Lack of access to formal finance is the key challenge for many Indian customers. With majority of Indians from the informal sector still unbanked, providing home finance in a transparent and fair manner is a key goal at Capri Global Home Loans. It is empowering creditworthy, urban borrowers who are not eligible for loans from traditional financial institutions. This is where we’re making an impact.
Rahul Agarwal, CTO, Capri Loans, tells us more. Excerpts:
DQ: What are the new digital initiatives adopted by Capri Global to improve customer experience?
Rahul Agarwal: The ultimate goal of any business is consumer satisfaction, which is greatly influenced by the customer experience. It is essential to ascertain what the consumers’ demands and desires are. This allows us to develop targeted/hyper-focused products and offerings. This process of ascertaining insights and developing products is spearheaded by embracing and enforcing the latest developments in technology and data analysis.
The future will be completely paperless and computerized. Aligning ourselves to this ideology, we always strive to be as paper-free as possible in our operations while remaining within the RBI norms. Building on this, we have designed our own document processing engine, which allows us to perform our quality checks and assign scores to bank statements, salary slips and many more additional documents.
We are also currently working on our One-Stop Shop consumer app. This consumer-centric app is being developed with a key focus on providing complete transparency to our users over their loan accounts, loan status, interest payments, new loan inquiries etc.
Also launching soon is our Gold Loan platform. Leveraging real-time integrations and data analytics, the app will allow users to have a gold loan in their account within 30 minutes.
DQ. What are the future plans as Group CTO of Capri Global?
Rahul Agarwal: In this environment of constant innovation and intense competition, it is absolutely necessary for a business to remain agile. We strive to be at the forefront of adopting the latest tech and leveraging that to offer the greatest possible products and services to our users.
We are concentrating on building our key systems in-house and fortifying our already excellent tech and product team. Having these in-house capacities allows us to be in complete control of our operations and scalability.
We will continue to treat data collection and analytics with the utmost importance as this is what forms the foundation for strategic decision making. Leveraging this, we construct and offer the smartest and most pertinent tools and solutions for our consumers to steer through the complex markets.
Currently, all our efforts are concentrated on transitioning toward a leading FinTech firm from a traditional NBFC. We are achieving this transformation through the utilization of disruptive technologies, digital transformation initiatives, remodeling of outdated systems and maintaining the Kaizen ideology.
DQ. With the Government of India's Digital India initiative, how will tech intervention change the leading landscape?
Rahul Agarwal : With the Finance Minister mentioning the word ‘digital’ more than 30 times in the Budget 2022, it is clear that India as a country is maintaining a tech, innovation and growth-oriented outlook. This outlook, combined with the digitization initiatives, shall provide a major boost to the accessibility of credit and the inclusion of underprivileged sections of society.
Data collection and analysis will also be playing a major role in this developing landscape. In today's age and in the future as well, these will be forming the basis for getting insights into consumer behavior, which are then analyzed and used to develop highly personalized products and services. This also plays a major role in reducing costs and improving efficiency in operations which will allow companies like ours to offer better and more competitive products/pricing.
The implementation of technologies like ML, AI, and cloud computing is going to have a tremendous impact on the quality of internal operations, automation and product development. All of these initiatives are going to impact the accessibility to lending and financial services for a massive and previously untapped population.
DQ. How is tech playing a big role at Capri and disbursing loans?
Rahul Agarwal: Transforming from our status as a traditional NBFC to a cutting edge FinTech firm, technology plays a monumental role at Capri Global, while forming the basis for this transformation.
Talking about specific tech, we implemented cloud tech for the first time in 2017 and since then, the usage has reached a stage where more than 70% of our work takes place on the cloud (rapidly approaching 100%). Utilizing this, we have witnessed benefits in discovering discrepancies in existing IT infrastructure, enhancing automation, producing deeper insights, lowering personnel burden, and increasing cost flexibility.
AI utilizes intricate algorithms to undertake the analysis of humongous amounts of user data in a short timeframe. This enables rapid and accurate processing of queries and risk assessment with an extremely low margin of error.
Apart from these benefits, such disruptive technologies pave the way for improved fraud detection, cyber security, internal processing and overall consumer experience.
DQ. What are your hiring plans across the tech vertical?
Rahul Agarwal: We are constantly building and improving our amazing in-house tech team by hiring new talents from various IITs and IIMs. The current workforce stands at around 50-60 people, and we fully expect this unit to expand and attain a 100+ total in the coming months.
DQ. What is the company roadmap for 2022?
Rahul Agarwal: To put it very simply, the plan is to remain digitally agile. In this ecosystem of continuous advancements and developments, it is more essential than ever for a company like ours to be at the forefront of adopting the latest and greatest developments in technology and data analysis. Such tech does not only assist in cost control and internal efficiency but also lends a major role in the research and development of our services.
Apart from this and as mentioned earlier, we are building our tech and product team while maintaining a focus on developing all key systems internally. These strategies shall enable us to have complete control over our operations, allowing us to make upgrades and changes as and when required.