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Watch: Ujjivan Small Finance Bank’s CTO on taking tech to rural India

Ujjivan Small Finance Bank has more than 40 lakh customers spread across 209 districts in India. But unlike its urban counterparts, it caters mainly to the under-served population which is not tech-savvy. This means that the bank’s chief technology officer (CTO) has his task cut out.

Balaji Parthasarathi has to ensure that the benefits of technology not only reach Ujjivan Small Finance Bank’s on-field employees but also trickle down to its customers, who do not have the required resources or the infrastructure.

“It is a slow journey, but it is imperative for us to adopt new tools,” Parthasarathi told TechCircle in an interview.

One way in which Parthasarathi is harnessing technology is to speed up the process of sanctioning loans. With the help of a handheld device, the bank has halved the approval time to four days thereby boosting productivity in the process. 

According to Parthasarathi, the current focus for Ujjivan is to create a base wherein future technology uptake within the company becomes easier. “One of the things we really did differently from many banks is that we got CRM [Customer Relationship Management] at the centre of the universe,” said the CTO, who previously led app development operations at HP India.

The CRM platform provides a consolidated view of the customer, while at the same time the customer gets a singular view of all of the banking services utilised and available to them. 

“We want to digitalise in a big way and to keep the cost of acquisition [of customers] low,” said Parthasarathi. 

Going forward, Ujjivan is looking to capitalise on strategic partnerships with different players as part of its focus on API (application programming interface) banking, which enables easier integration with third-party applications.

Additionally, with a huge base of customers in the asset management business, Ujjivan is aiming to employ big-data analytics and extract actionable insights. 

“The insights will help the company cross-sell the right type of products to move the ecosystem forward,” he added.

Watch the video for more...

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