lending space.

We are looking into several new partnerships across different parts of the world such as India, Australia, and Africa. In a significant partnership, the first newage Neo Bank in Australia has selected us as their digital partners where our suite of products and platforms will run this digital-only bank.

What does this Budget mean to you? I believe through the Budget provisions the Government is trying to bridge the gap between credit providers, viz, Nonbanking Financial Companies (NBFCs) and credit seekers and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sector. To enable the credit providers, the Budget proposes that fundamentally sound NBFCs should continue to get funding from banks, mutual funds, FIIs, etc. This focus will significantly increase the credit-related activities in the market and is expected to give a big boost to NBFC business.

What new technologies are you implementing in the company?

We follow the ‘3 Horizons Model of Innovation’ as a fundamental philosophy of our business. In Horizon-1, we are continuing strongly with our current core proposition of digital lending platforms and robotics process automation which are built on the latest digital technologies offered by Google and Facebook such as Angular, Express, React, Node, etc., besides extensively using core Java and Selenium. These technologies are enabling flexibility, scalability, and richness of functionality in our products and platforms. In Horizon-2, we have started work on cognitive automation, deep analytics and Artificial Intelligence as we see them as next big change agents in the financial sector. Our team of data scientists is working on some new offerings which can be either used seamlessly in Vanguard as used standalone. We will soon be ready with some of our cool offerings based on these solutions.

How has been 2019 so far for the company? What innovations are you planning to implement in the company?

So far, the year 2019 has been very successful for the company as we have acquired new logos across India, Australia, and Africa. We are a TechFin company providing holistic solutions for digital lending needs and some of our new customers are unique as they are on cutting edge of innovation in their focussed business applications and we are quite pleased to see our platform supporting their broader vision of a new age digital bank – be it either on customer experience side or agility to launch a new products or serviceability of an existing loan.

 One of the innovative features we brought in our platform is integration with various messaging platforms such as WhatsApp and WeChat. Now customers can have their entire interaction with the bank while on move and through a medium they are most comfortable with. We are also bringing device-specific differentiated user experience as the next set of innovation where banks can create a true omnichannel experience without spending large money on UX.

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