300 participants attend Fintech Valley Spring Conference in Visakhapatnam

Visakhapatnam, March 10, 2017

More than 300 participants from India and abroad attended the maiden edition of Fintech Valley Spring Conference 2017, the Andhra Pradesh's flagship initiative that brought together industry, academia and investors to innovate, create and build the fintech ecosystem in the state.
The two-day event, which ended here today, was a "spectacular success", with the presence of global corporations, government representatives, thought leaders, entrepreneurs, artists and visionaries who gathered in this valley to to build capacity, infrastructure, market access, connectivity, funding channels, and incentive mechanisms, a press release from the organisers said.
The aim of the discussions was to nurture a "fintectonic" culture that disrupts traditional models of business and sets a platform for innovation and growth, it said.
Prize money of Rs.  5 lakh and one-year free office space was provided in the Fintech Tower in Vizag to Start-up challenge winners.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu interacted with the delegates for an hour through video-conferencing and took inputs from the fintech community. He will chair The Fintech Valley Forum set up to focus on various aspects of the ecosystem creation. 
Mr. Naidu told the gathering that the conference was a step towards joining the "Fourth Industrial Revolution which is a spectacular combination of technology and Internet of Things (IoT)".
"In recent times, technology has started influencing our lives in a comprehensive manner. The demand for Fintech is growing each day. To meet this demand, we would need the support from Fintech and Cyber security companies. We also need the academic institutions to adapt curriculum that trains individuals to contribute to fintech sector," he said.
Special Chief Secretary and IT Adviser to the AP Chief Minister, Mr. J. A. Chowdary, thanked the gathering for reposing their faith in this initiative. “This two-day conference was a success in encouraging the spirit of the fintectonic culture. We intend to build on this momentum and leverage it to generate employment that meets new demands of the global economy," he said.
An informative workshop segment was led by Mr. Balasubramaniam, Chief Executive Officer - E-Pragati on e-governance and sandbox opportunities with the government. 
Addressing the gathering over video conference, Mr. J Satyanarayana, Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and former IT Secretary, “Though our current ecosystem is well established having our welfare programs linked to Aadhar, we are trying to expand our current portfolio consisting of 72 projects. The Andhra Pradesh – E-pragati portfolio is a strong foundation for fintech and I am convinced that Vizag will vibrate with the fintech mantra in the months to come.”
Andhra Pradesh Technology Services (APTS) Managing Director Premchand spoke about creating joint ventures and special purpose vehicles with innovative start-ups. “We are actively looking to collaborate with start-ups to open doors and conduct business with Government of Andhra Pradesh and also with other state governments," he said.
“In India, there isn’t a problem with talent but with having the right attitude. Culture tends to eat strategy for breakfast. There is a need to create a shift in the mindset and to look at things differently. For this, I would propose the 3D’s - Digitalization, Differentiation and Disruption,” said Ms. Latha Ayyar, Special Representative for IT and Innovation to Government of Andhra Pradesh and COO, Bharti AXA at a panel discussion titled ‘Disruption in Insurance Value Chain - Role of Insurtech.’ 
Also contributing to this panel discussion on making insurance relevant to millennials and widening the insurance consumer market were Mr. Thomson Thomas, Chief Distribution Officer, HDFC Life; Mr. Girish Nayak, Chief of Operations and Technology, ICICI Lombard; Mr. Shwetank Verma, Director Collab (Open Innovation), MetLife; Mr. Shashwal Sharma, Partner KPMG and Mr. Varun Dua, Co-founder, Coverfox. KPMG is the knowledge partner for Fintech Valley Vizag Spring Conference 2017.
There were three insurance challenges by corporate partners HDFC Life, ICICI Lombard and Bharti AXA. The overall winner in insurance category was declared as iProov. In the Banking Category, for the ICICI Bank Start-up Challenge 2017, Kyriba and Nimbuzz won relating to payments and remittances. In the Capital Market Category, the Angel Broking Start-up Challenge 2017, involving real-time social profiling of customers, was won by Hello Soda and Blueocean.
Contemplating ways in which Blockchain is transforming the future of Financial Services infrastructure, an interactive panel comprising Mr Akshay Dhanak, Vice President, Business System & Technology, HDFC Life; Sudin Baraokar, Head of Innovation, SBI; Ms Rachna Nath, Partner, KPMG; Mr Vinay Agarwal, CEO, Angel Broking; Mr Paul Kitti, Co-founder, TenX and Mr Hitesh Sarda, Director, Value Labs, discussed the issue threadbare. The speakers pondered on actions that can be initiated by institutions for reinventing themselves and jointly agreed that industry start-ups that develop the sentiment of trust would instigate disruption. The panelists also took questions asked by the audience and shared their excitement for the fintech valley hackathon to be held later in the year. 
To encourage multi-disciplinary thinking that adds greater expressiveness and meaning to the fintech culture, the ‘finteract’ series - comprising of interlinking dialogues that connect to fintech and innovation - was launched. Mr. Nitin Saluja Founder, Chaayos; Dharmil Sheth, Founder, PharmEasy and Ms. Priyanka Agrawal, renowned design thinking UI-UX were the key presenters of ‘Finteract, March 2017.’ Finteract is curated and created by Adfactors XD.

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