Revolut, one of the UK’s most prominent fintech companies, is not shying away from the challenge of establishing a foothold in the Indian market. Instead, it has hired 300 staff for its Indian hub, appointed a new regional CEO, and is investing over $25 million over the next five years, with the aim to launch its app there by 2022.
India is amongst the fastest growing fintech markets in the world; it is the global leader for fintech adoption, and RBSA advisors claim it is the third biggest fintech ecosystem in the world.
The Indian incentive is obvious; it has the second-largest unbanked population in the world, very low penetration of insurance, suboptimal portfolio allocations, a huge millennial base, and a big Government-led push towards financial inclusion and digitalisation. By 2030, India will see an additional 140 million middle-income and 21 million high-income households, driving the demand and growth in the fintech space.
With the potential market proving so lucrative, UK fintechs will be looking to maximise their chances in India and beyond. However, firms like Revolut face fierce competition from highly successful domestic companies, and many will require venture capitalists or incubators to help them grow and expand into the country. Utilising both their local expertise, as well as their international insight, will help these ambitious foreign firms access the 1.3 billion consumers that are growing ever more digitally connected.
Assessing what makes India so enticing for British fintech companies Nayan Gala, the co-founder of JPIN VCATS, comments “One of the most enticing markets for any British business, but particularly a digital product like fintech, must be India. It is one the world’s largest financial hubs, a key investor into the UK, and a market with over a billion potential customers.”
“A Free Trade Agreement, which the UK and Indian Prime Ministers are hopefully discussing as we speak, will help to create an investment corridor between the two countries, which will benefit startups and fintech firms on either side of the Silk Road, as well as savvy investors looking for symbiotic relationships with ambitious firms,” Nayan continues.
“UK fintech is also thriving, and the country’s businesses are looking to expand – often into India. Working with a specialist firm like JPIN VCATS can open the door to 1.3 billion potential customers for UK fintechs, and provide opportunities for business improvement, consolidation, foreign expansion and diversification in a rapidly growing market.”
As Revolut expands its operations and interests into India, it is within the company’s best interests to appoint a strong and experienced leader to guide such a substantial and complex expansion. This is why the fintech has recently announced the appointment of Paroma Chatterjee as its CEO in India
Prior to joining Revolut, Paroma held senior executive roles at Lendingkart, Via.com, Flipkart, and Airtel Money. She is a renowned leader in the fintech and consumer tech industry and was named as one of the “Top 25 Women Leaders in Financial Technology of Asia” in 2020.
“I couldn’t be more excited to join Revolut and become a part of this phenomenal growth journey. It is an honour and a privilege to be asked to lead the business for such a world-class company, in a country that presents one of the largest opportunities globally for Revolut. I look forward to building an exceptionally talented team and working with them, as we continue to develop superlative financial solutions for millions of consumers in India,” comments Paroma Chatterjee. “We will build the bank of the future.”
As the leader of the executive team in India, Paroma will build and lead Revolut’s subsidiary in the region, define and implement the business strategy, hire the team and manage license applications and any potential acquisitions in the market.
“With a wealth of experience in the fintech and consumer tech sectors and an outstanding track record, Paroma is an excellent fit for the role and her appointment is a major achievement in our continued mission to become the world’s first truly global financial superapp. We’re looking forward to transforming the way people in India access and manage their money as we bring our products and services to more people around the world,” comments Revolut’s CEO and Founder Nik Storonsky. “India is a core market in our expansion strategy with a huge supply of talent, and we’re excited to tap into that talent pool to help Revolut go from strength to strength.”
To join Paroma, Revolut has recruited Heads of Operations and Legal for the country and is leveraging India’s strong talent pool to recruit across multiple functions including HR, Finance, Growth, Marketing, Recruitment, Compliance, Risk, and Technology. The Revolut India subsidiary will also serve as an operations hub for Revolut’s global business, reflecting the skills and talent available in the Indian market.
Globally, Revolut has established itself as an innovative alternative to traditional banking products through its suite of digitally-enabled products across banking and business accounts, cards and payments, foreign exchange transfers and remittances, investments and trading, insurance, and other financial services. Revolut India will look to introduce those products in the country that will help Indians significantly improve the experience of managing their personal finances.
Revolut will be one of the first UK fintechs to reach India and can further deepen trade relations between both countries. Its launch in India is the latest step in its international expansion plans, following successful launches in Singapore and Australia in 2019, and the US and Japan in 2020. Revolut has also stated its plans to launch in a number of markets across South America and deepen its existing presence in Asia-Pacific.