Kingdom urged to focus more on ‘fintech growth potentials’ | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Kingdom urged to focus more on ‘fintech growth potentials’

TDT | Manama

Pradeep Puravankara

The Kingdom should leverage its stability and its steady, sustainable growth model to create a neutral platform for fintech where they can connect people from all over the world and provide all these new services, said the co-founder of Infosys, Senapaty ‘Kris’ Gopalakrishnan. He was speaking at the international conference of the Bahrain Chapter of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (BCICAI), which closed yesterday at the Diplomat Radisson Hotel, yesterday.

“Infosys rode on the wave of the third Industrial Revolution and created an industry which became world class. A similar disruption is going on all over the world in financial services. I think Bahrain’s efforts to tap the fintech market for the MENA region are well-timed,” he said. “In today’s world, the greatest value is placed on trust. Lack of trust is creating a slowdown and globalisation is taking a backseat. Almost all the governments are becoming inward-looking and nationalistic. “Therefore, a great premium will be placed on a platform that can be trusted. Since it offers a transparent and well-administered legal system, the Kingdom should leverage this and create opportunities to attract the best and brightest tech-savvy minds from anywhere in the world.” He added, “I strongly believe that Bahrain and India should work more together. One of the markets for the platform that I spoke about could be India. For example, right now, India lists in Singapore, so why not in Bahrain?”

Another Infosys link was Mohandas Pai, the IT giant’s former CFO who said, “New business models are coming up, driven by smart phones and cheap mobile plans. This has changed the entire world. The supply chains built after the Industrial Revolution (factories – labour force- components – assembly – shipping – storage – retail) are getting upended. This is the biggest disruption.” Tracking disruptions in the way we do business, he added, “One big disruption happening in the manufacturing industry is the introduction of 3D printing. Earlier, the samples used to be made from metals and chiselled till they were perfect for cloning. “Now, anyone sitting in any part of the world can design it layer by layer and send it to the neighbourhood printing shop for 3D printing. This has changed the entire supply chain. The technology in Life Sciences – DNA Mapping, Robotic Surgeries, Stem Cell Therapy, etc. – has revolutionised the medical sector.

“In the Financial Services sector, the remittance market has been totally disrupted with the payment systems getting automated. In the technology space itself, the rise of cloud computing, machine learning, AI algorithms, quantum compiling and facial recognition have changed the way things work.”

The conference attracted over 350 delegates from across the GCC and India and sixteen powerhouse speakers including former union minister CA Suresh Prabhu. “The BCICAI is proud of the conference’s success and the diversity of topics we discussed as well as the intellectual heft of the speakers,” said Chairperson Maheshkumar Narayan. “The Kingdom proved itself an ideal MICE destination and we had CEOs and CFOs converging from the rest of the GCC with excellent ease of access, easy visa formalities and hospitality infrastructure. This is the eleventh annual conference and as organisers, we are very impressed with the maturing of the conferences infrastructure of the Kingdom,” he added. 

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