Responding to Humanity’s Greatest Challenge

Ramesh Mallya
Head of Technology at DBS

Responding to Humanity’s Greatest Challenge

Ramesh Mallya
Head of Technology at DBS

We are all together in this hour of crisis that’s challenging humanity. Speaking on banking sector resilience picking up pace, Ramesh Mallya, Head of Technology at DBS Bank India, shares his insights on the immediate priorities and the need for recalibration in view of the COVID crisis.

Need of the hour: Fast moving, extraordinary measures to safeguard continued trust and confidence.

It is important to understand that beyond their financial capital or their transactional capabilities, people and corporations place their trust in banks.

The role of a tech leader following the COVID-19 crisis.

Change is not a one-time event but an ongoing journey. There’s a constant evolution of how our customers deal with us and how we deal with our partners. Increasingly, the focus will be on adoption of digital channels by our clients and for API based partnerships to ensure non-disruptive banking operations.

“There is a responsibility to ensure businesses continue serving customers in the best possible manner even in the worst of circumstances. Technology is playing a key role in ensuring people continue to work remotely or from alternate locations, and enabling customers to transact remotely,” adds Mallya. This entails constant vigilance and preparation to run a tight ship with regular live Disaster Recovery (DR) drills, Adequate Processing Capacity, Automated Monitoring and Advance Alerting Mechanisms for critical infrastructure and systems, etc.

“Most importantly, it’s about fostering a work culture that places both customer and safety at the same pedestal of importance. This means embedding a proactive approach towards risk identification and mitigation into the team’s DNA. Every change that goes into the systems, every decision around system architectures, and even hiring decisions by the team must reflect this ethos. By imbibing these values, tech Leaders will go a long way to ensure the organization is able to take on any crisis situation head-on, and not bleed in the aftermath,” he further adds.

Changing landscape of technology integration in India and key learnings from DBS

As far as the banking sector is concerned, this crisis will inevitably lead to further acceleration of digitisation efforts. Telepresence, Teletransact, Telemonitor & Teleresponse – these will increasingly become the cornerstones of any crisis management strategy going forward. Predictive Data Analytics, Enhanced Scenario and Response Simulations, Real-time Data Monitoring and Advance Alerting Mechanisms would also be required to lay the groundwork well before any crisis event actually occurs.

Speaking about acceleration in digitisation efforts by DBS, Mallya says, “While expansion of the digital footprint has become a strategic imperative in India, at DBS we are maintaining our focus on digitisation through the use of smart forms, Optical Character Recognition (OCR), increasing Straight Through Processing (STP) rates balanced with enhanced security measures, as well as fraud prevention by leveraging advanced data analytics and predictive models.”

Discovering new opportunities in the aftermath

Staying cautious yet positive on the future, Mallya goes on to share, “As the adage goes, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Hopefully, all the hard work and efforts will bear fruit, and we should be able to defeat this virus in a limited period of time. In a post pandemic scenario, the optimistic view is that there will be a release of pent up demand across all sectors of the economy. This should hopefully provide enough growth impetus that will help reverse some of the losses incurred during lockdown periods. The slew of measures being taken by the Government and the RBI should hopefully help both individuals and corporations/small businesses to stay afloat and tide over this crisis period. “

Re-emphasizing on the absolutely critical takeaways for us, Mallya concludes – As organisations, as communities and finally as individuals, we must seek guidance in technology to not just prevent but also predict an impending crisis to respond adequately to secure our future.

CIO PROFILE
Ramesh Mallya
Head of Technology at DBS

Ramesh Mallya is the Head of Technology at India DBS Bank, and is responsible for the end-to-end delivery for all Technology implementations. An alumnus of Jamnalal Bajaj institute of Management Studies, he plays a pivotal role in guiding innovators to shape new experiences in the banking sector.