Microsoft’s Future Ready Industry week, BFSI edition witnesses a rich confluence of perspectives and thought-provoking ideas

New Delhi, 11 May, 2022.

Microsoft’s Future Ready Industry week, BFSI edition witnessed a rich confluence of perspectives and thought-provoking ideas. Industry leaders from leading financial institutions like ICICI, HDFC, Kotak Mahindra, Federal Bank, Tata AIA Life Insurance, Aditya Birla Capital, Adobe India amongst others shared how digital transformation provides new opportunities to create value and rethink the way they operate with customers. Speakers emphasized the use of AI- based personal services to drive financial inclusion, profitability, connected customer experiences, combatting financial crime, digital selling, and intelligent automation.

The BFSI sector has been a frontrunner in adopting AI and cloud capabilities for improving productivity, enabling faster time-to-market with new products and services, and empowering a hybrid workforce to stay resilient in the face of radical transformation sweeping across the industry. In the session titled ‘Future first financial services – Global and local perspectives,’ Bill Borden, Corporate Vice President, Financial Services, Microsoftand Sashikumar Sreedharan, Managing Director, Microsoft India, discussed the future of banking and how technology is accelerating the digital transformation journey for the sector.Highlighting some global customer examples where industry leaders like Standard Charted, Westbank, Morgan Stanley have made considerable progress in their digital transformation journey, Billsaid, “It is an exciting time to continue to think about acceleration and the bold impact that financial institutions can have on products and services. These institutions must delve into products and services that can drive innovation at a faster pace by deploying technology whether it is moving to the cloud to drive scale around compute and networking and data driven capabilities, or the use of artificial intelligence.Data needs to be brought together in a manner to create value.”He further added,Microsoft is helping financial services partners deepen their customer relationships. But there is also an aspect around how institutions need to be prioritizing their platforms, so they can not only offer products and services directly to their customers but, also extend their products and services to other ecosystems and other experiences.”

Sharing his views on the impact of technology, Ramesh Lakshminarayanan, Chief Information Officer& Group Head IT, HDFC Bank said, “The ability to manage data at a large scale is at your fingertips today unlike how it was a few years ago. At HDFC bank, we realized this and have a very differentiated approach. We are moving all our data workloads onto the Azure cloud now and slowly pushing our centralized old platforms into the new cloud age with its data capabilities. From a cybersecurity perspective, companies like Microsoft are running their large cloud centers and constantly looking at the internet space, to gauge what kind of new threats are coming. Banks cannot do that individually and we get a collective advantage by pooling the resources on cloud.”

Sharing their insights on a session titled ‘Customer experience in Banking: Personalized, digital, and secure, Anubhuti Sanghai, Operations & Customer Service Head, ICICI Bankand Deepak Sharma, President & Chief Digital Officer, Kotak Mahindra Bank highlighted the future of customer experience, digital servicing, selling and intelligent automation in banking. According to Anubhuti, “Organizations should understand that customers expect them to be highly aware. Offering them a personalized journey is critical and so is communication which is targeted towards their needs and requirements. So, from a business perspective, I would say that increasingly the profit pools of organizations are dependent on data flows and how well one is able to mine that data, build engaging conversations and an intuitive journey for the customer. That is exactly what we are doing to enhance the quality of our customer interactions.

Highlighting the digital journey, Deepak Sharma, President & Chief Digital Officer, Kotak Mahindra Bank said, “The Infrastructure part where the cloud is present is increasingly becoming the way to go and many of our new applications have started to move to cloud or are born on cloud. Also, the front- end is where we see a lot of value to customers in terms of speed, the digital channels or payments and this area requires substantial capabilities. This is where our ability to keep experimenting and learning becomes important and therefore, we are in sourcing the front-end capability to work with partners like Microsoft and others to modernize our applications and look at a cloud ready infrastructure.”

Addressing the challenges of improving workforce efficiency and collaboration, Shalini Warrier, Executive Director of Federal Bank said, “We use Microsoft tools like Yammer and Teams extensively and they have become an integral part of our daily communication with employees. We run an initiative on Yammer called ‘Nai Soch,’ where we encourage the frontline executives to share anything which is troubling the customer.” She further added “Despite proliferation of digital transactions, awareness and literacy is still low. Federal Bank runs several social media awareness programs and series in regional languages to educate customers about safer ways to transact.”

Naveen Tahilyani, Managing Director & Chief Executive, Tata AIA Life Insurance in a fireside chat session with Anant Maheswari, President Microsoft India said, “Thanks to Microsoft Teams, we have figured out how to work remotely. All our 10,500 employees across the country use Teams to connect seamlessly and there were barely any productivity losses during the pandemic. We have adopted a hybrid work environment and now only 40% of our employees work from the office at any point in time. Employees are happy to embrace the hybrid work environment, which is here to stay, and this will get better as we go along.”

Speaking about the transformation in the financial services space, Mukesh Malik, Chief Operating Officer, Aditya Birla Capital said, “Data is the new gold and hyper personalization is the holy grail of entire customer experience strategy across all our group companies. This requires extremely high velocity data processing capability which we find very convenient on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. Our extensive use of data can be deduced from the fact that in our life insurance business, 17% of our entire business comes from pre-approved sum assured life insurance plans for our customers.”

Speaking about intelligent banking and delivering personalized experiences in India, Vyshak Venugopalan, Director Solution Consulting at Adobe India said, “There are three critical areas for organizations to focus on in terms of their innovation agenda. The first is actual customer data management and activation in real time. It is important to have data, of course, but what insight do you derive out of it and how real time can you be in delivering that experience is one of the major areas where organization should focus. The second is individualization and personalization at scale and the third is the omni channel journey where you combine both the data as well as the content together to deliver that right experience at the right time in the right channel.”

Highlighting the role of technology and Cloud K V Dipu, Senior President – Head of Operations & Customer Service, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance said, “Over the last few years the customer footprint has become increasingly digital and managing customer data effectively is more critical than ever. Through the cloud, we can convert this data and merge it into a single data lake that provides us with a 360-degree view of the customer. This enables us to not only service the customer better but also ensure that we sell him the right products from an upsell or cross sell point of view.”

Click on Future Ready event website to learn more about the sessions as industry experts welcome a digital-first economy driven by tech-innovation in the coming few years.

In terms of business priorities for the Banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI) industry, Intelligent banking is witnessing a shift towards e-banking while insurers are seeing a change in “cost-conscious” customer and employee expectations. Microsoft designed Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services with those needs in mind and have begun this journey to accelerate transformation in retail banking. The offering is built on an industry data model to enable institutions to bring data and information flows together with rich insights to enhance customer and employee experiences, optimize business processes, accelerate products to market, and speed time to value. To that end, we are excited to share our latest milestones including our partner momentum, expanded market availability, and enhanced capabilities for creating more connected and differentiated customer experiences, here.

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