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We are experimenting with several AI use cases: Kandarp Kant, CTO, Poonawalla Fincorp Limited

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Kandarp Kant, CTO, Poonawalla Fincorp Limited, shares with Express Computer, some of the major digital initiatives taken by his firm, and highlights how these have translated into major efficiency gains. One important area of focus is AI, where his team is experimenting with AI based vernacular language voice bots for collections, AI based candidate screening and interviews for recruitment, and NLP enabled email bots to automate service request handling.

Some edited excerpts:

Can you take us through some of the major digital initiatives in the past one year?
In the past one year, we have implemented several SaaS applications. We have digitally enabled our lines of businesses through implementation of CRM, Call Center Management, Loan Origination System, Marketing Automation, Sales Force Mobile App, Customer Service Mobile App, Loan Management System, HR Management System, Office Automation suite – all on SAAS platforms. For automation of embedded processes, we have implemented RPA (Robotic Process Automation). These digital transformation initiatives have ensured a modern, scalable and stable technology ecosystem is in place to fuel our business growth. On the infosec front, we have implemented several tools that have made our security posture absolutely top notch in the industry.

What has been the impact of these initiatives on different aspects such as customer service, operational efficiency etc?
Our systems’ availability is very high now. There is almost nil downtime which is a huge contributor to us achieving continuous best performing months in terms of volume of business. Also, we are now able to launch new business lines and connect new partners to our ecosystem within a matter of days. This has given an additional fillip to our efforts at scaling up business volumes. From an employee productivity point of view, we are seeing a huge boost in collaboration between teams. Our employees are also feeling much more empowered by having all their HR related functions available on their phones through the HRMS mobile app. Due to newly implemented infosec tools, almost negligible attempts at violations of our policies are now being reported.

How do you see the relevance of AI in your sector? Can you give us some examples of use cases of AI in your organization?
We are already experimenting with several AI use cases. Top priority items in this area are AI based vernacular language voice bots for collections and AI based candidate screening and interviews for recruitment. On the customer service side, we are experimenting with NLP enabled email bots to automate service request handling. With some early successes in our organization, the adoption of AI is going to grow manifold in coming days.

As we move to a new hybrid world, what kind of changes do you expect in your processes? What are some of the major security risks?
The processes are definitely changing for the better. There are so many activities that have now become redundant as the machines have started taking decisions. The proliferation of APIs has also helped us eliminate several steps that required a human intervention, especially in the underwriting and operations processes. This is resulting in much leaner processes and delivering faster TATs with lesser manpower on ever increasing business volumes. The security risks have also gone up along with digitalization. But with more and more user training as well as robust security posture, we are well placed to contain and tackle these risks.

What are some of the IT or digital initiatives that your firm is going to take in the next six months to one year?
We are now moving our on-prem data center workloads completely to cloud. Implementation of Cloud hosted ERP is also underway and should be completed within this year. We are also looking to launch a best-in-class customer portal & mobile app. Through these two assets, we hope to deliver the best user experience that a customer can get in this industry.

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