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Cryptocurrency is finding its use cases in a number of sectors, one such sector is the poker industry. While the use of cryptocurrency in poker can provide players with a lucrative way of making passive income, there is a lack of awareness among the players about it.
PokerFi or Poker Finance aims to innovate and bring awareness to the financial transactions system within both live and online poker.
In an interview with AMB Crypto, Renato Maia, the CEO of Pokerfi talks about the current state of the poker industry, the aim behind creating their PokerFi token, its benefits, and much more.
1. What was the aim behind creating the PokerFi token?
Uniting two rising markets. Every day the world of cryptocurrency gains more followers, just like poker. And so far we don’t have a cryptocurrency that is actually widely traded in the real world.
2. Tell us more about what you think is the current state of the poker industry and its adoption of cryptocurrency?
Currently, no cryptocurrency has attracted poker players to join the idea of entering this market. The vast majority of poker players do not invest in cryptocurrencies. PokerFi giving a purpose for them to invest, which is the poker platform with higher benefits than others, so this pattern that poker player is not cryptocurrency investor will be broken.
3. What benefits does the PokerFi platform aim to offer to its players?
a)Improved Rakeback – We will offer Rakeback plans up to 70%.
b)Passive income on BankRoll – The poker player that usually leaves his dollars in platforms where it doesn’t give him any benefit, at PokerFi the balance that he leaves in our currency will be receiving passive income every 12 hours referring to the transactions that occur in the currency, besides once a week he will receive 5% of the shares of the rake generated inside the platform. Now imagine that you are the owner of a poker team and daily you leave your money idle on the platforms where your players play, and that does not give you income. At PokerFi that high volume of cash will receive dividends.
c) Freerolls tournaments with an additional prize pool, paid with the income in BUSD generated from one of the marketing portfolios
4. How does PokerFi aim to improve the state of decentralized finance or DeFi in the crypto space?
Utility. When cryptocurrency investors see that there is a utility token that is widely traded and these transactions bring benefits to the holders, they will want to be one of them.
5. What makes PokerFi stand out from others in the space?
The passive income system distributed in dollars, where those who want to live off the dividends that the currency pays don’t have to sell them, is certainly PokerFi’s flagship.
6. Tell us more about the intelligent passive income system on Pokerfi?
A 6% fee is charged on every transaction where 3% is distributed to the PokerFi holders every 12 hours.
7. What cashback programs are available for the users on PokerFi?
a)PointFi program exclusive for poker players.
b)Weekly distribution of 5% of the rake generated within our site to all holders proportional to the amount of tokens that the person has.
c)Quarterly distribution of 10% of the profits from MarketPlace, NFT’s
8. How does the PointFi program work? What benefits does it offer to users?
There are a total of 10 different loyalty levels in this program. To reach the next level you need to collect a certain amount of points in a specific time. All your points will automatically be converted into dollars (BUSD) weekly.
Level 1 – every $10 of rake generated you earn (10PF) that at the end of a week will be automatically converted into dollar, $1.50.
Level 2 – every $25 rake generated you earn (25PF) that at the end of a week will be automatically converted into $5.00 dollar
Level 3 – every $60 rake generated you earn (60PF) that at the end of a week will be automatically converted into dollar, $15,00
Level 10 – every $10,000 of rake generated you earn (10,000PF) which at the end of a week will be automatically converted into $7000 USD.
Duration of each level
The higher your level is, the longer it lasts
Level 1 – 7 days
Level 2 – 7 days
Level 3 – 15 days
level 10 – 365 days
Let’s say I reach level 10. I have 365 days to renew it, and until then any rake my account as a player generates, I will get rakeback of 70% of that amount. If I generated $100 I will get $70 if I generated $1000, $700, and so on.
9. What are some of the partnerships and updates on Pokerfi that we can look forward to?
First, we need to gain notoriety in both the cryptocurrency space and the poker world, after that happens things will flow in our favor. About updates, the best one is the PokerFi wallet.
Where on the site itself people will be able to leave available in order to sell or buy the coins. In this coin, we managed to decrease the fee to 3% because we don’t need the liquidity fee, since it won’t change the graph and that 3% will only be to pay the distribution of the holders.
For more information on Pokerfi, please check their official website.
You're reading Uniting Crypto And Poker: An Interview With Ceo Pokerfi Renato Maia
The DeFi ecosystem has seen significant growth in the recent scenario and while exchanges in the crypto-sphere had been centralized, the idea had been challenged with the emergence and subsequent growth of Decentralized Exchanges (DEX). Polkadex aims to combine the benefits of centralized and decentralized exchanges with their technological innovation and provide users with a smooth trading experience.
It is the first project on the Polkadot ecosystem that features an orderbook based exchange. The platform functions through Snowfork with the Ethereum network and Parachain with the Polkadot network.
In conversation with Gautham J, CEO Polkadex we discuss the platform, the vision behind creating the first orderbook based exchange on Polkadot, IDOs, and NFTs on their platform, and much more.
We approach many things differently and bring some innovative solutions to the market and users to eliminate the existing bottlenecks.
To begin with, none of the present decentralized exchanges supports a trading engine that is fast enough to run the traditional orderbook. As a consequence, they also lack sufficient liquidity and can not push DeFi forward.
DEXes have copied the success of Uniswap and moved to the AMM-based model. At Polkadex we think that it is not a real solution but only a halfway compromise.
Uniswap and other swap protocols that don’t use an orderbook dramatically limit their functionality and bring to life certain platform-specific issues. The pool creates an arbitrage opportunity when the price of the asset fluctuates. Moreover, front-running is imminent on the AMM- based DEXes, while the orderbook DEXes eliminate the issue.
Polkadex is an orderbook based exchange, but the key difference is that, unlike traditional orderbook exchanges built on multipurpose blockchains, Polkadex is specifically built as a dedicated blockchain that functions as a trading engine.
Current DEX reality is facing a huge technology gap, and we work to fill it using the mix of technologies available through the capabilities of Bitcoin, Ethereum & Polkadot networks.
2. What was the vision behind creating the Polkadex Order Book?
Blockchains have revolutionized the way we think about trust. The world is going to be increasingly tokenized in the nearest future and Polkadex aims to prepare the world for it.
Bitcoin showed us to transact in a peer-to-peer way without having an intermediary. However, the idea of transferring different types of Blockchain assets in a decentralized manner is still in a rudimentary phase. There were many attempts to solve this problem but none of them managed to take the solution mainstream because of the inherent drawbacks of a blockchain to settle transactions instantaneously and quickly allowing any sort of real-world application.
Past projects have shown us that running an orderbook-based decentralized exchange on-chain is going to be expensive. Hence, there has been a shift towards creating automated market makers (AMMs) to allow transacting in a decentralized manner. This has given rise to protocols like Uniswap and centrally controlled chains like Binance Smart Chain. However, none of them offer solutions to all the user’s needs.
Our goal is to make decentralized peer-to-peer transactions between different blockchain assets possible in an orderbook environment, at the same time making sure that the assets are always in the custody of the participating peers only. We are happy to say that we have been able to achieve that in Polkadex.
3. Why was the Polkadot ecosystem picked from all other blockchains?
The idea of Polkadex started back in 2023 when Vivek Prasannan, Deepansh Singh, and I (co-founders of Polkadex) worked on a consensus algorithm to scale transaction throughput on a distributed network.
We were looking for a scalable use case and tried to apply the technology to a decentralized exchange. Searching for the best ecosystem, we came across the Polkadot network and Substrate framework that allowed building the final version of Polkadex.
Polkadot stood out among other blockchains because it offered us an opportunity to create a highly scalable and fully decentralized platform for a peer-to-peer and trustless token exchange.
From the initial stage of Polkadex’s development, we set high standards as the platform had to answer multiple requirements: provide high-frequency trading, high liquidity, and ultra-fast transaction speed to support DeFi applications, have an easy UX to make DeFi usable for people with any level of technological knowledge.
As you can imagine, finding everything in a single network was a tough task. We went through researching Ethereum, NEO, TomoChain, Cardano, and other solutions, but found the right capabilities only in the Polkadot network.
Transactions on Polkadot are processed in a parallelized way, so the network is considerably faster than rivals. Moreover, Polkadot is interoperable and brings various tokens and blockchains together in a vibrant ecosystem.
We are building Polkadex in Polkadot’s Substrate framework that allows us to add new features, easily develop the platform without hard forks and focus all our attention on optimizing the network to reach unmatched performance.
We also use the Polkadot ecosystem to bring more liquidity to the platform through parachains without compromising on security.
Simply put, we will gather all the best features of centralized and decentralized exchanges in one platform, so the traders accustomed to both will hugely benefit from Polkadex.
5. What is Decentralized KYC and how would it protect the privacy of users?
Decentralized KYC is an innovative mechanism for verifying the users. Unlike the usual KYC process the user data is stored only in the user’s wallet and Polkadex, as a trading platform, never has access to it, hence there is no possibility of data leaks and security is very high in general. There is no sharing of sensitive user’s information to a third-party application.
We see decentralized KYC as a stepping stone to making DeFi a solid competitor to the traditional financial sector in the next few years due to attracting new players and new money with them.
By decentralizing KYC Polkadex can bring in institutional money to the exchange even though it is decentralized. This is possible because the liquidity available in the orderbook is traced back to an identified user allowing regulated entities to interact with and submit trades with Polkadex blockchain without violating their regulatory requirements.
6. DEXes usually shy away from offering fiat support to their users, how does the Polkadex fiat aim to change this?
We are very proud of this particular feature, as it makes Polkadex one of the first decentralized exchanges with fiat support while still keeping custody of assets with the user. We sincerely believe that it is the way to trigger mainstream adoption of decentralized finance.
7. How are retail investors going to benefit from the IDOs launched on the Polkadex platform?
The success of IDOs made them a battlefield where only crypto-native and tech-savvy investors win nowadays. Retail investors are left out because they cannot invest a lot of funds to hold enough of launchpad’s native tokens or simply can not work their way through the manual process of whitelisting and participating in the IDO pool due to tricky UX.
Hence, IDOs are prohibitive to normal users and limit their access to some of the best projects in the crypto space.
Having to stake a large number of tokens to qualify for bidding means that opportunity is only given to a privileged few.
We believe that it is against the ethos of proper decentralization and the vision of open protocols. Polkadex aims to create an IDO platform on Substrate that will give an equal opportunity to participate to all retail traders. Each step of the process will be on the blockchain, thus benefiting from on-chain randomness, fairness, and transparency. We also want to give as much power to users as we can, so governance will also decide if they want the token to be listed on the Polkadex Orderbook exchange after the IDO.
8. What are the Polkadex Fungible Assets and how are they going to be helpful to the developers?
We are creating the product for many types of customers, so as you noticed Fungible assets is one of the features for developers and blockchain teams.
Polkadex Fungible assets have been created for those projects who wish to launch their tokens in a Substrate blockchain easily and inexpensively. The process is similar to creating ERC-20 tokens on the Ethereum network, but the technologies that we use take care of the hassles that we see today in the Ethereum ecosystem.
We aim to offer an efficient way. Fungible tokens created on Polkadex are also backward compatible with Ethereum and can be managed and later represented there using ERC-20 format. We are working on bridges that allow these changes to be implemented.
Another benefit-cost efficiency. Many projects face the challenges of finding affordable platforms. We offer a one-stop-shop solution where blockchain teams can raise funds through conducting IDOs, whitelist, create smart contracts, issue tokens, bridge across networks, and list on our Orderbook if they want and are accepted by governance.
Even though our IDO platform will cater more towards Substrate-based projects, other ecosystem projects will be able to utilize our token minting mechanism to leverage many of the functionalities built in the product.
9. What was the idea behind introducing the Polkadex NFT as a reward mechanism?
Most of our work is focused on making the community happy by giving the answers to the toughest industry questions. Trading is a serious activity, but, hey, why can’t we have fun in the process, too?
NFTs are a great way to reward loyal community members and add a cool gamification element to create more engagement. Keeping the community active and vibrant has a direct effect on the health and well-being of the network in case of an exchange like Polkadex.
Instead of having regular token rewards like the one for validators, we thought of creating something unique and more meaningful for our users. This was the idea behind using NFTs as a reward mechanism.
10. Could you tell us about the use cases of PDEX, the Polkadex token?
As you know tokenomics is a big part of the health and success of any blockchain project. That is why we created ours with the help of the best minds in crypto-economics and paid great attention to the token utility.
As Polkadex is a multi-feature project, PDEX was designed to be used for multiple functions.
Polkadex native token will be used for several activities on the platform. Token holders will have exclusive rights to:
Pay transaction and trading fees to get discounts on them
Participate in Polkadex IDOs
Participate in on-chain governance of the network
Become a validator of the network by staking
Nominate validators and collators of the network
So there are many perks now and we are working on adding others along the way.
11. What are some of the future projects/partnerships on Polkadex that we should look forward to?
We are very busy developing the product and have a good lineup of future projects. The most significant future releases are:
Native interoperability with other chains
Blockchain assets and infrastructure for setting transactions of retail payment service providers
Blockchain consensus upgrade using new algorithms to improve speed and reliability
Margin, lending, derivatives platform
However, we try to stay discreet regarding future partnerships and industry names. We announce all the partnerships when they are secured and in full working mode, but never beforehand as simply bringing the hype is not our way.
So I can say, it really pays off to follow our social media channels closely for any news. There is lots to come.
For more information check out the Polkadex website.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has made a massive impact in the modern world. The use of AI at any level has proved to be fantastic. It automated a significant number of tasks, reducing human effort and has led everyone to believe that there is even more to come. Infigon Futures is a company that empowers the lives of individuals who are seeking educational and career goals to help them make decisions for a brighter future. Speaking with Analytics Insight, Omkar Patil, CEO,Kindly brief us about the company, its specialization, and the services that Infigon Futures offers.
Infigon Futures is one of the EdTech segment’s fastest growing education and career planning platforms. Individuals ranging from 11 to 30 in age can plan for their educational and career goals using our industry-leading Artificial Intelligence platform. As the market’s leading one-stop-shop, we guarantee that everyone who visits our platform will find something interesting and will leave satisfied. Disrupting the costly and time-consuming process of career development and ensuring that a lack of guidance or financial constraints does not become a barrier to pure talent and passion.With what mission and objective, the company was set up? Tell us about your journey since the inception of the company?
The mission is to make use of innovative, leading-edge technology and bring career mentorship for everyone at the tip of their fingers to help them make decisions for a brighter future. As the world’s most trusted career-planning company, any individual irrespective of their financial, geographical or lingual bounds can find everything they need to build for themselves a successful future. In April 2023, Infigon Futures launched The Summit Alliance, a youth organization. They are the organization’s President and Vice President, respectively. They gained insight into the education industry and interacted with over 10,000 students and parents, which gave them the motivation and idea to start a business in the field of career and education counselling.Kindly mention some of the major challenges the company has faced till now.
Founded in August 2023, Infigon Futures saw its inception amidst the uncertain times of the pandemic. For any business entity, the starting phase is crucial and is a period of growth and commitment. All our staff had to work remotely from home during the pandemic, which added constraints to our team management. Innumerable meetings, video and audio calls over multiple platforms like Zoom, Google Meets etc. were our only medium to navigate through the crucial stage of strategic growth planning. Another issue that we faced was operations management. Our marketing campaign started from 15th February 2023 and it essentially comprised of collaborations with colleges, schools and other institutes; wherein these collaborations led us to our present target group – students from class 8 & above college students. Unexpectedly, by April 2023, we had associations with more than 60 colleges/institutions, which we had previously estimated at around 15-20. This remarkable growth was unanticipated, so we had to ramp up our operations and brace ourselves for this growth at very short notice.Tell us how your company is contributing to the IoT/AI/Big Data Analytics/Robotics/Self-Driving Vehicles/Cloud Computing industry of the nation and how the company is benefiting the clients. How do you see the company and the industry in the future ahead?
We have already started with career counselling. In the coming years, we would like to improve our tech algorithm to the point where a student can use our mobile application to answer any question they have about his/her career, education, or other topics. In addition, we will be expanding into the areas of international admissions, skill development, and job opportunities. We want to establish a sense of trust in the minds of school students and their parents in the initial couple of years by providing them with the highest quality services. And once we have that, we will be the one-stop-shop for all of their child’s needs.What is your biggest USP that differentiates the company from competitors? What is your Leadership Mantra?
We do not have a leadership mantra at Infigon. Our organization is a start-up and it faced various constraints and uncertainties that come from being one. Our main ideology is not just to impose our targets, strategies and expected results on our employees, but look out for what our employees truly want. Each employee at our organization goes through extensive HR screening, wherein we analyze their personal requirements, expectations and growth objectives of joining Infigon. From our wide spectrum of work profile, each employee is consigned into teams catered to their CV and requirements. Employees are assigned into groups under each department, and projects are divided into manageable tasks. With a lesser workload, each employee can hence exert maximum productivity while gaining quality experience.Please brief us about the products/services/solutions you provide to your customers and how do they get value out of it.
Our career and education mentorship process is completely automated. All of our services, including self-assessment, career selection, educational planning, and expert mentor connections, will be provided through our mobile application, which employs Artificial Intelligence and Data Science. It will be a straightforward four-step process that will begin with self-assessment and progress through career selection, educational planning, and skill development.Which industry verticals are you currently focusing on? And what is your go-to market strategy for the same?
Our focus remains on career guidance and mentorship. Our target consumer base consists of students in schools and colleges. Hence, our priority marketing strategy is to associate with various schools, colleges and private institutions. This gives us extensive access to reach out to students in need of effective guidance and counselling. Our integral goal is to guide young minds into deciphering their academic prospects and dream career.What are your growth plans for the next 12 months?
An intelligent search platform is powered by artificial intelligence technology, which removes data silos and assists employees and customers to find the information they need rapidly and easily. End-users make use of intelligent search to extract information from anywhere Intelligent search and enterprise search are synonymous with natural language search, AI search, or AI-powered search and cognitive search. Communicating with Analytics Insight, Alexandre Bilger, the CEO at Sinequa sheds light on the powerful and intelligent search for enterprises that the company offers. He also gives insights into the role of disruptive technologies in the industry.With what mission and objectives was the company set up? In short, tell us about your journey since the inception of the company?
Sinequa was set up with the mission to offer enterprises the services that tech giants such as Google offer to the consumer: powerful and intelligent search. We recognized that enterprises’ valuable information was not being used to its full potential and that an intelligent search tool would enable organizations to tap into the wealth of knowledge and expertise contained within their enterprise data. We knew that insight from existing data sources would drive innovation, efficiency, and productivity for businesses, ultimately helping them to grow and stay agile. As the company has grown and gained momentum, its value has been acknowledged by key analysts in the intelligent search space. Sinequa has been repeatedly recognized as a leader by Gartner and Forrester, including in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Insight Engines 2023, and in the Forrester Wave™: Cognitive Search 2023 reports. Our client base has grown to include significant players across multiple industries, including Alstom, AstraZeneca, Biogen, BMS, Pfizer, Siemens, Thales, TotalEnergies, and Volkswagen. As the President and CEO of Sinequa for over 10 years, I have seen the company evolve and expand to deal with the increasing volumes of data that organizations now produce. As the quantity of data has grown, so have our technological capabilities and our scope to cater to different use cases. As Sinequa continues to grow, I am excited to see continued progress in the value it can bring to customers.What is your biggest USP that diﬀerentiates the company from competitors?
Sinequa’s platform is comprehensive and customizable, making it suitable for the highest value use cases. It’s built to support professionals across a range of industries, from life sciences and financial services to manufacturing and intelligence agencies. Whether driving faster drug discovery and delivery or underpinning safety and compliance in the energy industry, Sinequa’s unique value lies in its ability to provide insights highly relevant to the professional context. The platform automates the analysis of millions of files and offers a 360-degree view of all data sources, processes, and expertise. With these capabilities, the platform drives informed decision-making and acts as an enabler of vital processes.Please brief us about the products/services/solutions you provide to your customers and how they get value out of it.
Sinequa supports on-premises, cloud, and hybrid deployments and supports hosting on the leading cloud platforms. Sinequa recently partnered with Microsoft to run on Azure and, in July, announced the addition of Sinequa for Microsoft Teams.How does your company’s strategy facilitate the transformation of an enterprise?
Businesses today are increasingly focused on being data-driven to make better decisions, as well as drive efficiency and innovation. However, many organizations continue to focus only on their structured data – accounting for 20% of enterprise data – as a means to gain insight, missing out on the wealth of information and knowledge that can be gained from unstructured data, representing the other 80%. Sinequa’s platform enables companies to tap into both structured and unstructured data to gain insights that ultimately drive business efficiency, innovation, and by extension, growth.How is IoT/Big Data/AI/Robotics evolving today in the industry as a whole? What are the most important trends that you see emerging across the globe?
Today, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is only really in its infancy. While companies are beginning to use AI to examine their quantitative data, qualitative data remains relatively neglected. Tapping into qualitative and unstructured data is a growing and important trend, especially as the quantity of data that companies produce continues to grow. There’s a wealth of information in unstructured data, which includes everything from PDF documents and emails to videos and images. AI solutions can help an employee or customer extract value quicker, without having to read and digest all the data. If such information is effectively harnessed, the value for businesses could be immeasurable.How can businesses efficiently extract the value from data, without increasing cost and complexity?
Extracting value from data can be a costly and lengthy process. The challenge is made harder by the exponential growth in the volume of data being produced by businesses. In this context, a well-thought-out data strategy is essential, and the right tools are needed to underpin such a strategy. The ultimate goal is to obtain a solution that enables the extraction of value from all sources of data, whether structured or unstructured. To best harness the value of data, employees should be able to use one interface to search across all applications and all types of data. With such a tool, searching for information is made simpler and faster, ensuring that knowledge and expertise are not buried and lost.What are your growth plans for the next 12 months?
Sinequa is on a strong growth trajectory and is seeking to accelerate its international expansion. In 2023, the company performed well, despite the circumstances of the pandemic. It increased its total customer billings by 30 percent and signed new logos across the globe, from global pharmaceutical and healthcare manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to the second largest energy and power company in the world, Électricité de France (EDF).
Education is prime these days for every individual. And many of the students with aspiring dreams are not able to fulfill those due to insufficient funds in their pockets. But these situations directly or indirectly hinder the growth of the student as well as the country too. GyanDhan works to facilitate funds for education abroad easily, let’s know more in the words of Ankit Mehra, who is a Co-Founder and CEO of the company which is India’s first education financing marketplace.With what mission and objectives, the company was set up? In short, tell us about your journey since the inception of the company?
The company was set up with an aim to streamline the education financing segment to facilitate securing funds for education abroad easily. The drive to help students came from the personal experience and troubles to fund my MBA from IESE Business School. Mr. Jainesh Sinha joined me in my endeavor, who had also faced difficulties funding his education. After a thorough analysis of the market and the way banks and lenders operate, we concluded that there are gaping holes in the overall loan process, riddled with procedural delays, product limitation, archaic documentation systems to name a few. To optimize the process, we started with building an in-house evaluation model called the GyanDhan score that accurately calculates the loan eligibility of the student. The score is calculated after factoring in the academic profile of the student, their future earning potential, target course and college, and employment opportunities in that field. The objective was to move beyond the traditional markers of eligibility still in use, which is the value of the collateral pledged. The score assigned to the students helps the lenders and us assess the risk involved in the loan application. We partnered with major lenders in the market to further smoothen the process of documentation and further processing. The initial focus of the company was financing abroad education needs but recently forayed into the domestic segment to provide easy and accessible financing options to study in India. The company has been successful in its operations, helping more than 5800 students since its inception in 2024. The role of the company has also evolved since then as it recently acquired its NBFC license. The license enables us to handle end-to-end customer experience and provide a better service.What is your biggest USP that diﬀerentiates the company from competitors?
The USP of the company is the customer-centric approach. The aim is to offer our customers the best possible experience of funding their education. We weeded out archaic loan application processes and introduced an entirely new approach for the online process, including the GyanDhan score that helps determine the eligibility of the applicant. Our loan eligibility tool matches the applicant to an ideal lender for their profile. Students have the option to discuss different loan products with the executive assigned to them, who goes through the profile and needs of the student to suggest the most beneficial and cost-effective lender. We do not hesitate to refer them to a lender that may not be our partner if that is the best recourse. It instills our aim and motto to help the students find the best possible financing option. The students we assist, more often than not, refer us to other students in need. The entire financing experience is made hassle-free with the online process, which helps the applicant to secure funds without any branch visits and unnecessary document submissions.How do you plan to revolutionize the Indian/US/UK market and what are your plans to tap the market?
Now, more than ever, companies have realized the benefits of using AI/data analytics. The variety of data collected by companies provide valuable insights into customer behavior that has enabled them to formulate personalized marketing pitches, introduce new products, make better business decisions, and mitigate risks. Decisions taken are better-informed and backed by data. It is especially helpful in the education loan sector because of the looming risk of NPAs. GyanDhan utilized data analytics to optimize every step of the loan process from checking loan eligibility to building tools that assist students in perfecting their admission applications. Our most successful tool developed is the loan eligibility tool that does multiple things. It assigns students a credit score that calculates their creditworthiness; it matches them with an ideal lender based on their profile and loan product features. The automated process further helps us identify bank executives that can handle more cases based on their past performance and other metrics. Traditional lenders still follow the conventional modes of evaluation, recording a higher percentage of NPAs mainly because the decision taken is intuition and collateral-based.What is the edge your company has over other players in the industry?
GyanDhan is a data-driven company. Every decision, tool, and loan process is backed by data we have aggregated over the years that helps the company, our partner lenders, students, and every party involved. Since the inception of the company, we have seen loan approval rates increase significantly. The GyanDhan score is trusted by lenders in the market, which has made the decision-making process an easier and faster exercise. Earlier, applications that would be outrightly rejected, and are still rejected by traditional lenders, stand a chance with our evaluation model since the decision taken is not intuition-based. The services offered are free of cost for the students as the company gets paid a percentage of the loan amount as fee income. In addition to this, the company is also an NBFC that helps cater to customers that are largely neglected by traditional lenders and fail to find any financers. The customer experience is optimized; applications are evaluated objectively; students get approved for low-ticket loans. Another revolutionary product that the company introduced recently is GyanDhan allied – where we leverage the power of group buying to get the best financing deals for the student.What is your leadership mantra?
One basic rule that the company follows is to hire the right people and let them do the work. Each employee brings their work style and performs optimally when they are not hounded for work. We have seen employees take initiative to improve the operations and bring business to the company. These employees are appreciated and even promoted irrespective of the time they have spent in the company.Would you like to highlight a few use cases where analytics has benefitted the organization tremendously? What are the concerns that organizations have before using analytics?
The foremost challenge regarding data analytics is to determine which data to use, how to source it, and make use of it for the benefit of the company. Collecting data is not the endgame, it is just the start. The second challenge is finding the right professional. Analytics is highly math-intensive and requires the right skill set, the right use of mathematical techniques, and statistical methodology to get meaningful insights from the voluminous data collected every minute. A great deal of effort is required to find a professional who is not overwhelmed by the large amount of data acquired and can model the results for the company’s benefit. Another challenge that most companies encounter is to take those insights and reform the way the company operates. If the analytics is not helping you make better business decisions or changing the way managers work on a day-to-day basis, then company resources are being wasted.
Set-up in 2003 in India as a Global Capability Center (GCC) of Fidelity Investments.Kindly brief us about the company, its specialization, and the services that your company offers.
Fidelity Investments is a privately held financial services company founded in 1946 and our goals have been “to strengthen and secure our customers’ financial wellbeing, and to bring unparalleled value to the people and companies we have the privilege to serve”. Fidelity isHow has been the journey of your group and what are some of the analytic competencies the teams have built over the years?
Technology has been always been a major focus area for us at Fidelity. As our CEO Abby Johnson once said, “Fidelity was doing fintech before fintech was cool.” Over the years, we have invested significantly in new and emerging technologies like blockchain, artificial intelligence, voice recognition, and virtual reality, to name a few. ARD has also focused on building domain capabilities in the areas of investment decisions, operational analytics, people analytics, cybersecurity, and fraud prevention. The group has built significant experience and capabilities in primary and secondary research as well.Kindly share your point of view on the current scenario of big data analytics/ AI and its future.
Big data, analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI) have moved from the stage of “Peak of Inflated Expectations” to “Slope of Enlightenment”, according to the Gartner Hype Cycle. We are currently witnessing a significant progression from a proof of concept (PoC) stage to the large-scale deployment of big data/ analytics /AI-enabled solutions. The operationalization of these solutions has begun delivering transformative business value. At the same time, we have observed that these solutions are not “silver bullets” and should be matched with appropriate use cases. We often witness organizations pursuing trending technologies as the panacea for all problems. However, from our observations, we have learned that an optimum solution doesn’t always lie in the latest technology or algorithm. If you have an in-depth understanding of the business problem, using an existing technology might sometimes deliver optimal results. As the focus shifts to operationalization, we are witnessing a significant emphasis and investment in a platform approach to data, compute, deployment, governance, ethics issues, and a need for a well-defined, consistent process. We can find similarities in how DevOps emerged as a philosophy in software development and how a well-defined set of tools and practices enabled organizations to deliver at a higher velocity. Similarly, the emergence of fields such as Xops (AIOps, DataOps, ModelOps, etc), will help in operationalization at an accelerated pace.What are the key trends driving the growth in big data analytics/AI/machine learning?
We are witnessing three significant trends driving business value using big data analytics/ AI/ machine learning (ML).Emergence of unsupervised learning implementations
Although supervised learning is still the workhorse in enterprise implementations, of late unsupervised learning implementations have begun making headway. This trend is especially prominent in natural language processing (NLP). Developments in unsupervised learning, to an extent, are solving the problems associated with a lack of labeled data. Pre-trained models and transformer architecture like BERT in NLP are also significantly reducing training time and expediting value delivery.The significant development in AI/ ML capabilities of cloud vendors
We have noticed significant progress from cloud vendors on providing AI/ ML capabilities as a service, especially in NLP, (Amazon Web Services [AWS] Comprehend, Azure Cognitive Service for Language), vision (Google Cloud Vision [GCP]), and forecasting (Amazon Forecast). In the past, most of these offerings were custom-built on the premise using limited infrastructure and data by scarce data scientists. Today, however, these offerings are available as managed services and can be used to create more valuable solutions, thereby significantly reducing the value delivery time. The availability of almost infinite, on-demand, cost-effective compute and storage has been foundational for these use cases and critical for faster value delivery.Shortened value delivery cycles powered by cloud and data-sharing platforms
The adoption of cloud and data-sharing platforms has reduced the value delivery cycle. These platforms have reduced the cost of storing large amounts of data, which is a foundational element for building analytics and AI solutions. Today, we require significantly less time to understand feed structure, load data and create useable solutions. The optimization of the value delivery cycle is critical for rapid experimentation as investments in a PoC can be operationally more efficient.How key are the disruptive technologies for digital transformation and innovation in the companies?
Fidelity is a pioneer of mutual fund investing, workplace retirement planning, discount brokerage services, digitally based financial services, and more. Our process of rapid and iterative product innovation, based on the agile method of software development and project management, helps the company to anticipate the evolving customer preferences and to build innovative products and services. Our focus on delivering a superior customer experience across various life stages helps produce growth in the number of customers and accounts, which then allows us to drive scale and efficiency and reinvest in product innovation. As a result, we are developing next-generation digital platforms and capabilities to better serve our customers, such as, for example:
Leveraging the cloud and application programming interfaces (APIs) to accelerate innovation and the delivery of new capabilities
Using the power of data and artificial intelligence to improve the experience when customers interact with Fidelity
Constantly testing new ways of improving people’s lives across a range of platforms, including virtual reality, digital currencies, and blockchain
Using machine learning to improve the customer experience by authenticating the identity of customers who are calling and figure out why they’re calling, within a fraction of a second
In investment management, AI and analytics have helped businesses to achieve a breakthrough transformation in identifying the next big investment opportunity, performing efficient trade executions and delivering superior customer experiences by providing personalized recommendations. Traditional customer-facing processes such as onboarding, change management, and withdrawal have gained significantly from the integration of AI and analytics into the workflow. In the risk and compliance area also, digital transformation is strengthening several areas, ranging from insider trading identification and fraud prevention to communication surveillance.How is machine learning (ML) shaping IT/big data/fin services industry today? How is it changing the role of CIOs and leaders?
Most of the large financial services organizations today run on legacy systems. There is no doubt that these systems are getting modernized. However, since upgrading legacy systems happens in phases, it may be challenging at times to keep up with the rapidly changing landscape of AI and integrate the new technologies into current systems. The scenarios mentioned above are only a few of the challenges and opportunities CIOs will face. To summarize, the CIOs as well as the other C-suite leaders will need to play a holistic and strategic role in planning growth strategy, talent strategy, and organizational design, rather than just being the gatekeeper of technology architecture for an organization.How do you see AI/ML scaling and seeing value delivery?
Cloud service providers like Azure, GCP, and AWS are currently providing some of these AI/ ML capabilities. However, the cloud services by these providers solve only a part of the puzzle. The rest of the puzzle involves an organization’s capability to get data readily available for the model – in a data lake. Fidelity is strategically invested in ensuring a common, enterprise-wide data lake that can scale AI/ ML efforts and deliver value quickly.What are the challenges you see in terms of the growth of AI/ML/big data analytics?
AI/ ML/ analytics faces multiple challenges in growth and adoption. These can be broadly categorized into technology, people, and process challenges. The second major challenge is the lack of availability of historical, good-quality data. Fidelity has strategically invested in data and continues to focus on it. Designing processes related to data availability and management is also a crucial part of the equation. One of the key challenges involves the process of aligning analytics/ AI PoCs with enterprise technology strategies for scaling. Historically, we have seen rough edges around the integration and migration of these PoCs and have now fine-tuned a process to address it.
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