No sector in any industry experiences rapid growth without the help of key individuals who question the norm and strive to push limits further and explore uncharted waters. During the past year, the Fintech industry has undergone a radical transformation under the guidance of Fintech Influencers, who each helped transform the environment and work in diverse areas such as Startups, Banks, Government and Investment Firms.

The revolutionization of the Fintech industry has led to a drastic increase in the availability of content for the community. To help make sense of the mishmash of information, we at The Digital Fifth have curated a list of India’s Top 30 Fintech Influencers to follow across media. This list is based on their contribution to the Fintech ecosystem rather than their social media score.

Ajay Ramasubramaniam : Director (India) at Zone Startups

At Zone Startups, Ajay oversees the Flagship India Accelerator Operations as well as leads new initiatives, including corporate innovation programs and thematic accelerators under the Zone Startups brand. Zone has played a pivotal role in building a Fintech ecosystem in India and has supported fintechs through multiple accelerators across the country.

Akshay Mehrotra : Co Founder & CEO at EarlySalary.com

Akshay runs EarlySalary, which has provided over INR 700 crore in financial assistance to over 135,000 Customers and disbursed 400,000 loans. Earlier this year in January, 2018 EarlySalary raised INR 100 crore Series B funding from Eight Roads (Fidelity) Ventures. They have recently opened an offline channel (branch) to reach out to their target customers.

Amrish Rau : CEO at PayU India

Amrish Rau is the CEO of PayU India, the country’s leading digital payment solution provider valued at around USD 2.5 billion. Previously, he had founded Citrus Pay, which was acquired by Naspers (PayU) in one of the largest startup acquisitions in India. PayU’s digital lending platform Lazypay has done extremely well with nearly 4.5 lakh customers already using it. He has also invested in multiple startups like Signzy, Elemential, Nuo and Open.

Deepak Sharma : Chief Digital Officer at Kotak Mahindra Bank

Deepak heads digital initiatives at Kotak Mahindra Bank, where he is responsible for digital strategy, transformation, payments, digital channels & platforms. He also looks at innovation lab, future tech & Fintech ecosystem partnership in areas of AI, ML, IoT, Blockchain, RPA, Open API & design across lending, payments, investments, Institutional, SME & consumer segment.

Dilip Asbe : MD & CEO at NPCI

Dilip is the MD & CEO of National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and has played a pivotal role in designing, building, operationalisation and management of large scale payment processing platforms like Unified Payments Interface (UPI), Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM), Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) and India’s home grown card network RuPay. The world’s most innovative payment platform, UPI, has already crossed IMPS in terms of volume and is poised to become the top retail payment system in the country by March 2019. With the launch of UPI 2.0, NPCI is further simplifying merchant payments in the country.

Harshil Mathur : CEO & Co-Founder at Razorpay

Harshil runs one of India’s most innovative Fintechs, Razorpay, which is morphing from a B2B Payment Gateway into a Financial Conglomerate. They have entered the lending business with Razorpay Capital, which has already reached an annual loan disbursal rate of USD 30 million. With RazorpayX, they are now focusing on end to end banking operations of MSMEs. With a scorching pace of growth and innovation, they are likely to enter the Unicorn Club in the next 12 to 24 months.

J A Chowdary : Special Chief Secretary & IT Advisor to the Chief Minister – Govt. of AP.

The prime focus of J.A. Chowdary, IT Advisor to the Government of Andhra Pradesh, is to mobilise investments, create IT ecosystem and provide more jobs. Under his leadership, Fintech Valley has been set up in Vizag to bring together industry, academia and investors to innovate, co-create & build the fintech ecosystem.

Kamesh Goyal : Chairman – GoDigit General Insurance Company

Kamesh runs one of India’s best funded insurtechs, GoDigit, which is also amongst the fastest growing insurance firms in the world. GoDigit offers digital insurance through partners as well as on its own platform. To ensure an end to end digital journey for customers, GoDigit handles claims through self inspection using mobile.

Kunal Shah : Founder at CRED

The founder of Freecharge has returned to the Fintech arena with Cred, a financial services platform targeting consumers with high creditworthiness. Cred is a members-only app which rewards customers with exclusive rewards for paying credit card bill. He has already raised USD 25 million in funding for his startup, with Sequoia Capital and Ribbit Capital leading the financing round.

Lokvir Kapur : Chairman at Pinelabs

Lokvir is the Chairman of Pine Labs, a payment unicorn, which works with 85,000 customers across India. In 2018, Temasek, along with PayPal, invested USD 125 million in Pine Labs. The company has started offering additional services like EMI based loans to customers, business loans to merchants, a rewards platform, etc.

Mahesh Makhija : Partner and Leader – Digital and Emerging Technology at EY

Mahesh leads Digital and Emerging Technology as well as FS Consulting practice for EY. He has guided multiple initiatives like EY Fintech Inovation Hub, which are helping in the growth of Fintechs in India.

Manish Khera : CEO at Happy

Manish is the founder of Happy Loans – one of the fastest growing MSME lending platform in the country. Prior to this, Manish had founded FINO and transformed it into the world’s largest business correspondent entity with over 50,000 agents serving over 70 million customers.

Manish Patel : CEO at MSwipe

Manish is the CEO of Mswipe – the largest mobile POS player in the country. MSwipe has moved beyond just the payment business and now offers value added services like loans to its customers.

Mohit Bhatnagar : MD at Sequoia

Mohit is the MD at Sequoia, which has been one of the biggest investors in Fintechs. Sequoia’s investee companies include Bankbazaar, Drip Capital, Capital Float, KredX, Freecharge, Mobikwik etc.

Naveen Kukreja : Co-Founder & CEO at Paisabazaar.com; CMO at Policybazaar

Naveen is the co-founder and CEO of Paisabazaar.com. Under Naveen’s leadership, Paisabazaar.com has become one of the largest marketplace platforms for lending and banking products. Paisabazaar.com currently disburses annualized loans worth USD 1 billion to more than 1000 towns and cities across India.

Nitin Chugh : Country Head Digital Banking and Personal Liabilities Products at HDFC Bank

Nitin is responsible for driving digital business in HDFC Bank and has ensured that digital channel usage in the bank leads the nearest competitors by miles. HDFC Bank has partnered with many Fintechs and technology companies for enhancing its digital capabilities.

Nithin Kamath : Founder & CEO at Zerodha

Nithin runs India’s largest discount broker with more than 1 million clients executing 10% of daily retail trading volumes across NSE, BSE, MCX. Interestingly, the firm has remained bootstrapped through the last 8 years of its journey.

Piyush Khaitan : MD & Founder at Neogrowth

Piyush is the co-founder of Neogrowth – a Fintech company that provides unsecured loans to small businesses which can be repaid by card receivables, e-commerce sales and other non-cash payments. NeoGrowth has provided financial assistance to 13,000 businesses and crossed 1000 crore loan book during the year. They have also raised USD 47 million in equity funding, paving the way for rapid expansion.

Prashanth Ranganathan : CEO at Paysense

Prashanth is the founder and CEO of PaySense – a leading digital consumer lending startup based in Mumbai. Prashanth is a serial entrepreneur with a track record for building mobile tech companies. PaySense is a consumer lending platform that gives users credit in a customised manner. PaySense EMI, their personalised line of credit, is similar to a personal loan and can be used to make instant purchases, whether online or offline, through affordable EMI plans. Till date, Paysense has raised USD 25 Million from PayU, Jungle Ventures and Nexus Venture Partners.

Rajeev Ahuja : Head of Strategy at RBL Bank

Rajeev has been an integral part of RBL’s transformation journey and is responsible for building the overall strategy for the bank, whilst managing the Retail Banking, Transaction Banking and Financial Inclusion businesses of RBL. Under his leadership, RBL bank has become “Partners ka Bank” and has created symbiotic relationships with multiple Fintechs. It remains amongst the best bank for Fintechs to work with.

Rohan Angrish : Head, ICICI Labs

Rohan heads ICICI labs and carries the mandate to create a challenger bank within ICICI Bank. This is amongst the boldest experiments in the Indian banking ecosystem and everyone is eagerly awaiting the outcome.

Rohan Kumar : CEO – Toffee Insurance

Rohan is the co-founder of Toffee- a bite size, micro-event & contextual insurtech startup. The company differentiates itself by offering unique insurance policies in a digital-only format. It has insurance policies for dengu, breast cancer, travel, fitness etc, in collaboration with other insurance providers.

Satyen Kothari : Founder and CEO at Cube

Satyen is a serial entrepreneur and a big advocate and supporter of technology based entrepreneurship. His latest venture, Cube, has been making waves in the Wealthtech area. His prior experiences include founding Citrus Payments, where he led the overall strategy, product, user experience, marketing, and strategic alliances to drive the company to a $100 million plus organization in 4 years. He is also an angel investor and has invested in 6 companies in the spaces of marketplaces, solar, education, and payments.

Smita Aggarwal : VC Investor in Fintech at Omidyar Network

Smita leads strategy and investments for Omidyar Network’s Financial Inclusion initiative in India. Omidyar has invested in AffordPlan, Bon, Indifi, Kaleidofin, Scripbox, Toffee Insurance etc.

Suniti Nanda : Fintech Officer – Government of Maharashtra

In July 2018, Suniti took charge as the Fintech Officer of the Government of Maharashtra, and in just 6 months has started making visible impact to Mumbai’s Fintech ecosystem. Mumbai Fintech Hub has already started supporting Fintechs through grants & reimbursements. Mumbai Fintech Accelerator has also been kicked off with 13 Fintech startups.

Vani Kola : MD at Kalaari

Vani is the founder and Managing Director of Kalaari Capital, one of India’s leading early stage venture capital firms. Kalaari’s portfolio of Fintechs include Affordplan, Signzy, Creditvidya, Toffee Insurance, Upstox, Rubique, Perpule etc.

Varun Mittal : Global Emerging Markets FinTech Leader at EY

Varun is the Global Emerging Markets FinTech Leader at EY, covering technology and business models in financial services across ASEAN. Though he is based in Singapore, he is deeply embedded in the Indian ecosystem and engages with Fintechs across the ecosystem.

Vikram Sud : Independent Investor & Mentor

Vikram is a veteran banker and has invested in Fintechs including Seynse Technologies, EpiMoney, CreditSeva and SoCash. He is a charter member of the TiE and actively supports several accelerators and incubators.

Vikram Vaidyanathan : MD at Matrix India

Vikram is the Managing Director of Matrix Partners. Matrix’s portfolio of Fintechs include Avail, Creditvidya, Five Star, MSwipe, Ofbusiness, Razorpay and Ziploan.

Vivek Belgavi : Partner – FinTech, Payments, Analytics

Vivek leads Fintech practice for PWC and has been responsible for making it one of the largest Fintech practices in the country.

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