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APAC FS adopts lean-tech strategy, rolls out entire lending system in 8 weeks

APAC Financial Services, founded by Gunit Chadha, ex CEO of Deutsche Bank Asia-Pacific, sees a highly compelling opportunity to deliver better outcomes for underserved customers and businesses by leveraging digital technologies and data in combination with best-in-class execution and risk management. The lean organization being built relies on the rapid innovations in digital technologies and data proliferation to generate superior outcomes in financial services. The man managing digital and technology is Sanjay Sharma, a 25-year veteran in banking technology, who is now chief digital & innovation officer at APAC Financial Services.

Sharma tells Banking Frontiers: “The main thought that prevailed our decisions when we started conceptualizing a technology platform for us was that we are not a technology company and should not build a technology infrastructure from the ground zero. Instead we should leverage the existing technology partner ecosystem. This really worked well for us and we could roll out an entire lending system in about 8 weeks in collaboration with partners.”

He says the underlying aim was to create a very lean organization relying heavily on technology. “When we began our journey, objective was to build a lean, asset lite, agile and cloud empowered technology platform which does not require upfront capital investment. The idea was not to overspend at the beginning but build an infrastructure that can scale up with our business growth. During the initial days, you don’t need a big team to manage technology and digital initiatives and so I just manage it with our partners and business user teams. You need to apply lean and partnership principles in everything you do!” explains Sharma.

The company has already launched its retail mortgages and SME lending verticals. It is about to introduce MSME lending in the near future. The final aim is to build a multi-platform financial services firm that serves any market where it feels it can deliver superior outcomes through combining digital technologies with best-in-class execution / risk management. One of the prime propositions is affordable housing loans to the under-banked/unbanked segment of the population who may have the income to service loans but lack the documentation that traditional banking channels require for credit underwriting and risk assessment.

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