Some call it a saviour of banking services, others a disruptor of financial institutions. But one thing’s for sure, there is no lack of buzz for Financial Technology - FinTech for short. Its ability to create massive impact on systems and societies is unquestionable.
Today, we speak to someone who is drawn to this potential of FinTech to drive positive change in the lives of others.
Pramodh Rai is the Chief Product Officer (CPO) of Funding Societies, a FinTech start-up that has become Southeast Asia’s largest peer-to-peer lending platform. He shares about what motivates him to be part of the forerunners of this rapidly progressing industry.
Started With Technology
As a student, Pramodh pursued a Double Degree in Business and Computer Science at Nanyang Technological University (NTU). Following the doors that his degrees opened, he joined the Graduate Programme at a bulge bracket investment bank, Barclays, as a Technology Analyst.
During the programme, he rotated between stints in London and Tokyo as a developer and analyst, before landing his final placement as a developer in Analytics Technology.
He eventually left the corporate world and rolled up his sleeves to code at various firms. During the time, he has developed tools at a home rental startup, and helped build a cryptocurrency brokerage.
A Tool For Progress
When asked why he chose technology to be the core of his career, Pramodh explained: “I grew up in an age where Google was scaling through its hyper-growth phase”.
“Its progress and impact inspired me to learn more about technology, and see its ability to drive positive change in the lives of people everyday,” he continued.
Funding Societies provides an online platform to connect borrowers to lenders quickly and affordably, bypassing the traditional lengthy approval process to obtain credit. At the start-up, Pramodh leads the product teams in Singapore and Indonesia to develop cutting edge products for the platform.
The best part about being the CPO of Funding Societies, Pramodh explained, is “Growth”. He finds facilitating and experiencing growth across respective markets to be both immensely challenging and fulfilling. In just 3 years, Funding Societies has crowdfunded over S$250 million loans for businesses.
How does Pramodh sees success?
“10X improvement in the status quo of financial services” he said. Behind this data-driven statement lies a progressive mindset: Pramodh believes that companies exist to serve and should be constantly evolving to do it better for the benefit of populations they cater to. Hence, he centers his career path on technology to drive positive change across societies and industries.
Making An Impact
Pramodh described himself as “someone who thoroughly enjoys working with his peers and friends to make meaningful impact to the communities they live in”.
Together with a couple of close friends, Pramodh co-founded a social enterprise, Jugnuu. Jugnuu is a language learning app that helps children in India revise English.
They saw that young children from low- and middle-income families in India do not have access to good English tuition. With language being a key enabler in levelling the playing field, Pramodh and his friends saw the need to provide an alternative source of education.
As Jugnuu’s technical co-founder, Pramodh makes use of algorithms to automate personalised, easy-to-use, and free english calls to a segment of market as large as 30 million children in India.
With his passion for technology and drive for progress and impact, Pramodh and his friends navigate their way in this hyper competitive industry, providing cutting edge products for the world hungry for new innovation.
Making an impact and friendships are important elements in Pramodh’s life. At each stage of his career, Pramodh looks at the impact and opportunities to grow with a group of like-minded peers who look out for one another.
When asked what's the most important thing he has learned since graduation, Pramodh replied, “relationships matter more than technical skills, but the latter enables the former. Hence, spending the first phase of career getting sharp technically is a worthwhile investment of one’s time and thereafter, maintaining a growth mindset is very important.”
“Always remember you’re a small part of a big equation wherever you are, but your choices and actions can have outsized impact.” he advised.
“Choose well, and when you commit, see things through as thoroughly you can. Your community, peers and you will be richer in many ways as a result.”
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