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Our dedication to leverage AI/ML-based solutions has transformed the way we serve our customers: Venkata Giri Vonkayala, CTO, Kfintech

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KFintech’s approach to technology is nothing short of groundbreaking, setting them apart in the financial services sector. From adopting a serverless stack supported by cutting-edge open-source technologies to using advanced algorithms, Kfintech has clearly revolutionized how AMCs navigate the complexities of the financial landscape. Venkata Giri Vonkayala, Chief Technology Officer, Kfintech, shares his perspective in a detailed interview with Express Computer

Some edited excerpts:

Please share with us the digital transformation journey of KFintech? What is the digital readiness of the RTA? Which digital technologies are being leveraged for the internal and external use cases?
At KFintech, our digital transformation journey is defined by constant evolution and resilience. Our focus on building robust and efficient systems has led us to adopt a serverless stack supported by cutting-edge open-source technologies. This approach has significantly enhanced our efficiency, reduced costs, and elevated the overall quality of our systems.

We have made significant strides in the realm of data warehousing. Through automated workflows and ETL jobs, we have developed refined data models for reporting purposes. To ensure real-time observability of our infrastructure, we have implemented state-of-the-art tools such as Grafana, Prometheus, and AWS x-ray. Looking ahead, we are committed to fortifying our quality gates and CI/CD pipelines to streamline application deployment.

How are you utilizing AI for enhancing customer experience and operational efficiency? (AI intelligence, understanding customer journey, etc.)?
Our dedication to leveraging AI/ML-based solutions has transformed the way we serve our customers. By employing advanced algorithms, we have streamlined offline transaction processing, expediting valuable page detection from scanned documents. Continual R&D efforts propel us to enhance this process, thereby improving productivity and efficiency. Moreover, our Customer Data Platform analyzes investor profiles to unveil investment patterns and trends among the new generation of investors.

Have you implemented analytics and data models in your solutions? Share some insights around use cases?
We have developed Digix Analytics, an in-house tool that empowers Asset Management Companies (AMCs) with comprehensive insights. This tool enables AMCs to gain a macroscopic view of their operations, compare their performance with market trends, and target specific demographics and geographic segments effectively. Our commitment to enhancing investor, distributor, and AMC experiences fuels our ongoing research and development efforts.

How are you capturing and fostering data to train your models? How has the recent XAlt partnership been incremental in the process?
As an RTA, our core data is transactional. For capturing this data, we utilize various technologies and transformational services to make the data into a pristine data model and move it to multiple buckets for isolation. On this data, we apply data governance to provide proper sign-off for any compliance and quality assurance. We have segregated our models into Transactional and Reports. Transactional data is captured through RDBMS, and a CDC process loads the data into a data lake for reports.

One great example is our groundbreaking solution for the wealth management industry, propelled by our OneMoney acquisition. This pioneering platform addresses the challenges faced by wealth managers in comprehending clients’ complex financial positions across multiple platforms and asset classes. By seamlessly consolidating data from diverse sources, including banking, investment, insurance, and retirement accounts, our solution empowers wealth managers with a holistic view of their clients’ financial portfolios. Armed with this comprehensive visibility, wealth managers can analyze asset allocation, investment performance, and risk exposure across various asset classes, enabling them to provide personalized investment advice aligned with clients’ goals, risk tolerance, and investment policies.

What is your strategy for managing biases in technology? Have you faced any technical challenges?
Fraud detection remains an ongoing challenge in the mutual fund industry. At KFintech, we are at the forefront of combating this issue. Our models for fraud detection analyze transactions across the entire industry, incorporating unique identifiers such as broker ARNs and investor PANs. To ensure unbiased and accurate results, we integrate major market events into our predictive analytics and anomaly detection projects, fostering a comprehensive approach.

API-led financial services are taking over the industry globally. How did you manage to stay relevant? What is your API design structure and its benefits for the business?
We prioritize offering a wide array of APIs to our AMCs, leveraging scalable serverless technologies like API Gateway, Lambda, ECS, Fargate, and Dynamo DB. These APIs deliver millisecond to second responses, revolutionizing the speed at which information is accessed. Our APIs are designed as private resources, ensuring secure sharing with our clients. Our architecture emphasizes security, speed, and a robust multi-tenant framework, enabling seamless integration.

Keeping up to date with new technologies around cybersecurity is important for any organization in the BFSI sector. Which security tools and practices are you following for internal data protection while ensuring robust cybersecurity hygiene?
As an organization with diverse business interests, effective security measures across our cloud-based infrastructure are paramount. KFintech follows a central management approach that ensures regulation and audit mechanisms are in place. We employ RBAC and ABAC mechanisms for access authorization and leverage automated reasoning engines like IAM Access Analyzer and Access Advisor to identify and rectify access misconfigurations. Guard rails and control towers enable us to detect and prevent resource misconfigurations, while Lake Formation ensures data protection and prevents cross-tenant access. Our commitment to data security is unwavering.

Going forward, what are the key projects in the pilot or deployment stage? Which new technologies are you planning to invest in soon?
Our focus lies in enhancing the reliability, scalability, and modularity of our legacy systems. Core systems such as transaction management, KYC registration, and distributor empanelment are undergoing modernization, setting the stage for optimal performance and enhanced data security. To let customers be charged by a very transparent metric of their usage of our systems and to improve their confidence in the security of their data, we are moving towards designing systems based on the SAAS paradigms to improve performance, cost of management, and security. The use of analytics, advanced analytics, and fraud detection systems further reinforces our commitment to cutting-edge technology.

Please give us some details on digital or technology-related projects that have created the maximum business impact. Please share detailed information and, if possible, quantify the business impact.
We recently launched XAlt, a powerful platform designed to empower Alternative Investment Funds and asset managers to seamlessly manage their customers’ investments end-to-end. This marks a significant milestone for KFintech, as XAlt represents our first platform built upon a modern SaaS architecture. This innovative architecture delivers compelling benefits to our clients.

By leveraging XAlt, they can experience a dramatic reduction in time to value, from nearly one month down to just 2-3 days. Additionally, XAlt streamlines our own development cycles through centralized systems like identity management, authorization frameworks, CI/CD pipelines, and billing frameworks. This translates to faster software builds, with reductions of 5-10%.

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