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An interview with Godrej Housing Finance CTO Jyothirlatha B

In an interview with TechGraph, Jyothirlatha B — Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Godrej Housing Finance, said: “Organizations need to build strong API capabilities to enable embedded finance.”

Edited excerpts:

TechGraph: How is Godrej Housing Finance facilitating the entire lending process entirely digitally?

Jyothirlatha B: Digital capabilities especially in the lending business offer a lot of benefits for organizations, including improved customer experience, better decisions, and cost optimization. Our user-friendly digital processes enable a completely contactless end-to-end journey for our customers. 

The entire lending process right from customer sourcing, documentation, risk analysis to disbursement is powered with auto-fill technologies which source the required details online enable data-driven eligibility checks, online customer data verifications, and facilitate video-based discussions and closings with the customers online. Our disbursement capabilities especially have rapidly enhanced due to integration with new-age technologies.

TechGraph: What are your views on the role of technology in redefining the housing finance sector amid the outbreak of the covid pandemic?

Jyothirlatha B: The current pandemic has speeded digital adoption by several years. Most organizations are recognizing technology’s strategic importance as a business enabler.  Social protocols have kick-started the digital transformation of the mortgage industry. 

Technology has assisted organizations to handle the covid related crisis more effectively. Organizations are focussing a lot more on providing a seamless onboarding experience to customers with minimum contact & hassles. 

TechGraph: How do you see technologies namely Artificial Intelligence, Data Center, and Cloud, with regards to its relevance across the NBFC? How does the future look like?

Jyothirlatha B: Cloud computing adoption is increasing across the sector. These technologies have enabled organizations in enhancing their infrastructure framework with cost optimization & reduced operational cycles. 

The pandemic and remote working have accelerated cloud adoption. Flexible computing, high availability of the cloud are huge enablers for business continuity. 

Technologies like AI, NLP, RPA are becoming part of business technology processes providing meaningful insights for better decisions with improved operational efficiency.

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TechGraph: Do you have partnership/s with banks or FinTechs?       

Jyothirlatha B: Fintech in general has expanded the digital landscape. Fintechs and Big Techs have in many ways revolutionized the digital transformation of financial institutions as they provide niche solutions that reduce day-to-day operational hurdles. 

As these solutions are agile facilitated by the latest technologies, they help organizations in developing quicker Go-to-Market strategies. We have enhanced our systems and processes with these Fintech solutions and many more are being evaluated as well.

TechGraph: Technological challenges while building Godrej housing finance during Pandemic?

Jyothirlatha B: We are one of the few organizations which launched the business during the Pandemic. As digital transformation has accelerated, risks associated with it also have increased. 

Remote Work has posed many cybersecurity challenges to technology teams. Building operational resilience and digital capabilities along with ensuring the safety of our employees demanded many technology capabilities deliveries to be fast-tracked to enable ground staff to perform efficiently. 

We have adopted a cloud-native, digital-first approach in all our processes and journeys. Flexible connectivity of technology systems, portability of technology assets, Customer friendly digital journeys have been part of our technology strategy from the beginning.  This helped us in handling the Covid crisis effectively.  

TechGraph: What are the tools and technologies to redefine the way of doing business in the new normal?

Jyothirlatha B: Financial institutions have moved to end-to-end digitalized service offerings. The ever-evolving customer expectations have resulted in specialized offerings across functions for seamless customer experiences. Raising the bar for tech upgradation at a steady pace is the new normal. 

Organizations need to build strong API capabilities to enable embedded finance.  Digital-first and virtual offices demand more automation and intelligent decision-making. Efficient usage of AI, RPA, and Data platforms will be strong enablers for efficiency & service delivery.

TechGraph: What are the new products in the pipeline?

Jyothirlatha B: Our product variants are designed around flexibility to suit our customer needs. With a customer-first approach at our core, our current focus is on developing technology products that offer personalization. We are further focusing on enhancing our data platforms and Rule Engines for an improvised customer experience. 

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