The Indian financial services industry is poised to grow multi-fold with combined benefits from recent government initiatives such as Jan Dhan Yojana, Digital India and UIDAI. As per the government's latest data, over 100 crore Aadhaar numbers have been issued and over 22 crore bank accounts have been opened under Jan Dhan Yojana.
With equity penetration being at not over two per cent of the population, these numbers clearly hint at a massive potential and promises a new breed of investors to hit the market.“Digital India will only happen if we take technology to people,” Vinay Agrawal, CEO, Angel Broking Pvt Ltd, said adding: “With the launch of the game-changing E-KYC, an ultra fast and one of its kind account opening experience through digital signature using bio-metric devices in a combination of a tablet, a STQC approved bio-metric device and a homegrown E-KYC software, we have exactly done that.
A thumb impression serves as a Digital Signature and the system auto-inserts personal information from the Aadhaar database, eliminating customer’s effort and time to plug-in details. With the system being linked back to UIDAI, it facilitates real time authentication as well as speedy, paperless and flawless account opening.”
“However, the corporate world must keep a sharp eye out for cyber risk”, says T L Arunachalam, Director, Global Strategy, Bharat Re-Insurance Brokers Pvt Ltd. “In the connected world that we are living in today, whether it is people as individuals or corporates as business entities, we are helplessly intensifying our engagement with each other via the World Wide Web.
This is not just about sending an email or making a video call or updating one’s college alumni on a web-chat application. It's about conducting an entire business online. Right from applying for licenses online to providing services or customer care through email or chat engines. This extends to the submission of tax returns online, procuring raw materials and services through an electronic exchange system and distribution of products or services via the Internet etc”, he added.
“We have already been encircled by a blanket of an invisible, essential but dangerous information environment from which we have no escape. All of this is in trouble today due to the possibility that whatever is online today can be stolen, hacked, damaged or wiped-off clean. We are in an age when hackers, state sponsored actors, or commercial organisations themselves are involved in accessing – without authorisation or with a criminal intent – the information networks, private data servers, public utility information infrastructure so that they can threaten to cause or actually cause damage, impairment or create a total collapse of the operational aspects.”
“It seems that the more vulnerable at this point in time to such attacks is the financial services industry where billions of financial records and transactions are stored in computer servers anywhere in the world. Such financial records include credit card information, date of birth, social security numbers (which are frequently used as verification data), passport numbers, bank account numbers and bank transactions, investment related information, sensitive data like tax returns, court records etc.
If the data is stolen or compromised, it might result in an impact on each and every individual person whose personal data is stolen, as also the bank or the credit card company or whichever organisation is responsible to keep this information private and safe. This may also result in the individuals filing court cases against the banks or credit card companies, seeking damage for losing data which in insurance parlance can be called as a legal liability.”
“Second major aspect of the Cyber Liability Insurance is the coverage for legal liability against a civil suit filed by any third party claiming damages arising out of any loss of data or information. This is a more serious exposure because the third party is free to file a suit for any amount which they deem is appropriate to them. Cyber Liability Insurance policy pays for the award given in favour of the third party to compensate them for the data loss or compromise for the information asset in the hands of the insured organisation.
Today Cyber Liability Insurance is looked at with all seriousness by various business sectors such as the hospitality sector, healthcare/hospitals, public sector organisations, NGOs, BPO and ITeS companies, Pharma research companies including clinical research organisations because of the sensitivity of the information, data that is in their possession, either created by them for their business or provided to them by their principals.
Major international cyber events such as Sony PlayStation hack, Target supermarket chain, loss of client credit/debit card data, TalkTalk data hack, which happened recently, are all proofs that this subject deserves everyone's attention, especially the board of directors and the senior management level,” Arunachalam added.
Economic slowdown in China is witnessing Chinese technology making a beeline for India, which was evident in the musical launch echoing the LeEco’s second-generation ‘Superphones’ two models, LeEco Le 2 and Le Max2, alongside its own newly launched marketplace e-commerce website LeMall in Delhi recently. The company is looking at tapping the second biggest population in the world which also represents a massive market for them.
“These phones comprise futuristic audio technology, bundled with Supertainment ecosystem and membership program providing 3000 plus hours of curated shows, 150 plus live TV channels and 3.5 million songs as per users choices,” Tin Mok, VP of Le Holdings and CEO, APAC, said while also announcing the world's first Continual Digital Lossless Audio (CDLA) type-C earphones, and the company project of recruiting 200 CEO's.
“With the launch of LeMall, its marketplace E-commerce website, the company has marked its venture into the e-commerce space in India. LeMall.com, first launched in Mainland China in 2013, is not only a leading online shopping destination in China but has also proved a force to be reckoned as highly successful during LeEco’s initial global expansion thus far, to the US and Hong Kong,” Mok added.
Atul Jain, COO, Content Business, LeEco India, announced the disruptive prices for Le 2 (Rs 11,999) and Le Max2 (Rs 22,999). “While users can access 2000 plus movies, LeEco is all set to have the largest collection of global blockbuster and award winning movies including top regional cinema from India. LeEco plans to set-up fully owned exclusive retail stores in top eight to 10 cities, starting with New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru along with 500 franchise stores,” he said.
Meanwhile, aiming to redefine the entry-level car segment, Japanese carmaker Nissan India Datsun launched India’s first urban cross, all-road capability Datsun redi-GO model in Mumbai recently in five variants priced between Rs 2.49 lakhs and Rs 3.49 lakhs. Guillaume Sicard, President, Nissan India Operations, said that the redi-GO featured urban-crossover styled in Japan, developed and manufactured in India while showcasing a new Japanese design philosophy called ‘YUKAN’ and featuring ‘Tall-Boy’ styling, 185 mm ground clearance of 185 mm, energy-absorbing steering and driver airbag, and fuel economy of 25.17 kmpl.
"With projected 300 dealerships, Datsun would cover about 90 per cent of current and prospective Indian customers", he added.Noting that India presented a huge potential for growth with less than 20 cars per 100 persons and barely two major players in the Entry B segment class (below 3.5 litre), Sicard said there was a limited choice alternative for two-wheeler owners aspiring for four-wheelers. “Rs 61 billion has been invested in a 480,000 capacity plant with 40,000 jobs being created and 400 plus direct and indirect suppliers,” he said while highlighting increasing car offers in the market due to changing customer demands in the wake of affordable cars.
In a unique breakthrough, obtaining bank loans hassle-free and speedily may become easier for SMEs with Deskera announcing its path-breaking Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software that will also help financial institutions tap into real-time financial data of businesses. Deskera’s software, which is integrated with the bank’s system, will also solve critical issues such as NPAs or bad loans and paucity of funds for SMEs, said Shashank Dixit, CEO, Deskera, a leading Cloud-based business software provider in the South-East Asia region and run by ex-IITians as a customer-centric catalyst to help businesses and people embrace Cloud and Automation.
Noting that in the worst-ever financial crisis since 1991, bad loans in India grew to Rs 3, 41,641 crore in September 2015, primarily because banks didn’t have visibility into the finances of an enterprise, Dixit said, “Although banks need a host of different documents to validate a loan claim, they still don’t have access to real-time transactions of the enterprise, their finances, and the feasibility of their projections.
The data that they have is not enough to validate the loan claims, rendering them ill equipped to take informed decisions. Deskera’s Cloud-based ERP kept track of key financial transactions of an enterprise.” Describing big corporates as the biggest contributors to the NPA crisis, he said "Data showed big corporates being the major defaulters, while small businesses have a much lower contribution."
A study done by the International Finance Corporation, in partnership with the Japanese government, said that SMEs in India require Rs 32.5 trillion in financing. Of this, as much as 78 per cent comes from non-regulated sources or is self-financed while only the remaining 22 per cent is provided by banks and other financial institutions.
This is because of the time-consuming process for SMEs to apply and avail loans from banks in India, and one of the main factors for non-approval of loans is the lack of documents and collaterals, he said, adding: “Big corporates corner the lion’s share of bad loans despite the fact that SMEs have a better loan repayment history. Therefore, funding SMEs is safer for a bank than doling out sops for the big corporates. But the practice is quite the opposite. While conglomerates are bailed out by their management teams, SMEs do not have the resources to do so.”
“Getting credit for our operations is a big hurdle. Banks are reluctant to provide credit to us due to the track record of some other enterprises, which do become insolvent over a period of time. Availing loans through a software is a good step and will facilitate the process for us”, said Angad Gupta, an entrepreneur from Lucknow, who running a Logistics firm.