India has become Asia’s largest destination for FinTech investments, overtaking China and is on the cusp of a FinTech revolution
To say that the FinTech sector in India is among the fastest growing industries of the country would be a gross understatement. India has become Asia’s largest destination for FinTech investments, overtaking China and is on the cusp of a FinTech revolution. In fact, a large chunk of India’s unicorn start-ups over the last few years have been FinTech companies. It is estimated that India’s FinTech market will reach USD 150 billion by 2025.
The various FinTech domains are InsurTech, digital lending systems, digital payment gateways, microfinancing solutions etc. FinTech products are designed to streamline financial service delivery by being virtual, paperless, customizable and oriented towards addressing a highly specialized need instead of a one-size-fits-all alternative, e.g., cab-ride insurance, micro-loans for specific purchases and apps like PhonePe, Google Pay and the like.
The factors responsible for the rapid growth of FinTech in India are two-fold. Firstly, the COVID pandemic has seen digital payments rise significantly in India, not only in metros, but also in tier 3 and tier 4 cities. Amidst COVID, India saw a 60% increase in FinTech investments. Secondly, as FinTech products are highly customizable and cheap and do not require high service fees, long approval times and unnecessary documentation. FinTech has made financial services accessible to millions of customers from the low/middle income group, which largely constitute the Indian middle class. A great example of such a product is Paytm’s INR 2 lakh within 2 minutes loan or Bajaj’s gym injury insurance.
As digital adoption continues to grow over the next few years, the FinTech sector will likely remain a lucrative investment market, leading to the entry of new players and innovative products.
The entry of more players into the FinTech space will also open up tremendous job opportunities for software engineers, provided they equip themselves with the right tools and channel and market their skills effectively. As a result, in the near future, there is likely going to be a huge demand for a skilled workforce in the FinTech sector in the following areas.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created huge opportunities for financial technology companies. Financial institutions are adopting fintech solutions to mitigate the risks posed by the threats that the digitisation has brought. However, along with this speedy tech transformation, new cybersecurity risks are also emerging. This makes it imperative for fintech startups to take appropriate measures to secure their ecosystems from being compromised.
There is a huge skill shortage in Cybersecurity in India. According to a report by website, Comparitech, India ranks 15th worst in the world among the 60 countries surveyed in cybersecurity. According to a survey conducted by ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association), which is an international professional association focused on IT governance, 87 % companies responded that there is a shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals in India and only 41 % respondents felt they are ready to guard themselves against a cyber-attack. As fintech companies rely enormously on usage of applications which involve end users to fill in sensitive data and transferring of money with a one touch, to build these robust applications need of professionals with impeccable skill sets is required.
India has witnessed significant rise in the jobs catering to blockchain and cryptocurrencies, and pandemic has added to the demand of such professionals hugely. Gartner predicts the business value of Blockchain tech will exceed USD 3 million by 2030 and the skill set of blockchain professionals will be one of the fastest-growing skill sets – growing at a rate of 2,000 – 6,000%. The demand for Blockchain developers is not only limited to the BFSI Sector anymore. It is also witnessed in Healthcare, Education, Supply chain management, cloud computing, stock trading, real estate and even government agencies. Owing to the talent gap in this domain, it has been observed that employers are ready to pay high remuneration to professionals who have solid technical background and are ever curious to learn about new technologies. It has been observed that the salary of a Blockchain techie is higher than an average IT professional and with the right skill sets a Blockchain professional can also make twice the salary of what a Software Engineer may make in a year.
Full Stack Developer
Demand for people with specialized data skills sets is multiplying every year. More and more fintech startups and organizations are understanding the importance of capturing, interpreting, and being informed by data. Such data-driven insights can not only radically transform businesses but also help target new markets, address customer pain points, boost revenue and much more. Even organizations in the research and administration sector can amplify the success of their daily activities by leveraging data science practices and tools. So, it is no brainer that the job market demand for data science professionals like data scientist, data architect, data analyst is growing every day. As the FinTech industry is heavily reliant on data. But just accumulating data isn’t enough. They need experts to mine and interpret it. Data Analysts provide concrete solutions and recommendations on how products and services can be improved. With growing usage in IoT, Data Analysts will be in huge need in fields like healthcare, manufacturing sector, and other private and public industries, making it one of the most sought-after jobs. Research by Analytics Insight predicts there will be 3 million job openings in Data Analytics by 2021-22.
The FinTech boom is here to stay for the foreseeable future and there is much to be optimistic about employment opportunities in the sector. Expect a lot more companies to enter this space in the upcoming years. Companies that will be scouting for employees to build and maintain a robust and scalable FinTech infrastructure. For software engineers, this means opportunities galore. With the right skills and direction, the FinTech job market is theirs for the taking.
The author is Chief Business Officer of Manipal Global Academy of BFSI