Exclusive: Covid-19 Likely to Level-up Digitisation Speed Across BFSI Sector, says Shiv Kumar Bhasin, NSE India

The outbreak of Covid-19 definitely caused a lot of adversities for industries around the globe. But, it also brought a lot of opportunities for several industries, banking and financial sector in particular. BFSI sector will soon become cent percent digitised due to the social distancing and work from home concept induced due to the spread of the deadly virus, says Shiv Kumar Bhasin, Chief Technology and Operations Officer, NSE India Pvt Ltd.

Shiv Kymar Bhasin

While talking to Elets News Network during a recently organised virtual panel discussion, Bhasin spoke on a lot of issues ranging from digitisation of the BFSI industry, leverage of technology to level-up operational services, Work From Home, cybersecurity and the opportunities hidden underneath Covid-19.

Excerpts of his Address:

Covid-19 is re-emphasising the needs of digitising various business processes. Earlier, we used to say that the rationale of digitising the processes is only meant for enhancing customer experience. In some of the journals that I recently read, it was written that by 2022 if we really catch-up and able to digitise 50-60 percent of the services around the world. It would require a cost expense of around 7 trillion dollars. So, there is a huge demand for digitising the services and also a lot of scope of re-imagining services also comes to the picture by leveraging Robotic Process Automation, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and several other technologies. These technologies can help in streamlining the services by cutting down the silos in the department.

In today times, capturing the emotion of the customer and then offering him the services as per the requirement with the use of Artificial Intelligence, in my view is the true analytics. Simultaneously, picking up the customer profile and getting all the history of his past transaction relationship, adding the contextual knowledge along with it and then responding appropriately. Because a lot of times we get complaints from the customers that despite several attempts, they were not able to reach customer care.

During the COVID -19 pandemic, a lot of employees are staying away from their families and keeping the lights on and working reportedly from premises nearby to the offices and centre did not allow higher number of employees at the offices. Work from remote or home, initially looked like a challenge as several supervisors are habituated or seeing their subordinates at one place and working from somewhere would often be overpowered by out of sight and out of mind theory.

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It depends on the organisation which is implementing the work from home model to design a target operating model which is more outcome-driven than monetary driven and those outcomes are needed to be reviewed. Several tools namely Zoom, Office 365, Microsoft meet are also based some kind of analytics which is powered by technologies such as Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. And the data generated through these analytics can be helpful in understanding the performance level of the employee, the productivity of a particular remote location, etc, and can later be used in improving the efficiency.  A lot of AI analytics is already in use but there are further opportunities as well.

Work From Home was already into practice in western countries and up gradation in the way it is implemented was happening with the change in technology every five year. Homegrown countries in India, however, are now exploring this medium as a new phenomenon. Earlier, there was not much focus on building any infrastructure in support of this in the Indian companies.

COVID outbreak has resulted in an awakening call. In my organisation also, just when the lockdown was implemented, we could send 50 percent of our employees to work from home/ remote model and by the end of March 2020, cent percent of all employees from all the services have been sent to work from home model. So, there has been major learning with regards to future preparedness, for financial institutions.

As it is not just about sending people to Work from home just by giving them laptops but it is also significant to make them tech-savvy. So, culture change is one of the major changes while implementing work from home.  Keeping this in mind, I have started organising a lot of trainings in my organisation in a bid to make people more effective and efficient.

For example, the whiteboard culture and offering an alternative was a roadblock. We had to make our employees aware of several digital tools such as MS Word that can be helpful in functioning as a whiteboard. And, with online meetings, people now come well prepared for the meetings while earlier they would just walk into the meeting room.

Besides, to ensure security in the work from home model, we have put in place multi-level security verifications and for our users, we have offered the OTP option for verification.

Additionally, we have deployed cloud to safeguard our data as hackers don’t need to attack the financial institutions now. Their main target is the internet network used by our employees while working from home.

This outbreak of COVID-19 is definitely a crisis but it has also brought in several opportunities for the sector. It will make the sector digitised faster than usual and it will also help us in getting better talent from across the sector evading geographical boundaries. There will be no relocation hassles or costs.

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