Lending-tech in India: Top 6 skills they are searching for in 2023
Lending-tech emerged as the dominant fintech subsector in 2023, attracting the lion’s share of venture capital investments among Indian startups. Currently, it boasts the highest number of startups that are soon-to-be-unicorns among other fintech subsectors in India.
With rapid growth, these startups also have an increasing demand for skilled professionals with top-notch expertise for innovation and execution to take place.
So, what exactly are lending tech companies and what are the skills they’re looking for? Let’s delve into the world of lending tech and the top 7 high-demand skills in this subsector of Fintech.
Lending Tech startups: What they do and why are they important?
Lending tech is part of the larger fintech ecosystem in India. The fintech market demand continues to expand in India on the back of financial inclusion. According to a report, Indian fintechs are expected to reach USD $190 billion by 2030!
On the other hand, despite the push from the government and RBI policies for financial inclusion, there has been a massive credit-deprived section of the economy. Banks have yet to establish bandwidth and technology to underwrite applications, process loans, and collect repayments while improving their customer experience and satisfaction scores. They also struggle with the lack of network and capability to deliver their services to the last mile and the underserved sections at the bottom of the pyramid.
That’s where lending tech companies come in. Lending tech platforms in India provide personal and business loans for funding individuals and small and medium businesses at accessible rates and terms.
The Indian lending tech landscape can be divided into segments of consumer lending, B2B lending and lending SaaS companies.
Consumer lending companies use technology to assess creditworthiness, which allows them to offer faster approval times and more flexible repayment terms to people. These alternative lending platforms are providing loans to individuals who may not meet the traditional banking system’s loan eligibility criteria (more on that later).
Likewise, B2B lending startups help SMEs expedite market entry and ensure compliance with the current lending regulations. Lending SaaS startups also deploy their tech stack as credit aggregators to serve other lending Fintechs, NBFCs and Banks.
The focus of lending tech companies is on customer-centricity. In co-lending models, these enterprises collaborate with banks and manage their customer base by providing an easy, touchless and effortless experience. With India’s rising internet penetration rate and smartphone users, lending-tech enterprises have the potential to facilitate conversions, and attract and retain new customer segments.
Most importantly, these companies offer various lending services to the credit-deprived communities. In rural India, lending tech enterprises like Jaikisan, FIA Global, Sammunati, Arya.ag, and Farmart offer capital and vital market connections to farmers. They are catering to the special needs of farmers for loans, equipment financing and insurance while educating them about their contract’s terms and conditions and ensuring effortless customer experience. Hence, lending-tech startups are also contributing to improving India’s financial literacy and driving growth in rural India.
As the industry expands and lending tech services become a part of India’s financial ecosystem, it generates a huge demand for professionals with Fintech qualifications and capabilities.
6 high-demand skills for lending-tech companies in India
As the fastest growing fintech sub-sector, lending-tech companies are heavily investing in their workforce to support timely innovation and market entry. As the lending-tech demand grows, companies are looking for skilled talent to help through various stages of acquiring customers, managing loans, automating processes, and providing debt collection services offered by these startups.
Lending tech companies are looking for talent every step of these processes as well as professionals that contribute to effective decision-making and execution of their products and solutions.
Xpheno research on Fintech startups workforce reveals that Lending-tech has a massive demand for professionals with tech and non-tech skills. These skills are as follows:
1. Analytical Skills
As the lending-tech industry continues to grow and transform, it needs professionals who can find innovative solutions to new challenges. Analytical skills is the most frequent requirement when we look at the current active job posts of Lending tech startups in 2023.
It is the ability to identify a problem, gather relevant information, thoroughly process that information and make informed decisions based on the insights from the collected information. These skills are highly sought-after in various fields, but they are considered especially important in the realm of finance.
Analytical skills can help detect patterns, nurture creative ideas, meticulously observe and gather meaningful data, interpret and syntesize information, and make decisions that are attuned to the context of the organization. It involves, research, data analysis, creative and critical thinking and communication skills that helps a professional to find solutions to various problems and make decisions and plans to solve those problems.
Whether it is acquiring customers, conducting lead qualification for loan eligibility, dealing with stakeholders, or managing changes in business regulations, analytical skills become non-negotiable for professionals working in lending-tech.
2. Amazon Web Services
AWS has transformed the way businesses operate and developers build and deploy applications. It allows businesses to focus on innovation instead of managing complex IT infrastructure, hence helping them accelerate their time to market.
Lending tech startups like Lendingkart, RupeeRedee, Nira, Allcoud are some popular indian Lending players that are using AWS to build high automated and robust lending technology platforms.
AWS provides a suite of cloud computing services that allow enterprises to easily scale their infrastructure, store and analyze large amounts of data, and its tools offering AI and ML services. It’s vast array of services, such as Amazon S3 for storage, EC2 for virtual servers, and Lambda for serverless computing, offer flexibility, reliability and cost efficiency.
Lending tech companies operating on cloud based platforms have a huge demand for AWS skilled professionals to make their projects a success.
3. Python and SQL
Python and SQL both stand as gold-standard programming languages for effectively handling real world data. Financial data can be very complicated and requires sophisticated tools for making careful analysis. Python is preferred for its simplicity and robust modeling capabilities. SQL provides the ability to work with multiple databases and retrieve large amounts of data for companies.
Hence, knowledge of both Python and SQL has become crucial for programmers, developers, data administrators, data analysts, data scientists, and other fintech roles that deal with massive amounts of data. Whether it be fintech startups or global banking and trading firms, organisations are looking for candidates with Python and SQL skills.
For lending-tech enterprises, data is essential to understand customer behavior and market their products as well as to asses leads for loan eligibility. These enterprises are now using Big Data and AI-ML algorithms to assess creditworthiness. As companies shift to more complex databases, Python and SQL skills become crucial to retrieve, analyse and visualise financial data efficiently.
Though the emerging tech skills have an explosive demand, the importance of finance specialisation has not reduced in Lending tech companies. Lending tech companies are looking for Accountants, Analysts, and Managers with Finance skills like Accounting, Business Intelligence, Financial decision-making, and Database Management and Cashflow Management. Qualification in Accounting, Economics, Finance, Mathematics, Statistics and CFA certifications are valued, but most importantly, enterprises are looking for candidates with problem-solving skills and aptitude for numbers.
Financial Analysts, Product Manager, Business Analysts, and Product operations Managers are some positions that benefit from specialisation in Finance in lending tech companies.
At lending tech companies finance specialists are involved in these various roles that involves financial advicing, financial planning, managing enterprise budgets and studying the current market trends.
5. Software Development
It might seem like the most obvious one on the list, but the importance of fintech software development can not be over stated. Digital credit platforms have simplified several process that required a lot of paperwork. These lending tech platforms that provide personal and business loans at accessible rates and terms account for many successful ventures.
These enterprises create online lending platforms for funding SMEs and individuals to help them access education loans, vehicle loans, home loans and several other options from their smartphones.
Software developers can expect to be involved in a whole set of lending-tech industry requirements, ranging from building applications to ensure seamless and secure customer experience to creating dashboards for tracking sales productivity.
6. Fintech Sales, Customer Success and Support
In the past year, the lending-tech sales function witnessed 38% growth in numbers, which is the highest among all functions in the last year. As we know, lending tech companies aim to automate the processes of loan approval and make them quicker and hassle free. However, the demand for individuals who can effectively bridge the gap and take the new lending solutions to people continues to grow with time.
Therefore, these enterprises are creating huge opportunities in non-tech roles such as process excellence, fintech inside sales, customer growth, customer success, customer onboarding, customer support, and back office roles. The “feet on street” sales cadre along with the inside sales and support functions are crucial to support the expansion of lending tech firms in India.
Lending-tech innovations have led to marked improvements in efficiency, productivity, quality, inclusion and competitiveness in extension of credit services. Skilled talent stays to be the biggest factor in maintaining sustained, robust growth for Indian lending-tech companies. Professionals with relevant tech skills, essential people skills and ability to think creatively are destined for long-term success in this industry.