Leveraging technology to make a digital-first brand : Jyothirlatha B, CTO, Godrej Capital

Godrej Capital is a NBFC and the financial arm of the Godrej Group. Godrej Capital is a ‘digital-first’ and ‘born-in cloud brand’. Keeping up with security features and modern technology today is very important to keep the organization safe and opens many possibilities for their scalability and future. Godrej Capital is leveraging technology to not only provide zero-touch loans to customers but to also ensure the safety of their data, deciding their creditworthiness and providing them solutions as quickly as possible. Ms. Jyothirlatha B, CTO at the Godrej Capital shares her insights on how this is made possible:


  1. How leveraging cloud computing in the lending sector can increase the scalability of business? How does Godrej Capital do it?

We have observed a surge in the adoption of the Cloud in the lending sector. Cloud technologies and a security framework enable financial institutions, such as NBFCs, in this space to be agile in launching new products and be scalable as per business growth plans.

Thus, organizations looking to scale their business as per the market demand should be well-equipped with cloud-compatible technologies, as they offer the advantage of scalability, which can benefit financial entities and consumers alike.

Additionally, cloud-compatible technologies allow organizations to operate at a comparatively low cost for high volume, providing cost-effective scalability to businesses in a faster turnaround time.

Lastly, by designing the architecture with the available capabilities, Cloud can offer high availability and maximum uptime for the applications.

Speaking of our business, Godrej Capital is a ‘born-in-the-cloud’ organization that was launched during the Covid-19 pandemic. The adoption of Cloud technologies empowered us to go to market fast, with our core business and new innovations, in a short time.

Furthermore, leveraging cloud-native architecture has enabled us to innovate better by offloading operational burdens without worrying about scalability – resulting in our business being agile, flexible, lean, and digital-first with its IT infrastructure.


  1. Security and compliance are top priorities in FSI institutions. How do businesses today strengthen their cyber resilience?

With technology moving quickly, cybersecurity remains a challenge and a top priority for organizations. However, a more significant challenge lies in the organization’s cyber resilience to secure the business, reduce exposure to cyber threats and subsequently reduce the impact of the attacks to help ensure continued sustainability.

 This requires an organization to be equipped with a well-defined framework of proactive monitoring with advanced threat detection techniques, response to the threat, and data leakage prevention methods.

Organizations need to focus on building skills and imparting more cyber training to help grow cybersecurity awareness and make employees take complete ownership and get involved in continuous improvement.


  1. Digital-first companies in the credit lending sector must ensure the creditworthiness of their customers. How do AI and Big Data help in data-driven decision-making?

The credit market is growing, and using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in credit scoring systems can lead to increased efficiency and accuracy in driving decisions about a customer’s creditworthiness.

Organizations need large alternative datasets driven by AI/ML and scoring models to get a holistic picture of the borrower and their profile. These models, built on large relevant datasets and proper governance and control processes, enable the organization to move towards unbiased, data-driven, fair, and fast credit decisions.

 Further, big data frameworks, Data lakes, are making processing structured and unstructured data easy, allowing organizations to innovate and scale their products and cater to larger customer segmentation. For instance, Godrej Capital launched SME-oriented offerings such as NeoLAP, where we have developed expertise to assess multiple forms of income, thus enabling business owners with higher loan amounts compared to the market.

 These models must evolve continuously to take care of the external factors validating the assumptions, as inaccurate systems or manual processes reduce the addressable customer base for the lenders. Godrej Capital, during the pandemic, had to tweak many of its models in line with the external environment.


  1. What are the tech advancements that have made SME lending easier?

Digital lending and FinTech integrations are changing the SME lending process with lower costs to serve. Here technology plays a huge role by providing a suite of value-added services to overcome SME lenders’ challenges.

 Another noteworthy advancement has been the use of alternative data sources and modeling techniques, by using the data sources, that have redefined the way SME lenders assess risks.

 Open API architectures further enable partnerships with Fintech platforms to enable digitized offerings for a seamless experience for the end-users/borrowers/small business owners.


  1. Cybersecurity dynamics are evolving. How does Godrej Capital stay ahead of these risks?

As digital transformation paves the way to more significant vulnerabilities and newer forms of threats to enterprises, the security perimeter is getting redefined.

 At Godrej Capital, security is an iterative and evolving process integral to our overall technology strategy. We have robust security governance of proactive monitoring, detection, protection, and incident management. This has enabled visibility into the networks to identify anomalistic behaviors to respond quickly, combat threats, and protect sensitive data.

We also have cloud security policies and methods for managing user privileges, risk management regimes, and authentication methods.

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