Year-End quotes from Lending, Ed-Tech and Wealth-tech experts
1) Raman Kumar, Founder Chairman of CASHe
Despite the global economic slump and the resulting funding winter, 2022 was an eventful year for the FinTech sector. A large part of this fortune is a result of India’s millennial population.
Home to the largest population of millennials in the world (~35% of all millennials), India boasts of having the largest cohort of technologically savvy citizens. This affinity towards technology means that the market for digital products and services is high and the FinTech sector is positively positioned to take advantage of this.
As trust barriers start to erode, the demand for digital financial products and services has been increasing, especially from the younger cohorts. RBI’s pre-emptive attempts to frame digital lending guidelines have given added credence and legitimacy to the digital lending space.
The Indian government and the RBI have demonstrated a high degree of optimism for new and innovative business models that leverage the latest generation of technologies. This has brightened the prospects of entrepreneurs dabbling in blockchain, machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI) and big data. In fact, rudimentary forms of ML/AI have made Robo-advisory a reality, which in turn has democratised wealth management for all and has increased the number of investors. Investments have increased across the board, with digital gold, SIPs and goal-based investments leading the pack.
2023 will see FinTech companies expanding further into the Indian hinterland and pioneering unique delivery mechanisms to cater to the underserved and underbanked parts of the Indian population. Investing in India has traditionally only had two buckets: low-risk/low-return (with FDs being the most preferred option) and high-risk/high-return (stocks and crypto). The middle ground between these two extremes is where the bulk of the opportunities are. FinTech firms that can develop products to plug this gap will be the ones to watch out for.
Micro-investing as a trend is also starting to gain traction in India and those that can successfully prod customers into adopting this style of investing can scale to great heights. Fintech is likely to plumb the unexplored depths of the Indian market, with lending and investing being the products of choice.
Increasingly diverse and complex options for managing wealth have spawned a general sentiment of centralization among investors. Naturally, the market is responding by coming up with integrated platforms that offer all kinds of financial products and services under one umbrella, a FinTech super-app, if you will. In the coming years, this will be key to sustaining market share and FinTech firms that are versatile and nimble will be the new masters of scale.
2) Mr Bhavin Patel, Cofounder and CEO of LenDenClub
“The investment diaspora has witnessed a behavioural shift of wealth creation this year where investors are searching for new opportunities to diversify their portfolios. As a result, P2P lending is increasingly becoming popular as an alternate investment class as citizens are incorporating it into their portfolios to mitigate risk while optimising returns.
Also, there have been significant developments from the regulatory perspective. Be it the Guidelines on Digital Lending introduced by RBI or the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022, introduced by the Government, these are all aimed at safeguarding the customers’ interest. While several efforts have been made to promote innovation and competitiveness in the industry, including streamlining the Account Aggregator framework. In the coming year, digital lending companies will continue to abide by these guidelines and fully support initiatives from the Government and the Central Bank.
The Indian p2p market is expected to grow to $10 Billion by 2025; however, I see this happening much sooner. As P2P lending companies will be offering a distinctive fusion of cutting-edge technologies and speedy financial solutions to strengthen the alternate investment path for investors of India as well as fulfil the unmet credit needs of the Indians.”
Dr. Kavita Nagpal, VP- Academics, North Zone, ORCHIDS The International Schools. ‘This year marked the first one to enable the facilitation of regular offline classes post-covid. Despite the challenges coupled with a plethora of problems initiated by COVID-19, the emergence of new opportunities has been on the horizon, and doors to innovation in the education sector have become wide open. The introduction of skill-based curriculums and programs, as opposed to subject-oriented learning, brought about a significant change in the education scenario. The schools also devised new programs to help the children get familiarized with the changes, ensuring a smooth transition from online to offline medium during this post-pandemic academic season.
Orchids has implemented and demonstrated a holistic approach to learning ensuring to pique students’ interest in coming back to school and participating in these programs for their overall growth. OIS has introduced 5 unique programs in its curriculum such as horticulture, astronomy, public speaking, financial literacy, and robotics. These subjects are also part of NEP (National Education Policy) 2022, introduced by the ministry of education, Govt. of India. Keeping in mind the shift from online to offline classes, the school predicted that it will have a huge mental impact on the kids, and hence OIS introduced the SOCH wing, a team of mental health counsellors, where all the OIS branches will have at least one student counsellor to keep a regular check on their mental health, especially students with special needs. The Get Fit program introduced by Orchids is yet another example which guides students for a healthy physique.
OIS has mapped mental, social, and emotional learning to be included as the key focus in the coming years. Technology will be utilized to the utmost capacity – virtual and augmented reality, and gamification has already taken a prominent place in the system. As skill-based education gains an acceleration in momentum, STEAM-based learning will see a significant push in the education sector over the coming years. With NEP coming into its foray, the curriculum will see major changes across schools as experiential learning gains more popularity. Making learning enjoyable will be the core intent behind programs to be introduced by schools in the near future. A value-based education will be the norm going forward.’