Interview with Mahindra Finance's Gururaj Rao

Banking, Finance & Insurance , June 07, 2019

The banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) sector is at the forefront of adopting information and communications technology (ICT) in India. Enterprises across the vertical are fast deploying various technology-based solutions to improve business efficiency and deliver better customer experience. Emerging technologies such as big data analytics, internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence and blockchain are making inroads into the financial services sector in the form of chatbots, cryptocurrency, etc. The government’s increased focus on the development of a digital and cashless ecosystem has also significantly altered the IT requirements and functioning of enterprises in this sector. Meanwhile, owing to the sensitive and confidential nature of consumer data, data privacy and cybersecurity have become crucial for the efficient functioning of enterprises in the industry. Gururaj Rao, Chief Information Officer, Mahindra Finance discusses the company's strategies, technology trends and cybersecurity readiness...

What are your views on the adoption of emerging technologies such as big data analytics, IoT, artificial intelligence and blockchain in the BFSI industry?

We have moved beyond the proof of concept and experimentation phase towards scalability. The use cases of emerging technologies have increased to include collections, precision marketing, compliance and even talent management, in addition to the existing applications of customer service and fraud management.

What are the key ICT solutions being deployed by your organisation?

Currently, the solutions we are deploying within the organisation include loan origination solutions, learning management solutions, and collection systems for retail and small and medium enterprise (SME) lending, a tableau for dashboards, Microsoft Dynamics CRM as well as data architecture solutions, incorporating big data. We are also deploying cloud solutions such as Azure, a comprehensive human resource management system on the cloud, payment channels, enterprise service bus for microservice management, business process management and document management systems for process automation, mobility solutions, voice recording solutions and blockchain integrated supply chain financing.

How has the government focus on a digital and cashless ecosystem altered your IT requirements and functions?

The adoption of digital payment solutions has increased. The user experience of these channels has also improved. The adoption of a central know-your-customer platform is also expected to ease the customer acquisition process. Smart dealerships, GPS-based location tracking, etc. are also being implemented extensively.

What are your views on cybersecurity readiness in the BFSI space? What solutions have you deployed to ensure data security?

Security solutions are being implemented across all layers – network, end user, data centre, etc. A defence-in-depth approach is being adopted. Applications are subject to vulnerability assessments and penetration testing. Mobility solutions are supported with mobile device management and mobile applications management solutions. Owing to the use of multiple workplace devices and platforms, we are developing unified controls that integrate device management and protection across mobile, physical and virtual environments to gradually enable “bring your own device”, especially for our field level collections.

What are the key technology trends that will shape the BFSI segment going forward?

The BFSI sector provides lending, investing and protection solutions to its retail and enterprise customers through various channels of sales and services. For these businesses, predictive and prescriptive data analytics would be very beneficial. It will help in identifying customer needs and the levers of customer stickiness. Micro services are also very important for establishing partnerships and platforms. Security controls over information and prevention of cybercrimes will continue to be significant.



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