Pivoting by Startups: Realizing what makes sense

I always looked at pivoting with some level of negativity. Basic thinking was that the founders would not have understood the market and after losing money, he / she may be trying out alternatives just to keep afloat. Reality Check: As founders, when we start our businesses, we do not know if the product market fit would really be there. It takes a lot of time and money for startups to build a product aligned with market needs and to get it validated. Many times our validation process provides us with deeper insights on what would work, which helps in reimagining…

Start-up journey : Few realizations

A) There is zero correlation between efforts and revenue in initial stages.     Don’t fret over it. B) Mental fitness and resilience are key to success.       Doing Yoga helps. C) Founders appear delusional at times to others. It takes time for others to understand them.       Listen to others but decide your own journey. D) Don’t underestimate finance, legal, taxation and collections efforts.      Dedicate at-least 10% of your time in initial days. E) Planning and tracking helps.      You have no choices here. F) There are more growth models beyond the famous…

Indian Fintech Ecosystem by The Digital Fifth

Indian Fintech Ecosystem by The Digital Fifth Essentially three eras: Before 2010: Digital marketplaces generating leads for loans and insurance 2010 – 2014: Payments ecosystem growing across B2B and B2C 2015 till date: Wallets going from expansion to closure, Usage of Indiastack (Aadhaar / eKYC / UPI / eSign etc) simplifying tech, Lending Fintechs prospering, Insurtech leaders evolving, PFM business moving towards cross-selling, Fintech Enablers thriving.

COO / CFO managing Digital

Till when will CFOs / COOs oversee Technology & Digital in Financial Institutions.. These areas must be “not so critical” else, CEOs would have directly handled it. As per these institutions: – Digital is feel good / PR activity – Tech is support – Business happens through branches

Fintech Roles

By year 2020, each role in Financial Institutions will have “Fintech” embedded into it. There is absolutely no possibility of any role remaining independent of tech. Sales, Marketing, Compliance, Treasury, Operations and everyone else will embrace this. Either we accept the change now or get ready to face challenges. Feel free to comment. I will share my views on each role in detail in posts during this week.

Digital Channels – Opex or Capex

All banks need to revisit their digital channels… they need continuous upgrades.. And not give responses like “we upgraded it last year” Few thoughts to enable digital: – Expenses in Digital are Opex in nature.. Don’t treat it like Capex.. Don’t let CFOs KILL the channel… – Hire designers in the bank without shackles of “this can’t be done” – Use design thinking approach for solving real customer problems… To do it, first learn how it is done… – Ensure that your team members meet clients every day or every week. I mean real clients… Else they will go ahead…

Recommendations for Open API Policy in India

India FinTech Forum along with Arthimpact had organised a Fintech Policy Roundtable as a part of Fintegrate Zone 2018 to discuss – What should be India’s Open API Policy to encourage fintech innovation on 1st March, 2018. Recommendations made to the Policy Makers are: 1) There should be a policy with respect to ownership of data, when Open API frameworks are utilized along with clear guidelines on data sharing. 2) There should be a simpler mechanism for enabling SMEs and Corporates over Open APIs of Banks / NBFCs. 3) Indian banking system offers limited set of Open APIs focused on…

Are you Inspired by Fintech Founder’s Success Story?

Its easy to get inspired by the success of Fintech founders as published in media (post funding!!!). Its another thing to do the kind of work that they do in the initial phases… That is the phase…. – when no one trusts them.. Sometimes they themselves doubt their own capabilities.. – when regular 6 / 7 Digit salary turns into a naught and suddenly trips to malls become rare. – when their families are in perpetual shock… – when expenses are far beyond revenues (incase there is some) – when hiring an employee becomes a “Big Achievement” – when first…

Too Many Intiatives?

Most banks have too many digital / tech initiatives running in parallel. It takes lot of courage to shut down unnecessary stuff. – Cut down stuff focused just on PR – Drop those which have limited customer / employee impact – Suspend those for which resources are not available – Kill initiatives for which there are no owners (you would find many) Do few initiatives but do them well… Make them scale….

Coworking Bank Branches

Like coworking offices, there is a potential business model for coworking bank branches. These coworking branches would have a large working space with individual desks for each bank. This would be very similar to how airlines work in the airports. Common facilities like security would be provided by a third party for entire office. Benefits 1) Branches can focus on sales instead of spending time on overheads like security, which would be handled by third parties (like coworking space owner). 2) Lower cost of operations like rent, maintenance… 3) Lower time and capital expenditure to open the branches. 4) No…