Moneycontrol
Dec 07, 2017 04:33 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Digital, disruptive tech to enhance reach in fin services industry: Reliance MF CEO

Demonetization, digital India gave a positive push to financial services sector and will continue to aid the sector, said Sundeep Sikka, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, Reliance Mutual Fund.

Himadri Buch @himadribuch

Demonetization, digital India gave a positive push to financial services sector and will continue to aid the sector, said Sundeep Sikka, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, Reliance Mutual Fund.

He further said that digital India and disruptive technologies will enhance the reach and scope in the Financial Services industry.

The impact of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's initiatives of demonetisation and Digital India has been positive in terms of increasing financial penetration in India – the financial services sector has gained, while Jan Dhan has introduced the vast ‘unbanked’ segment of India’s population to structured financial institutions.

“These initiatives have fostered increased financial penetration in India,” said Sikka.

"We have the opportunity of growing even more, by leveraging digital and disruptive technologies to do what is right for the investor," he added.

Sikka was speaking at the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Financial Distribution Summit 2017, held in Mumbai.

The Summit is CII’s initiative for the Financial Distribution community across the Mutual Fund, Insurance, Banking & related sectors, with the theme, ‘Redefining Distribution: Converge, Digitize & Achieve’.

Sundeep Sikka pointed out that the paradigm had changed; from a time when 90 percent of investments in financial products like mutual funds were from the top 10 cities in India.

In the past couple of years 50 percent of investments have come from tier 2 and 3 cities. Describing the scope for growth in terms of the reach and scope of the Financial Services Industry as ‘a phenomenal opportunity’, he stressed on the need to leverage technology to achieve this. "Government initiatives have created a new growth paradigm in financial services sector; we need structured distribution channels to ensure further growth," he said.

Stressing on the importance of keeping things simple, Sikka said creators of the financial services products as also the distributors need to ensure that investment products were ‘simplified where complex’, while ensuring that ‘simplistic things were not unnecessarily complicated’.

The CII–Deloitte Report on Financial Distribution Sector was released at CII Summit.

Kalpesh Mehta, Partner, Audit and Assurance and Leader – Financial Services, Deloitte India, in his address, highlighted the various challenges faced in distribution of financial services.

He further said that the unreached segment of customers presents an opportunity to transform the reach and scope of the Financial Services Industry, he pointed out.

Stressing on the importance of ‘financial inclusion’, he said the digital channel was ideal to engage with the vast ‘base of the pyramid’, while pointing out the importance of technology to drive inclusive growth.
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