India building a strong FinTech partnership with Singapore: HCI Ashraf

There are a lot of exciting possibilities in Singapore and Indian youth are looking at how they can build startup brands in the region, India’s High Commissioner to Singapore H.E. Jawed Ashraf said on Monday.

HE Jawed Ashraf, HCI Singapore, (centre) at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the India Pavillion at the 4th Singapore FinTech Festival 2019. Also seen in the picture are Girija Pande (left), Mohandas Pai, Chairman, Aarin Capital, (2nd from left, back row), Puneet Pushkarna, Chairman Emeritus - TiE Singapore (2nd from right, back row), Navita Myer, Director, FICCI Singapore (2nd from right, front row) and Kishore Kumar Poludasu, Country Head of SBI Singapore (right, back row). Photo: Connected to India
HE Jawed Ashraf, HCI Singapore, (centre) at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the India Pavillion at the 4th Singapore FinTech Festival 2019. Also seen in the picture are Girija Pande (left), Mohandas Pai, Chairman, Aarin Capital, (2nd from left, back row), Puneet Pushkarna, Chairman Emeritus - TiE Singapore (2nd from right, back row), Navita Myer, Director, FICCI Singapore (2nd from right, front row) and Kishore Kumar Poludasu, Country Head of SBI Singapore (right, back row). Photo: Connected to India

Speaking at the inauguration of the India Pavilion at the 4th Singapore FinTech Festival 2019, Mr Ashraf said that India has the potential to become a global leader in the FinTech space and there are a lot of areas where cooperation with Singapore would enhance both nations’ industries. 

FICCI) and Mumbai Fintech Hub
HCI Jawed Ashraf (centre) with the CEOs and founders of companies with stalls in the India Pavillion at the Singapore FinTechFestival 2019. Photo: Connected to India

“Singapore and India have a lot of synergies, I think, in terms of intellectual property rights, financing, access to the market in the region and globally. This is a partnership we are building quite strongly,” he said.

This year, the Indian delegation at India pavilion at the SFF Exhibition is composed of 12 and 15 fintech companies respectively sponsored by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Mumbai Fintech Hu
The Indian delegation at the SFF Exhibition's India pavilion is one of the largest from any country, composed of 12 and 15 fintech companies respectively sponsored by FICCI and Mumbai Fintech Hub. Photo: Connected to India

The festival is scheduled from November 11-15 held in conjunction with the Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology (SWITCH). This year, over 50,000 participants from 130+ countries are attending the financial technology event to discuss the latest technologies, trends and opportunities in the field.

This year, the Indian delegation at India pavilion at the SFF Exhibition is composed of 12 and 15 fintech companies respectively sponsored by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Mumbai Fintech Hub, making it one of the biggest delegations from any country. The high commissioner also spoke about how advancements in the FinTech sector had led to a fundamental shift in priorities among the young workforce.

Vayana Network, a trade finance platform for MSMEs, were in attendance at the 4th Singapore FinTech Festival 2019 as well. Seen in the picture Carl Yang, AVP - Sales, Southeast Asia (left) and Sanjay Phadke, EVP - Platform and FI Business Head (centre). Photo: Connected to India
Vayana Network, a trade finance platform for MSMEs, were in attendance at the 4th Singapore FinTech Festival 2019 as well. Seen in the picture Carl Yang, AVP - Sales, Southeast Asia (left) and Sanjay Phadke, EVP - Platform and FI Business Head (centre). Photo: Connected to India
CEO Sumit Jain (left) and CTO Mohit Bansal of instant online short-term lending platform Phocket at the Singapore FinTech FEstival 2019. Photo: Connected to India
CEO Sumit Jain (left) and CTO Mohit Bansal of instant online short-term lending platform Phocket at the Singapore FinTech FEstival 2019. Photo: Connected to India

“This new generation of millennials in India are far more outward-looking. They are not easily cowed down by other countries or by hierarchies. They are far more eager and self-confident; most of them now want to do something rather than go out and take jobs,” he said.

Mr Ashraf also witnessed the signing of an MoU between FICCI and the Singapore Fintech Association (SFA) while co-inaugurating the SFA pavilion along with Patrick Tay, MP and Assistant Secretary-General, National Trades Union Congress (NTUC).

On Wednesday, the High Commissioner will soft launch the first international module of the BHIM-UPI QR based payments system in Singapore by carrying out a live transaction at a merchant terminal at SFF. 

HCI Jawed Ashraf (centre), along with Mohandas Pai, Chairman, Aarin Capital, (left), Parag Mehta, Founder and CEO, Evolute Group (2nd from right) and Girija Pande, Chairman at Apex Avalon Consulting, (right) at the booth of the Evolute Group, which provides end-to-end FinTech hardware solutions for POS and cashless transactions. Photo: Connected to India
HCI Jawed Ashraf (centre), along with Mohandas Pai, Chairman, Aarin Capital, (left), Parag Mehta, Founder and CEO, Evolute Group (2nd from right) and Girija Pande, Chairman at Apex Avalon Consulting, (right) at the booth of the Evolute Group, which provides end-to-end FinTech hardware solutions for POS and cashless transactions. Photo: Connected to India

“We’ll run it for four days during the period of SFF 2019; dynamic settlement of payments needs to be worked out. We will start with those places which have Indian visitors,” said Mr Ashraf.

This system, jointly developed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and Network for Electronic Transfers (NETS) of Singapore, will allow anyone with a BHIM app to make payments at NETS terminals. The service is slated to go live by early 2020.

Author
Tushaar Kuthiala
Tushaar Kuthiala – Associate Editor

Tushaar has extensive experience as a journalist and in founding two start-up newspapers. He has developed editorial models for both copy and content, and has written several articles, news reports on a wide range of topics. He is a graduate of St. Stephen’s College and earned a post-graduate diploma in TV Journalism from the Asian College of Journalism (ACJ), Chennai. He has worked as a special correspondent based in New Delhi with Daily World, an international media organisation. 

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