Bengaluru, NFAPost : The long cherished dream of starting a fintech hub in the Silicon Valley of Asia has become a reality as Bengaluru Fintech Forum (BFF) got launched on 16th September.
BFF will be supported by Karnataka government led K-Tech Innovation Hub and industry association NASSCOM. It will be associated with TiE, Acceleraor – The Gain, which has signed MoU with Hong-Kong based accelerator WHub.
Inaugurating BFF, E V Ramanna Reddy, Additional Chief Secretary – IT and BT, lauded the pioneering efforts of information technology sector in the growth of Karnataka gross domestic products.
“We are grateful to the industry veterans who are working seamless with academia and policy makers to make it a reality. Fintech is witnessing massive technology shifts and it is time for startups to harness the opportunity for making it a reality,” said Ramanna Reddy.
Fintech companies globally raised a record $39.57 billion from investors globally. It happened through 1,707 deals in 2018 compared with 1480 deals in 2017. The Fintech ecosystem cuts across various sub domains in Financial Services Sector like lending, banking and wealth management.
Fintech ecosystem includes insurance tech, compliance and regulation tech, tradetech, Taxtech, wealth tech, credit tech, payment and remittances leveraging various advanced technologies like big data, artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of things (IoT), blockchain and cyber security.
The BFF will work closely with its counterpart in Hyderabad. Also, plans are afoot to start it at Chennai, Mumbai and National Capital Region (NCR).
Even though number of active Fintech users are high India does not figure in fintech hubs globally. Bengaluru and Mumbai rank 25th and 26th respectively in global ranking.
J A Chowdhary, the head of Hyderabad Fintech Forum, said India lot of young graduates are entering employment market and in fintech, many startups can emerge and create huge opportunities. “Besides solving the various gamut of financial inclusion, these fintech startups can create lot of innovative solutions. Some of these Startups can grow to become UNICORNS strengthening India’s economy,” said J A Chowdhary.
B V Naidu, Chairman of The Gain and Startupxseed ventures said fintech is creating huge disruption in banks and financial services.
“Blockchain is an emerging technology & lot of Banks are seriously evaluating Blockchain for many of their Fintech Solutions,” said B V Naidu.
Ramakanth Desai, who was with Wipro and Happiest Minds, is currently spearheading BFF. Speaking to NFAPost, Ramakanth Desai said core committee will be constituted soon to drive the forum in Bengaluru. “Core committee will drive various activities such as – conducting networking events, bring startups and investors together,” said Ramakanth Desai.
He said BFF may plan one event every month where two startups will be presenting their solution, experts will speak on selected topics. Investors could be invited to these networking sessions. “There is need to influence consistent regulatory framework. India has lot of head room to cover to attract higher levels of investment in fintech space, ” said Ramakanth Desai.
Speaking at the occasion, IIIT Bangalore Director and Professor Sadagopan said there is a need for much more efforts for making financial inclusion. “Technology is a catalyst in this effort. But we should be cautious while adopting latest technologies. Startups can play major catalytical role in this effort and BFF can play major role in making startups effective ” said Sadagopan.
During a fire side chat as part of the event, Hong-Kong based accelerator WHub Co-Founder Karena Belin said for the greater growth of Fintech ecosystem there should be a synergy among stake holders. “We have evolved it in Hong Kong. India can emulate it as I find a good synergy among academia, industry and government. The growing talent pool and high demand in the market will fuel growth of Fintech startups in India,” said Karena Belin.