Here’s a field you can bank on

The banking and financial sector in India is undergoing transformational and strategic shifts. Various factors that are driven by technology and regulatory and market dynamics are leading to significant changes in operating models, services, product offerings and consumer expectations. 

The financial industry has felt the maximum impact of disruption caused by developments in technology, automation and digitisation. The dramatic emergence of fintech business models has completely disrupted the way services such as payments, money transfers, investments and retail lending are experienced by customers. Relationship building, a key requirement in providing financial and money related services to a consumer through transaction management and information dissemination, is becoming non-existent. While front-offices are largely becoming self-service, back offices are getting automated with basic customer queries and requests being handled by digital tools like chatbots. 

In parallel, regulatory and compliance related requirements are increasing because of new data protection norms, frauds and cyber-attack related threats, changing regulatory framework and increased consumer awareness.

However, despite the above dynamics, the financial services industry has been witnessing considerable business growth driven by the increasing consumption and spend patterns of Indian consumers, the regularisation of businesses and the expanding network of financial services companies. Multiple reports suggest that the Indian financial services sector is poised to grow by approximately 20% over the visible future. 

In these challenging times, employees and human resources are the only assets that can help financial services companies manage through these transitions and help them become a modern-day agile and customer-focused organisation.

Many financial services organisations are focusing on building a high-quality talent pool, rethinking their workforce and organisation design, and aligning their people policies with changing employees and organisational goals. 

Given the business dynamics and growth patterns, the need for highly skilled talent in the industry will continue to grow. As per published reports, the banking sector was the largest job-creating industry in 2017. The industry is expected to hire four to five people every year over the next few years. 

New trends

The need for people with niche functional skills coupled with an understanding of how technology can be leveraged to better internal process and customer experience is increasing. Financial services organisations are looking for people with specialised knowledge and skills in areas like treasury, credit, risk management, audit and product management. The increasing digitisation of these functions also means that people must understand the impact of technology in these disciplines. 

Demand is growing for talent with skills in cloud, big data, automation, machine learning, cyber security, and social and digital marketing. However, in addition to the expertise in these technology and digital skills, it is valuable to have an understanding of the business use cases and the eventual value that these technologies and digital tools will create for customers and for the organisation. 

There is a growth of business and customer-facing roles such as wealth management, relationship advisors, investment advisors, lending consultants, branch managers, credit analysts, financial planners. Digitisation has upped the bar for sales professionals. Understanding of customer profile and their financial needs, sound product knowledge and deep understanding of customer journey are key skills required to succeed in customer-facing roles. 

Ability to work in cross-functional teams, being focused on delivering exceptional customer experience, and understanding of the market and consumer demands are some common skills that are becoming critical for all roles and functions. 

The sector offers opportunities to individuals coming from diverse educational backgrounds like Arts and Humanities, Commerce, Economics, Management etc. There is a growing need for people coming from engineering and technology streams in roles such as digital banking, product management and technology operations. Niche qualifications such as public relations, human resource management and data science are some of the other desired qualifications. 

Individuals aspiring to build careers in new-age financial services companies should focus on building relevant skills in areas of their interest through a variety of certification and training programmes available in the marketplace. 

 As we all know evolving customer preferences, business models and technology are disrupting current operations. Many organisations are focused on building the right workforce in line with the changing business needs. Demand for many roles is increasing and the sector offers numerous career opportunities for individuals with the right skills and knowledge.

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