Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal on Friday said financial services present a large opportunity and by bringing a consumer tech thought process, new-age companies are well-positioned to tap into underpenetrated segments like insurance, mutual funds and capital market. A few months after his exit from e-commerce major Flipkart, Bansal had turned his attention to the financial services space with Navi.
“It’s (financial services) an exciting space. The problem (in the space) is big, slightly different from retail because the competition was kind of non-existent and it was not a regulated space, at least at that time…here the space is huge,” Bansal said, adding that “big spaces” allow experimentation of different approaches.
He further said: “We think that by bringing a consumer tech thought process into the financial services space, it’ll be something new we can try…it could be a large business opportunity”.
Noting that incumbents “haven’t done justice” to technology, Bansal said this was visible to him at Flipkart when the e-commerce company was dealing with financial services companies and banks, and the company ultimately ended up building its own payments system and acquiring PhonePe.
“I will say the pain was known for me since the payment days at Flipkart and post-Flipkart, when I went deeper into it, I found that it’s a huge space. Look at the great penetration of the country, we are far behind most economies in the world… (in terms of) health insurance penetration, mutual fund penetration, capital market participation,” he added.
Bansal stated that while incumbents are trying things, there are a lot of sets of users that are untapped.
Asked if the company was looking at new areas like cryptocurrency, he said, “we are watching that space”.
The serial entrepreneur also exuded confidence that India will have multiple USD 100 billion startups in the future.
“I think India will produce companies of that nature, of that size. There are very large problems to solve within India,” he said, adding that these companies will solve Indian as well as global problems over time.
Bansal observed that talent availability in the startup space has improved.
“…the big difference that I find now is that our tier II and III colleges are also producing very good talent, and a lot of that talent is self taught, people are getting on the internet, learning themselves, doing courses, global content is available…I think the quality of talent has improved and the talent is now available for the startups,” he said.