Notes from the Fintech Valley Spring Conference, 2017

Andhra Pradesh government lays down a foundation for the fintech innovation culture.

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The Government of Andhra Pradesh’smaiden two-day (9 and 10 March) initiative, #SpringConference 2017 concluded as a spectacular success with 300 Indian and international participants attending the event. Global corporations, governments and academia, along with thought leaders, entrepreneurs, artists and visionaries have come together in this valley to build capacity, infrastructure, market access, connectivity, funding channels, and incentive mechanisms nurturing a ‘fintectonic’ culture that disrupts traditional models of business and sets a platform for innovation and growth. Prize money of INR 5 Lakh and one year free office space was provided in the Fintech Tower in Vizag to Start-up challenge winners.

Hon’ble Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Shri Nara Chandrababu Naidu interacted with delegates for an hour over video conference and took inputs from fintech community present at the Spring Conference. He will chair The Fintech Valley Forum setup to focus on various aspects of the ecosystem creation. While addressing the gathering he said, “The Fintech Valley Spring Conference is our step in joining the Fourth Industrial Revolution which is a spectacular combination of technology and Internet of Things (IoT). In recent times, technology has started influencing our lives in a comprehensive manner. The demand for Fintech is growing each day. To meet this demand, we would need the support from Fintech and Cyber security companies. We also need the academic institutions to adapt curriculum that trains individuals to contribute to fintech sector.  I extend my best wishes for the success of the initiative and hope it provides multiple opportunities to meet the futuristic requirements of our country and the global economy at large.”

Special Chief Secretary and IT Advisor to the AP Chief Minister, Mr. J. A. Chowdary, thanked the gathering for reposing their faith in this initiative and said, “This two day conference was a success in encouraging the spirit of the fintectonic culture. We intend to build on this momentum and leverage it to generate employment that meets new demands of the global economy.”

An informative workshop segment was led by Mr. Balasubramaniam, Chief Executive Officer - E-Pragati on e-governance & sandbox opportunities with the government. Addressing the gathering over video conference, Mr. J Satyanarayana, UIDAI chairperson and former IT Secretary exclaimed, “Though our current ecosystem is well established having our welfare programs linked to Aadhar, we are trying to expand our current portfolio consisting of 72 projects. The Andhra Pradesh – E-pragati portfolio is a strong foundation for fintech and I am convinced thatVizag will vibrate with the fintech mantra in the months to come.”

“In India, there isn’t a problem with talent but with having the right attitude. Culture tends to eat strategy for breakfast. There is a need to create a shift in the mindset and to look at things differently. For this, I would propose the 3D’s - Digitalization, Differentiation and Disruption,” quoted Ms. Latha Ayyar, Special Representative for IT and Innovation to Government of Andhra Pradesh and COO, Bharti AXA at a panel discussion titled ‘Disruption in Insurance Value Chain - Role of Insurtech.’ Also contributing to this panel discussion in making insurance relevant to millennials and widening the insurance consumer market were Mr. Thomson Thomas, Chief Distribution Officer, HDFC Life; Mr. Girish Nayak, Chief of Operations and Technology, ICICI Lombard; Mr. Shwetank Verma, Director Collab (Open Innovation), MetLife; Mr. Shashwal Sharma, Partner KPMG and Mr. Varun Dua, Co-founder, Coverfox.

There were three insurance challenges by corporate partners HDFC Life, ICICI Lombard and Bharti AXA. The overall winner in insurance category was declared as iProov. In the Banking Category, for the ICICI Bank Start-up Challenge 2017, Kyriba & Nimbuzz won relating to payments and remittances. In the Capital Market Category, the Angel Broking Start-up Challenge 2017, involving real-time social profiling of customers was won by Hello Soda & Blueocean.

Contemplating ways in which Blockchain is transforming the future of Financial Services infrastructure, an interactive panel comprised of Mr Akshay Dhanak, Vice President, Business System & Technology, HDFC Life; Sudin Baraokar, Head of Innovation, SBI; Ms Rachna Nath, Partner, KPMG; Mr Vinay Agarwal, CEO, Angel Broking; Mr Paul Kitti, Co-founder, TenX and Mr Hitesh Sarda, Director, Value Labs. The speakers pondered on actions that can be initiated by institutions for reinventing themselves and jointly agreed that industry start-ups that develop the sentiment of trust would instigate disruption. The panelist also took inquisitive questions asked by the audience and shared their excitement for the fintech valley hackathon to be held later in the year. KPMG is the knowledge partner for Fintech Valley Vizag Spring Conference 2017.

To encourage multi-disciplinary thinking that adds greater expressiveness and meaning to the fintech culture, the ‘finteract’ series - comprising of interlinking dialogues that connect to fintech and innovation - was launched. Mr. Nitin Saluja Founder, Chaayos; Dharmil Sheth, Founder, PharmEasy and Ms. Priyanka Agrawal, renowned design thinking UI-UX were the key presenters of ‘Finteract, March 2017.’ Finteract is curated and created by Adfactors XD.

The first Fintech Valley Vizag Spring Conference offered a gateway to enter a sustainable fintech ecosystem and to contribute in nurturing a fintectonic culture of disruption, innovation and altering conversations.

About Fintech Valley Vizag

The Fintech Valley brings together public and private players, state of the art incubators and accelerators, innovation labs, mentorships, angel investors and anyone willing to break free from traditional processes. The self-sustained global Fintech Ecosystem provides more than just access to Fintech and its innovators; it nurtures an oasis in which cyber security, block chain, digital education and research thrive at international standards. The Fintech Valley was built to equip individuals and businesses with a unique set of opportunities to grow through enabling market access for start-ups to angel investors, and providing world-class infrastructure, funding, human capital and innovation.

Driven by Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu’s vision to create 5 lakh jobs in Andhra Pradesh by 2020 through technology-enabled services, the recently established Fintech Valley is a playground for start-ups and innovators looking to disrupt traditional business processes.  Vizag is set in the #1 ranked state for ease of doing business and boasts a strong IT industry with a turnover of Rs. 2,000 crore, supported by a robust industrial base and educational infrastructure that is continuously expanding. Fintech Valley is the destination in India to achieve unmatched business goals and successes that can compete internationally.

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