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DHFL’s Tech2.0: IBM Watson and Design Thinking to steer innovation

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IBM Watson to help the housing finance company get deeper into the consumer psyche and design thinking will allow to get deeper insights into the requirements of the various stakeholders like customers, brokers and others.

Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd (DHFL), one of India’s leading housing finance companies in the private sector is heading into the final year of its technology transformation programme, Tech2.0. “A couple of years back, there was an understanding in the organisation that the current technology platform, which has served us well for many many years, is not going to sustain with our aggressive growth targets,” says Jayesh Shah, EVP & Head – Technology Initiatives, DHFL, Financial Services Group. This was the trigger for DHFL to undertake Tech2.0. The benefits visualised from the programme are – better customer experience, reduced turnaround time, improved efficiency, higher productivity – to future proof the organisation for another five years against technology obsolescence.

DHFL is partnering with IBM Global Business Services (GBS) in this journey. They have set up a Programme Management Office (PMO) manned by a team of IBM GBS. Tech2.0 has two parallel tracks – one to upgrade the core applications to a contemporary technology architecture and two, to drive innovation.

It is under the innovation track that DHFL is running a PoC using IBM Watson Analytics. “We are trying out predictive analytics using the IBM Watson engine. The objective is to get deeper insights into our data and help the business take more informed decisions,” informs Shah. DHFL is a thirty two year organisation and has a large store of data generated over these years. The analytics engine of Watson is expected to derive deep insights into various aspects of operational efficacy and customer behavior. External data will also be pooled into the engine to enrich the insights. The company is in the second month of the PoC.

To enhance Customer, Partner & Employee experience, an extensive portal design is also being worked upon. “DHFL is excited about the concept of ‘Design Thinking’,” says Shah. IBM’s design thinking team is working closely with DHFL’s customers, partners and employees to develop the portal design through interactive workshops. The exercise is to understand the demands after a deep consultative dialogue from all the relevant stakeholders and then create the platform design.

Shah is looking at Blockchain very closely. He believes there would be interesting use cases of Blockchain in a Financial Services organisation like DHFL. However, this is at a very nascent stage and would require further thought and deliberations.

(Please read the detailed interview with Jayesh Shah, EVP & Head – Technology Initiatives, DHFL, Financial Services Group in the september issue of the Express Computer magazine)

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