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Friday, January 5, 2024

Fintech incubator reflects India's digital growth

India has emerged as a digital-first economy and global ecommerce giant, providing growth opportunities for merchants, processors, tech startups and third-party service providers. This is according to a number of industry leaders and a diverse cohort of fintechs, including Monnai, EBANX and AstroPay, which have extolled the region's adaptable infrastructure and skilled labor force.

In a May 2022 interview with The Green Sheet, Ramesh Narasimhan, chief executive officer, India for Worldline Merchant Services, remarked that 75 percent of India's demographic is under 45 years of age. This demographic dividend, combined with the country's rapid urbanization and 800 million internet users has created a perfect storm for ecommerce, he noted.

"In just a few years, we have gone from a very physical economy to a digital economy," he said, adding that he expects consumer spend to double and ecommerce to grow by 80 percent to $110 billion by 2025.

The newest entrant to India's fintech community, GRAVITY, was launched Dec. 29, 2023, in Mumbai, by co-founders Rohit Maroo and Satish Krishnaswamy, ex bankers who formerly served at HDFC Bank. Their stated aim was to create a new category in banking, namely a hyper-personalized banking services platform.

Simple, adaptable CPP

Maroo and Krishnaswamy described GRAVITY as an interoperable ecosystem designed to simplify and integrate a bank's underlying software applications. They stated the platform's CPP central processing platform (CPP) will lift most of the applications' arithmetic logic unit (ALU) and control and orchestration unit (COU), and use an expansion slot with 10 embedded components to keep the bank's underlying tech up to date, secure and agile.

Maroo additionally noted that GRAVITY's early reviews have been positive, with expectations that banks can implement GRAVITY without ripping out and replacing legacy systems. In fact, he noted, once underlying software applications are docked in GRAVITY, there will never be a painful replacement process of any specialty core applications.

Broad community support

Krishnaswamy, mentioned that his team is humbled by the opportunity to build a category-first business platform and appreciates the community's support. He thanked the following senior banking and technology leaders for sharing first impressions:

  • Pravir Vohra: Seasoned banking technology leader, startup mentor and ex-president and group CTO of ICICI bank, stated that GRAVITY could become a disruptive platform that solves a critical banking tech ecosystem problem and helps banks modernize systems without expensive, risky, time-consuming fork lifts or upgrades.

  • V. Vaidyanathan: Veteran with over 35 years in BFSI, and current CIO of Unity Small Finance Bank, who specializes in core banking implementation, said that he is excited about GRAVITY and its potential to offer hyper-personalization on top of existing software applications.

  • Prabhakar Bobde: Managing director of SAFL NBFC, who has held senior leadership positions at Axis and HDFC bank, believes India could become a US$7 trillion economy by 2030, by leveraging hyper-personalization using co-existing business and specialty core application platforms in the financial sector to reach this major inflection point.

  • Madana Gopalswamy: Founder and chairman of Adarsh Co-op Bank in Hyderabad, believes GRAVITY will accelerate the transition of co-op banks aspiring to become small finance banks by helping them compete with larger commercial banks.

  • Sunil Chandak: Equity strategist and researcher, stated that the banking sector is poised to be disrupted by AI and deep tech and that the maximum share value extraction will originate more from disruptive technologies than from incremental technology progress.

Additional details about GRAVITY, India's newest fintech accelerator, are available at www.gravity.ind.in end of article

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