The technology landscape in India is ripe for disruption and many global financial institutions, including BNY Mellon, are optimising existing and/or launching major global development centres and hubs across the region. Emerging technologies are helping to drive this change and transform India-based outsourcing technology centres into global development centres that have more of a leadership role in driving product innovation- rather than serving in a remote support role. The traditional outsourcing to India model is broken as institutions are realising talent pools in developed markets are shrinking, and are keen to tap into the invisible talent pool in India, containing broad skill sets and experiences.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning have fundamentally shifted the way global financial institutions in India operate, and institutions that were once focused on labour arbitrage are now looking to attract world-class talent for specific skill positions. Some of the most in-demand technology skills today include Full Stack Developers, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Engineers, Data Scientists and Analysts, and User Experience (UX) Designers. Despite this evolution, several myths exist about working at global financial institutions in India with major implications for how they may potentially do business, service clients, attract top talent, and more.
Myth 1: India Is For Technology Outsourcing
Global financial institutions have historically viewed India as a remote resource provider. However, global financial institutions in India have created jobs, driven growth, engaged in the communities where they’re located, increased access to various resources and are now reinventing themselves to adopt agile strategies and foster greater innovation. Emerging technology and vast pools of data are setting the stage for how they enhance and launch new products and grow revenue. It is pushing them to re-think how to leverage core strengths, improve client outcomes, enhance operational efficiencies, improve risk reduction, and attract new and experienced hires. Technology in India has reached a tipping point where it is has become a global technology hub, leading versus supporting global product and services development.
The days where technologists have traditionally delivered on specific requirements driven by the business are long gone. Institutions now understand that technology drives innovation and technology leaders are finding a seat at the decision-making table and partnering closely with business on new solutions and services. We at BNY Mellon Technology, India are now operating as a global development centre and my team is actively recruiting top talent that has strong experience with rapid prototyping, iterative and agile development, and that can work in sprints to innovate faster. Not only are we focused on hiring top-tier talent, but we are also changing the portfolio of work being completed and leading product development and execution from India. We are evolving into a truly global organisation, where our technologists are managing global teams and are driving meaningful change.
Myth 2: Financial Institutions Do Not Collaborate With Fintechs
Global financial institutions want to work with fintechs because they can help attract talent and can have speed where large organisations may not. Fintechs too want to partner with global financial institutions because they have tremendous networks, financial resources, deep subject matter experts, an installed and global client base, etc. Additionally, The agility and disruptive mindset of fintechs are helping drive the next set of innovative products, and global financial institution partnerships are helping bring the best products for our clients. Industry collaboration between global financial institutions and fintechs is key to helping transform and creating a stronger banking and financial services ecosystem.
Our global fintech partnership team works aggressively to identify the best opportunities to engage with the more than 10,000 fintechs globally to accelerate innovation and continuously enhance the client experience. For example, Eagle Investment Systems, a BNY Mellon company, recently partnered with Arria NLG, to enhance process automation using advanced natural language generation technology. Eagle’s clients now have access to stronger data and insights in near real-time so they can make better decisions, while also increasing automation for internal and external analysis and reporting. It is important to note that a key differentiating factor between fintechs and financial institutions is that, a fintech may enable you to develop the technology, but working at a financial institution enables you to implement a product and change the way a service truly works. Additionally, fintechs may often struggle with scalability, financial backing and funding, the evolving legal and regulatory environment, and integration with legacy technologies- whereas most global financial institutions have experience navigating these factors and environments.
Myth 3: Traditional Banks Can’t Compete Against ‘Big Tech’
In some instances, such as distributed ledger technology and in other areas, traditional banks and financial institutions are leading industry disruption and driving innovation quicker than ‘big tech.’ Global financial institutions operate in a very competitive environment and digital transformation and emerging technology in India are helping to create many in-demand technologies, developer, and engineering roles. Many traditional banks are recruiting the same top talent as ‘big tech,’ as new products and solutions are being launched and redefining the financial services landscape. BNY Mellon Technology, India has a rich and storied history and was founded in 2000, during a time when many global brands similarly began their technology journeys in the country. Our 6,000 technologists (around 50 percent of the bank’s global technology organisation) are primarily based in Chennai and Pune.
As mentioned earlier, institutions are keen to tap into the invisible talent pool in India, containing broad skill sets and experiences. It is becoming increasingly more difficult to hire top-tier talent in the United States and Europe, and institutions are now actively searching for equivalent or even better talent in hot markets like India. Institutions have traditionally outsourced to India to help create flexibility and reduce costs. However, that model is increasingly falling out of favour due to a growing top-tier talent pool in India, emerging technologies, increased automation, and higher overall operating costs. BNY Mellon Technology, India has always been focused on attracting the best talent. We compete for the same talent at both the college level where we are getting premium placement slots at the top-tier colleges, as well as experienced hires where we are hiring for some of the most in-demand technologies of today.
There has never been a more exciting time to explore the financial services technology role in India. Innovation in the financial services technology industry has led to an uptick in demand for world-class talent where technologists can really grow and take control of their careers. It is personally an exciting time for me to be a part of BNY Mellon Technology, India- given the early phase of our transformation, in terms of technology as well as the products we are innovating. The opportunity is out there and it is incumbent upon the financial service technology industry to help ensure that potential candidates are aware of the game-changing opportunities in India that can’t be offered elsewhere.
Nitin Chandel is managing director and head of BNY Mellon Technology, India.