Andhra Pradesh’s Spring Conference 2017 opens new avenues to innovate in fintectonic

VISAKHAPATNAM: The Government of Andhra Pradesh’s maiden two-day (March 9 and 10, 2017) initiative, the Spring Conference 2017 concluded with 300 Indian and international participants attending the event.

Global corporations, governments and academia, along with thought leaders, entrepreneurs, artists and visionaries came together to build capacity, infrastructure, market access, connectivity, funding channels, and incentive mechanisms nurturing a ‘fintectonic’ culture that disrupts traditional models of business and sets a platform for innovation and growth.

A prize money of Rs 5 Lakh and one year free office space was provided in the Fintech Tower in Vizag to Start-up challenge winners.

Hon’ble Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Nara Chandrababu Naidu interacted with delegates for an hour over video conference and took inputs from fintech community present at the Spring Conference.

He will chair The Fintech Valley Forum setup to focus on various aspects of the ecosystem creation. While addressing the gathering he said, “The Fintech Valley Spring Conference is our step in joining the Fourth Industrial Revolution which is a spectacular combination of technology and Internet of Things (IoT). In recent times, technology has started influencing our lives in a comprehensive manner. The demand for Fintech is growing each day. To meet this demand, we would need the support from Fintech and Cyber security companies. We also need the academic institutions to adapt curriculum that trains individuals to contribute to fintech sector. I extend my best wishes for the success of the initiative and hope it provides multiple opportunities to meet the futuristic requirements of our country and the global economy at large.”

Special Chief Secretary and IT Advisor to the AP Chief Minister, J. A. Chowdary, thanked the gathering and said, “This two day conference was a success in encouraging the spirit of the fintectonic culture. We intend to build on this momentum and leverage it to generate employment that meets new demands of the global economy.”

A workshop segment was led by Balasubramaniam, Chief Executive Officer – E-Pragati on e-governance & sandbox opportunities with the government. Addressing the gathering over video conference, J Satyanarayana, UIDAI chairperson and former IT Secretary exclaimed, “Though our current ecosystem is well established having our welfare programs linked to Aadhar, we are trying to expand our current portfolio consisting of 72 projects. The Andhra Pradesh – E-pragati portfolio is a strong foundation for fintech and I am convinced that Vizag will vibrate with the fintech mantra in the months to come.”

Andhra Pradesh Technology Services (APTS) Managing Director, Premchand spoke about creating joint ventures and Special Purpose Vehicles with innovative start-ups.He said “We are actively looking to collaborate with start-ups to open doors and conduct business with Government of Andhra Pradesh and also with other state governments.”

“In India, there isn’t a problem with talent but with having the right attitude. Culture tends to eat strategy for breakfast. There is a need to create a shift in the mindset and to look at things differently. For this, I would propose the 3D’s – Digitalization, Differentiation and Disruption,” quoted Ms. Latha Ayyar, Special Representative for IT and Innovation to Government of Andhra Pradesh and COO, Bharti AXA at a panel discussion titled ‘Disruption in Insurance Value Chain – Role of Insurtech.’ Also contributing to this panel discussion in making insurance relevant to millennials and widening the insurance consumer market were Mr. Thomson Thomas, Chief Distribution Officer, HDFC Life; Mr. Girish Nayak, Chief of Operations and Technology, ICICI Lombard; Mr. Shwetank Verma, Director Collab (Open Innovation), MetLife; Mr. Shashwal Sharma, Partner KPMG and Mr. Varun Dua, Co-founder, Coverfox. KPMG is the knowledge partner for Fintech Valley Vizag Spring Conference 2017.

There were three insurance challenges by corporate partners HDFC Life, ICICI Lombard and Bharti AXA. The overall winner in insurance category was declared as iProov. In the Banking Category, for the ICICI Bank Start-up Challenge 2017, Kyriba & Nimbuzz won relating to payments and remittances. In the Capital Market Category, the Angel Broking Start-up Challenge 2017, involving real-time social profiling of customers was won by Hello Soda & Blueocean.

Contemplating ways in which Blockchain is transforming the future of Financial Services infrastructure, an interactive panel comprised of Akshay Dhanak, Vice President, Business System & Technology, HDFC Life; Sudin Baraokar, Head of Innovation, SBI; Rachna Nath, Partner, KPMG; Vinay Agarwal, CEO, Angel Broking; Paul Kitti, Co-founder, TenX and Hitesh Sarda, Director, Value Labs.

The speakers pondered on actions that can be initiated by institutions for reinventing themselves and jointly agreed that industry start-ups that develop the sentiment of trust would instigate disruption. The panellist also took inquisitive questions asked by the audience and shared their excitement for the fintech valley hackathon to be held later in the year.

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