Conversation between Sidhant Rastogi, Managing Partner, Zinnov and Ramanathan Srikumar, Senior Vice President, Head of Industry Solutions Group, Mphasis
- En masse transition to a remote work model, despite the complex nature of infrastructural and regulatory requirements.
- Incredible resilience demonstrated in the face of the greatest unknown unknown of the century.
- Focus on ensuring business as usual despite the slew of challenges like deferment of loan payments, volatile stock market, liquidity crunch, etc.
The BFSI industry has clearly emerged stronger in the face of COVID-19 by imbibing the learnings from the 2008 financial crisis.
So, how has digital transformation in BFSI been at the core of its resilience? How have next-gen technologies enabled BFSI companies to cater to the changing customer requirements? How can leaders measure their returns on the digital investments? To shed light on some of these questions, Sidhant Rastogi, Managing Partner & Global Head, Zinnov, sat down with Ramanathan Srikumar, Senior Vice President, Head of Industry Solutions Group, Mphasis. The following is an excerpt from the conversation.
Mphasis has been at the forefront of providing next-gen solutions to accelerate digital transformation and catering to the changing customer needs in the Banking and Financial Services market. During this pandemic, what are some of the changes that you have witnessed with respect to customer requirements? Can you share a few examples?
At Mphasis, we leverage our Front2Back™ (F2B) transformation to deliver tangible results in our clients’ digital journeys. One of the key tenets of the F2B transformation is to begin with a customer KPI and work backwards to the core, and identify the right interventions that provide ‘chunks’ of benefits to the client in a very accelerated fashion. With the new reality, the pandemic brought many more KPIs into focus, accelerating the need for our clients to transform.
Broadly, we can divide the needs of the client into three categories. The first and immediate one when the pandemic hit, was the need for Rapid Response, ensuring continuity of operations with the least disruptions to the business, even while making major changes to the way the employees and clients were interacting with each other and with the enterprise. This included enabling remote working, ensuring that productivity doesn’t drop, and there is no compromise on security and other policies of the enterprise.
The second requirement was to handle the pandemic-driven demands, either in terms of increased volumes in certain channels or products, or other skewed responses.
The third and the ongoing need is catering to the medium term and longer-term changes that the new normal is forcing upon all the stakeholders – including customers, employees, demand patterns, and even changing business models. Digital methods such as Open Banking, UPI and many other services that reduce friction and are convenient for end customers are being widely adopted. This called for the need for transformation. Even the enterprises that had established digital channels, did not have all the product and service offerings covered. Many of them had to rethink and rework on every aspect of customer interaction via remote channels. Similarly, many of the interfaces had to be redesigned as they now needed to cover not only tech-friendly customers, but also those who were not technophiles.
What are the key challenges being faced by your Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance customers in the wake of the pandemic? How are you addressing them?
One of the key challenges faced by Financial Services firms, which was not very different from many other industries, was to enable remote working for their employees. The additional focus on security, compliance, and safeguarding Personally Identifiable Information (PII), added to the challenge.
Mphasis helped our clients in spinning multiple environments in the cloud to minimize disruptions in employees’ access to systems and applications. We also ensured that our customers had access to our command center, and the dashboard that projects real-time updates, enabling them to know the status of their projects and tasks that Mphasis was executing on their behalf.
Mphasis also helped on-demand resource augmentation, as some of our clients were looking at addressing the Government initiatives to alleviate the business impact caused by the pandemic.
We also helped enterprises modernize their legacy applications by leveraging our self-funded modernization offering, and played a key role in driving data-related programs and employee productivity initiatives, through our DevSecOps initiatives.
How will new-age technologies such as AI/ML, Blockchain, Data Science, Big Data Analytics, Automation, etc., disrupt the BFSI sector? What are some of the technologies that you are betting big on?
This question is very broad, and we can spend hours just addressing the application of these technologies in enhancing the products and services offered by the BFSI sector. Mphasis has been investing in these next-gen technologies, and we invite you to visit our website for details. Some of the unique solutions that we provide are:
- Deep-tier financing solution using Blockchain: The data transparency provided by Mphasis Blockchain enables extending the typical financing deeper into the supply chain.
- Using AI/ML in Modernization: Many enterprise CIOs are keen to modernize their legacy applications using AI. Mphasis offers innovative ways of extracting business logic from these applications, thereby accelerating the modernization process.
- Combining Cognitive and Automation through Enterprise Automation: Mphasis’ Enterprise Automation helps businesses solve their problems using an iterative, human-centric approach to ideate, reimagine and create ‘to-be’ processes driven by business KPIs.
What are some of the factors that leaders need to consider when channelizing their digital investments? How can BFSI organizations measure the ROI on their digital investments?
Often, enterprises embark on digital transformation through large projects which may take several months to implement. However, there is a need to focus on agility and speed, while channelizing the digital investments to reap maximum benefits. Mphasis provides businesses with future-ready operations and innovative ways to transform, with speed and at scale. As mentioned in the beginning, our F2B transformation approach ensures that every dollar spent, addresses specific KPIs, thereby building ROI in the process. For example, if the operational KPI for a mortgage company is to reduce the turnaround time for processing mortgage applications, our F2B identifies specific technology interventions that can make that happen. Each of these interventions are then prioritized and implemented in short cycles of idea to execution, thus ensuring constant business benefits through the process. This way, businesses can validate every dollar that is spent and measure their ROI.
New-age consumers of the BFSI players are ‘digital first-borns,’ and the only way to reach out to them effectively is to speak in the language they know, i.e., digital. How can new-age technologies redefine user experiences in the BFSI industry?
New-age consumers, as well as new-age employees, are ‘digital native,’ and their expectations are being set by consumer technology companies which are also digital natives themselves. It is imperative that enterprises accelerate adoption of similar technologies. Mphasis gauged this need in the early stages, and has launched an ‘Experience’ tribe whose only focus is to build frameworks and accelerators that not only assess, but also help design the ’digital native’ interfaces for both external and internal technology consumers.
Mphasis believes that one of the key drivers of creating digital-first experience is data. How well the enterprise captures both transactional and contextual data, and how well it uses it – make a significant difference. Hence, our Experience tribe and the next generation data tribes, work together to deliver results that best suit digital-first users.
BFSI is one of the sectors that has 100% potential to facilitate contactless operations. What are some of the risks that companies need to be cognizant of, while implementing contactless operations? What are some of the steps that they can take to ensure better security?
Undoubtedly, most of the products that the BFSI organizations use these days are predominantly digital in nature, which makes them the potential leaders in adoption of contactless operations. They can achieve this without compromising on customer contact that is essential to create a friendly and sticky environment. However, BFSI is one of the most regulated industries, as they manage the personal information of their customers, which is critical for the financial security. It is important that security is considered utmost important and fundamental, and is built ground up rather than as an afterthought.
In this regard, Mphasis has a very opinionated framework for the DevSecOps offering, which not only ensures security in the ecosystem but also doesn’t compromise on agility. Our Cyber Defence services enable the Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) to deal with the growing cyber threats using disruptive security technology in digitally connected environments.
It is clear from the discussion that Mphasis, and the BFS industry at large, has ridden over the tide of disruption by increasingly leveraging new-age digital technologies and being agile in the face of uncertainties to adapt to a new normal. In this age where superior customer experience is the key differentiator, contactless is expected to be the norm, and ‘digital’ is the language that is best understood, digital transformation in BFSI companies is increasingly and emphatically becoming their holy grail.
To build a moat against future disruptions by accelerating digital transformation in BFSI GCoEs, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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