This Bengaluru Fintech organization is creating success stories, one bank at a time

ObserveNow's CEO Jeet Sharma recently caught up with Jaskaran Singh Bhogal, Kiran Kumar and Ashok Kumar (R to L in the pic), Executive Directors and Co-Founders of Profinch Solutions, an emerging self-funded Fintech based in Bengaluru and spoke to them about Profinch’s journey and the way ahead. Profinch currently works with more than 55 banks across 30+ countries and employs close to 200 professionals. With offices in Bengaluru, Pune, Dubai, and Singapore, the company has ambitious growth plans and is looking at becoming a pioneer in the banking tech domain.

 

Edited Excerpts from the interview:


Jeet Sharma: Tell us about Profinch’ s journey so far and the way ahead.  

The Start That Mattered  

It all started in 2014 when the three of us, having worked for over two decades each in tech giants like Oracle Financial Services decided to leverage our extensive experience and take a plunge out of the Corporate. What started as a casual conversation over coffee soon shaped up into Profinch – a company offering innovative technology solutions to banks.   

Armed with an in-depth understanding of the banking world, we could identify gaps in the existing technology offering and sought to create solutions to plug some of these gaps. We flagged off our journey by becoming Oracle’s Solutions Partner, offering a suite of services for its Financial products/technologies. This entailed consulting solutions, supporting implementations, upgrades, migrations, customizations, and support of Oracle Flexcube, Oracle Digital Banking Experience, Oracle Analytical Applications and Oracle Revenue Management and Billing solutions.   

As we grew in scale and confidence, we augmented the suite of services and templatized some of the implementation methodologies and frameworks, helping us deliver faster and more efficiently. This in turn benefitted our clients by empowering them with agile implementations, reduced operational costs, and increased efficiency.

 

Enter Products  

After two years of extensive experience with banks spanning multiple geographies, time was ripe for us to foray into the market with our first in-house product. In 2016, FinCluez was launched, a big data ready reporting and analytics platform that helps banks address 4 areas: Regulatory and Compliance Reporting, Management Reporting + Dashboards, Operational Reporting and Analytics.   

2018 saw the launch of our second product FinFlowz, a digitization hub that helps with branch automation, branchless and agency banking. This is supported by specific use cases that focus on customer and account origination, customer account servicing, payments, wallets, teller operations, loan origination, and USSD banking. 

 

Jeet Sharma: Which markets are you trying to cater to and what’s unique about them?  

Learning from experience  

Working with 50+ banks in Africa, the Middle East, and the Asia Pacific has been an immense learning experience. Each bank is unique in its tech needs and the focus is on addressing the specific needs in the most effective manner. Operating in multiple geographies calls for a multi-pronged approach, since different markets are at different stages of maturity and hence, vary significantly in their needs.  

For example, in the African continent, there is a compelling difference in the banking behaviours of various countries. While the banks in South Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia, Egypt are technologically savvy and experimental, banks in other African countries are in an initial growth phase, trying to adopt best practices from mature geographies. Moreover, the number of unbanked is significantly high in Africa and banks grapple with ways to onboard more customers and get them to experience banking services. Banks try to create multiple service touchpoints to achieve it as effectively and quickly as possible. 

The Middle East charts its own path of uniqueness; regions like the UAE and Qatar are the front runners in technology adoption with the best of solution providers trying to capture this market. New-age technologies like Big Data, Hadoop, Machine Learning, AI and RPA are being rapidly adopted by banks. Other countries are moderate in embracing new technologies. The Asia Pacific combines elements of both the Middle East and Africa: while there are countries that have a fairly significant population unbanked, there also are markets like Singapore, Hong Kong and China that have pretty much achieved a cashless economy.


Jeet Sharma: What are some of the challenges that banks face and how are you solving them?  

Banks face multiple challenges ranging from day-to-day operational issues to strategic roadblocks. These are also the areas we focus our solutions on.  


·     High operational costs - we bring in process automation to bring in efficiencies and reduce costs.

·     Pressure to increase revenue – we provide actionable insights to help banks take the right decisions.

·     Inability to contain fraudulent practices – we provide applications that trigger warnings well in time.

·     Inability to meet the regulatory requirements – we help with automating reports to save time and effort.

·     Inability to tap more customers – we help with additional channels through digital banking


We work closely with the bank to understand their current challenges and also align ourselves with their long-term vision. This helps steer our solutions in a way that while we provide solutions for their immediate requirements, we become a partner in their growth story, committed to helping them achieve their long-term vision. 

 

Jeet Sharma: What makes you unique?  

Our strength lies in our unflinching focus on banking institutions and the know-how we have gathered around various banking technologies. We take pride in saying that the team at Profinch is one of the most experienced in working on core systems, with many of them have been with us since inception. 

The depth we have successfully built in each of the practices and products is noteworthy. Our focus on building the Profinch Innovation Hub reinforces our commitment to building niche technology solutions for banks. Delivery excellence is extremely important to us and is what truly sets us apart. All our customers are referenceable, a feat we are extremely proud of.

 

Jeet Sharma: What’s it like working at Profinch?  

Profinch offers an inspiring work environment that is conducive to learning and growth. We have been able to maintain high standards of performance and attract talent that’s passionate, enthusiastic and seeks a sharp learning curve. We are confident about saying that over time, our employees learn significantly more than the average person in a large setup.   

We strive towards building a culture that is open and fun, where people across levels really listen and where every individual’s professional growth is as important as the organization’s growth. We also invest in continuous skill enhancement of our talent to ensure they stay updated with changing trends in the tech space.  

As a company, we firmly believe that for us to expect the best from our talent, we need to provide an environment that fosters a work-life balance and we take this very seriously. 

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