CXO of the Week: Sanjay Sharma, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Aye Finance

By : |January 25, 2019 0
Sanjay has 30 years’ experience in consumer lending with global leaders leading a number of transformational programs at HDFC Bank, ICICI, SCB (UAE), Max New York Life Insurance, Tamweel PJSC, Ujjivan.

Your top priority while making decisions to improve tech infra in your organization?

Safety of data and maintaining a high uptime for the end users has always been our priority. More recently, the throughput and speed of response (latency) of the network and the tech infra has become important as well.

Challenges you face in driving digital transformation?

Being a new age finance company we have automated a number of processes using digital technologies. But our customer base consists of bottom of the pyramid businesses where use of digital technology is less prevalent. Hence the challenge is how to include these customer segments into the digital services. We have adapted an assisted-fintech approach to help our customers enjoy the benefits of our digitalized process and become part of the digital revolution currently underway globally.

Do you feel that fresher’s in the industry come with only basic knowledge but don’t have the right skills to fulfil job requirements? If yes, your suggestion to students and colleges?

Yes, the subject and scope of technology has expanded and although the freshers come with a basic toolset, but they have little appreciation or understanding of how to generate value for the customer through automation. In my opinion, students should be encouraged to work as interns on projects that deal with application of their technical knowledge and skills. This should be done after the first year when the foundation and theory has been taught in the college courses.

What’s your mantra to become successful in life?

                                 

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Hard work and setting a high bar for achievements are necessary to make the best of opportunities and to be successful. To follow this mantra, one has to be positive and persistent and not settle for mediocre outcomes.

What would you like to give back to society?

I have moved out from the commercial retail banking and have devoted my last 8 years working on inclusive finance that creates a positive social impact by servicing the economically underprivileged sections of our country. I believe that giving our time and efforts to social causes is the best way to give back to society.

Your favorite book and what are you reading now?

I have many books on my list of favorite reads. One of the oldest is ‘Surely you’re joking Mr. Feynman’. It is a witty biography of Prof. Feynman, a leading intellectual of this century, and the use of anecdotes on laws of science would surely appeal to the sensibilities of any engineer.

I am presently reading ‘The Second Machine Age’ – by Erik Brynjolfsson. I was gifted this book during my recent visit to Google’s San Francisco office. It gives a fascinating perspective on the impact the data sciences and machine learning is expected to create and its possible impacts on our social fabric.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Painting, photography and road trips to small lesser known towns in the interiors of the country, are some of the things I enjoy when I have the time.

Achievements (Awards & Recognitions)

• Sanjay pioneered the launch of direct banking channels in HDFC Bank in the 90s and laid the
foundation for its large scale adoption by customers.
• He directed the establishment of consumer lending and credit card operations at ICICI.
• He catalyzed SCB in UAE to build an exceptional levels of customer satisfaction through effective
Service Quality programs.
• At the Indian startup venture of New York Life Insurance with Max Life, Sanjay automated and
transformed the key departments of Underwriting, Claims and Customer Services.
• As its CEO-International, Sanjay Sharma grew Tamweel PJSC, a greenfield venture for housing
finance, to become the largest housing finance company in UAE that broke many benchmarks at
its IPO that was oversubscribed over 200 times.
• “BFSI Leadership Award” by BFSI Post Magazine for his contribution in the banking domain.
• “100 TOP MOST INFLUENTIAL BFSI LEADERS” CITATION at the “World BFSI Congress and
Award”
• Under Sanjay’s leadership, Aye Finance has
o Won the Order of Merit at the “SKOCH AWARDS” for its proprietary “Cluster Based
Credit Assessment” Methodology to assess credit worthiness of micro businesses
o Won the first ever Facebook Startup Award in the category “Building for the Next
Billion”
o Won the “Startup 50” award by Smart CEO
o Was adjudged a Super Startup Asia 2018

Experience

30 years’ experience in consumer lending with global leaders leading a number of transformational programs at HDFC Bank, ICICI, SCB (UAE), Max New York Life Insurance, Tamweel PJSC, Ujjivan.

First Job – After passing out from IIT Bombay Sanjay worked with Tata Motors

Education

• Engineering from IIT Bombay
• Masters from IIM Bangalore
• Program on Negotiations (PON) from the Harvard Business School
• Certified Quality assessor for ISO and COPC

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