We utilise machine learning and AI extensively for underwriting, including behavioral ML: Manish Bhatia, President – Technology, Analytics, New Capabilities, Lendingkart
In an exclusive interaction with Express Computer, Manish Bhatia, President – Technology, Analytics, New Capabilities, Lendingkart, spoke about his organisation’s latest tech implementations and projects. The digital lending company’s focus is on innovative tech implementations, cloud initiatives, and the use of emerging technologies like AI, ML, and cybersecurity.
Here are some edited excerpts:
1. Could you please elaborate on LendingKart’s latest technology offerings?
Lendingkart is a tech-first company that builds many products from scratch. The unique nature of our completely digital offering required us to build a lot of tech infrastructure. One of the latest offerings we take pride in is our underwriting engine, which is currently in version nine. It utilises alternate data optimisation, including bank statements, bureau reports, and other sources, to provide cash flow-based underwriting for MSMEs.
Understanding customer cash flow is essential in our segment, and we can even extend loans to new-to-credit customers. This has been developed using the latest ML and AI technologies and has proven to be effective. Additionally, we are working on optimising operations through automation, including projects like speech-to-text and text-to-speech capabilities for digital collections across India.
2. How was Lendingkart’s infrastructure built, and how has it evolved?
As a digital company, Lendingkart was born in the cloud and extensively utilises offerings from AWS and GCP for services like data transformation, ML, and more. Initially, our infrastructure was built as a monolith, with several services combined. However, as we scaled over the past few years, we started breaking down these monolithic structures into smaller services for easier independent scaling. This evolution has improved our ability to monitor growth and enhance observability. We have also implemented backup plans for third-party API failures, making our architecture distributed and reliant on various databases and services.
3. Could you share some of the innovative tech projects that the technology teams are currently working on?
Currently, our tech teams are focused on innovative projects such as optimising the personal loan journey, including the underwriting process and collections. We are also exploring the launch of MSME credit cards, addressing the specific needs of MSMEs in the market. Additionally, we are working on products like speech-to-text and text-to-speech functions. These projects are in early stages but hold significant potential for scaling, monitoring customer interactions, understanding customer intent, and building further products on top of that.
4. Could you please share some use cases of emerging technologies?
We utilise machine learning and AI extensively for underwriting, including behavioral ML to analyse customer flow and identify drop-off points. We recently launched a first-time-right pricing technology, which leverages customer intent, data, and machine learning to recommend the right pricing and loan amount from various banks and NBFCs on our platform. This technology aims to simplify the customer experience by providing suitable recommendations and minimising the effort required to find the right financial product.
5. How have tech initiatives enhanced customer experience and driven growth outcomes?
As a digital company, understanding every customer interaction is crucial for Lendingkart. We employ various tools to analyse customer journeys, identify breakpoints, and optimise the experience. We aim to reduce unnecessary questions, streamline the process, and ensure a smooth experience for customers. By leveraging essential data points and utilising various sources, we minimise the clicks and information entry required from customers. Our goal is to meet their requirements efficiently and create a seamless journey.
6. What advice do you have for younger techies entering the workforce today?
My advice to new techies is to be agile and open to learning. The shelf life of specific languages and technologies is reducing rapidly, so it’s important to continuously upgrade your skills. Embrace new technologies, languages, and tools that are emerging in the fast-paced tech environment. While the specific technologies you learn may become obsolete, the experience and knowledge gained will always be valuable and transferable to new projects. Never stop learning and stay adaptable to keep up with the evolving tech landscape.