Robotics, blockchain, and Japanese management culture have all fascinated Mitesh Soni, Senior Director, Innovation and Fintech at Finastra. Today we pick the mind of our newest FinTECHTalents Steering Committee member, as our community looks forward to creating a future that better serves stakeholders across the economy. He gives his views on planning a career, what he sees as the impactful developments coming down the line and, of course, how best to spend time at the Festival. (Hint: It involves cutting a rug and drinking craft beer 😊 ). We also get insight into how Finastra’s co-creation platform FusionFabric.cloud can be harnessed to develop the technology of today and tomorrow.
Do you think that the changes we’ve seen across the financial services sector in recent years are significant?
They have been very significant and disruptive. The past decade has been dominated by regulatory compliance, recapitalisation of the balance sheet and the rise of innovation through Fintech and Big Tech. We are just now starting to return to growth models again after sustained cost pressure, reduced margins and demanding customer expectations. Open banking will also stretch the innovation envelope, allowing non-traditional financial institutions to offer financial services. We are entering a new world of financial services where transactions are taken for granted and the fee / margin / interest model is no longer sustainable. Consumers are increasingly looking for more services that support or enhance their lifestyle, moving away from purely transactional products.
Do you think that consumers and businesses have really felt the benefit?
Consumers and businesses have benefited through a safer regulatory infrastructure but have paid the price though less innovation at the front end of the client experience. This is where many FinTech’s have created new and compelling experiences for the customer, providing specialised and creative new services.
How did you choose a career in technology or did it choose you?
I’d say it’s probably a combination of the two. Some people are very focussed and directional in their careers and are planned with intent from the beginning. I’m not one of those people and believe somewhat in serendipity and allowing experiences to unfold of their own accord. My background is in management science and my career started in Japan teaching English as I had a fascination of Japanese management principles during my studies. As I returned to the UK, I had the opportunity to train with IBM or PWC and I chose IBM. I haven’t looked back since and it has been a great ride so far.
Tell us a bit about your role at Finastra and about some of the technologies that you think are challenging the status quo?
Finastra is a new company formed just over a year ago combining two leaders in the financial services space – Misys and D+H. Together, we became the third largest fintech in the world and 48 of the top 50 banks use our software in their enterprises. It’s an incredible place to be at the moment with all the changes happening and the financial services sector being reinvented at speed. Banks, of course, are one of the heavy users of technology and some of the exciting technologies for the near term are AI, robotics and blockchain. Compute power has advanced exponentially in the past century and we are now at a point where AI can be used meaningfully. You only have to look at ‘Duplex’ or ‘Alexa’ to see how far we have come with voice recognition. Robotics will replace many manual processes and blockchain promises to remove intermediaries and create a more democratised world. In the long term, quantum computing and genetic biology hold great promise for solving the big challenges of the world. We really are living in exciting times when it comes to technology.
Finastra recently launched FusionFabric.cloud; what is unique about the platform and the community you are targeting?
McKinsey have predicted that by 2025, one third of global GDP will be transacted through platforms. We are increasingly seeing the emergence of platforms across all industries and they are becoming a dominant choice for clients as the primary interface into commerce. Finastra believes in the power of open and connected consumers and clients and technology are shaping this new world. We are pursuing this vision by launching our FusionFabric.cloud platform where third parties can join our developer community and build applications that are distributed across our 9,000 clients. It is a unique opportunity to build, deploy and consume financial services which, in the past, were only available to the largest and most wealthy organisations. Now industrial grade tools, advanced technologies and a powerful ecosystem, are openly available to the largest and smallest developer all round the world. We are looking for partners to join us from the banking space, consultancies, fintech and academia and already have 60 partners signed up and using the technology.
Come 30th & 31st October, will we find you sampling craft beers, showing off some new moves on the dance floor or devising the next set of applications?
I’ll be sipping the craft beers and taking to the floor!