Chauhan said this while addressing the NSRCEL―the incubation arm of Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIMB)’s day-long Fintech Festival, which celebrated the success of its fintech startup incubation program in partnership with ICICI Securities (I-Sec) with deliberations and discussions on the fintech industry.
NSRCEL said that for a pre-incubation program, 25 firms were shortlisted, of which 10 underwent an intensive nine-month incubation journey. During the last nine months even as they were undergoing the incubation programme, the 10 select fintech startups have cumulatively raised Rs 25 crore as VC/angel funding, the institute said in a statement.
“Now everyone has a mobile phone and a bank account so KYC becomes so easy. Figuring out who the person is was very difficult in India. That kind of deep innovation that Nandan (Nilekani) brought in using Aadhaar and Mr Modi combined it with Jan Dhan and mobile, has been phenomenal for society in terms of reducing corruption and reaching out to the poorest of poor and directly benefiting them in subsidies. It also reached out to all the fintech innovators who today work with the NPCI and their Bhim framework which sits on Jan Dhan Aadhaar mobile and NPCI stack,” Chauhan said.
He said these stacks will be what fintech companies can ride on while adding that India does 300 crore mobile transactions every month whereas China does half of that.
Akhil Handa, chief digital officer at
, agreed with Chauhan and said that today the regulator’s nod of approval has been the biggest push for the fintech space. Further, he said that with the infrastructure of the Aadhaar and Jan Dhan, for instance, in place, there are innovations that are being built on top of it.
“Innovation is riding on two fronts – technological and digital innovation and the business model innovation. There is regulatory enablement of business innovation that was hitherto not seen. The regulator was earlier very focused on the established BFSI and all of a sudden there is this ecosystem that the regulator is very keen on engaging with and encouraging. The established and new players are competing and collaborating which is creating new propositions,” he said.
Vijay Chandok, managing director of ICICI Securities, too said that he believed there were two very strong railroads that have been laid in India: a hardware railroad of mobility and 5G that provide access to digital modes in a fast way and the soft infrastructure like Jan Dhan related to digital information and data. He felt fintech companies could leverage on these two aspects to innovate.
“Innovation needs to have certain features. It should solve a business or customer problem. It should create value. It should be scalable because only then can it create value as it will impact a large number of people. And it should have some line of sight of a revenue model at some stage. Ideally, it should have the ability to harness the power of ‘adjacencies’ – that add value around the core theme,” Chandok said.
According to him, there were three segments of the fintech space that have managed to innovate and fulfil all these aspects. These companies operate in the payments space for the unbanked population, provide access to protection through distribution of life and health insurance and provide access to credit to the underbanked and unbanked population.