The Brains Behind the Growth of India’s FinTech

by | Jul 9, 2021

Over the past decade, the Indian fintech industry has witnessed unprecedented growth, and while there are many individual factors which promoted this, one of the most significant of them continues to remain the efforts of those leading these changes.

Individuals both from within the industry and outside have entered the Indian fintech market with innovative and out of the box solutions over the last decade, and their solutions are not only challenging the dogma around the mechanics of financial systems in India but also radicalizing them from the ground up.

Thus in today’s post, we will take a closer look at the monumentous growth the Indian fintech industry has witnessed over the past decade and 12 influencers who are leading the change.

Table of Contents

Without further ado, let’s get started.

The Indian FinTech Landscape

Source : FinTech Industry in India by RSBA Advisors

In June 2020, India was crowned as the 3rd largest fintech ecosystem globally. With more than 2174 fintech startups across the country and with a combined investment infusion of more than  10 billion USD over the past 4.5 years, the fintech industry in India is witnessing epidemic growth across all its sectors, right from lending and insurtech to payments and wealthtech.

While at first glance, it might seem that the growth of fintech in India is unprecedented, however upon closer inspection, we can clearly point out several promoters of this exponential growth.

  1. Jan Dhan Yojana

Started in 2014 by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, Jan Dhan Yojana is a financial inclusion program which aims to provide Indian citizens with affordable access to bank accounts, savings instruments, remittances, credit and pensions. Pioneered by the Reserve Bank of India, in cooperation with the Ministry of Finance, Government of India, since its inception, the program has directly benefited the lives of more than 40.34 crore Indians and several other indirect beneficiaries, which when combined have acted as catalysts for the rapid growth of fintech in India.

2. Digital India

Another marquee initiative of the BJP led government, Digital India, started in 2015 launched several individual initiatives under its banner, all of which shared the simple aim of extending essential services to the public via digital channels. Starting from Aadhar to Digilocker and Digital Saksharta Abhiyaan to BHIM (Bharat Interface For Money), the initiative helped 99% of the Indian population easy and seamless access to essential government services as well as financial instruments from the comfort of their homes, using just a smartphone and a stable internet connection, and this initiative over the past 5 years has made enormous strides to catalyze the monumental growth of fintech in India.

3. Unified Payments Interface (UPI)

Piloted by Dr. Raghuram G Rajan, former governor of the Reserve Bank of India, in 2016, UPI or Unified Payments Interface has completely revolutionized the Indian payments ecosystem. As per latest metrics, UPI holds a 73% market share among the various digital payment channels in India and its introduction made way for the hundreds of startups who now dominate the digital payment vertical of fintech growth in India.

4. Trade Receivable Discounting System (TReDS)

Introduced in 2017 by the Reserve Bank of India to assist the 6.5 crore MSMEs across India easy access to liquidity, the TReDS platform allows business owners to raise funds by selling trade receivables from corporates. Since its inception, the Trade Receivable Discounting System has seen wide acceptance from the bustling business community across the country, and it acted as one of the primary catalysts behind the exponential growth of fintech in India.

FinTech in India: Verticals Worth Knowing

Source : FinTech Industry in India by RSBA Advisors

As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, the fintech industry in India can broadly be divided into 5 main verticals, and the exponential growth of the industry can be attributed to the massive disruptions each of these verticals have witnessed over the past decade.

The most significant verticals of India’s fintech industry and industry pioneers who are bringing forward the disruptions are as shared below.


Source : Value of digital lending market in India from 2012 to 2018, with forecasts until 2023 by Statista 

Anurag Singh of OneCard (Credit Card)

If you have looked for a credit card in the past year and a half, chances are that you came across OneCard at least once. A new age credit card offering which comes features packed with full-stack technologies, OneCard is Anurag’s answer to the increasing demand for affordable credit instruments in India. Backed by marquee investors like Sequoia and Matrix, OneCard aims to offer its customers an experience like no other in terms of credit instruments.

Bhavik Vasa (Funding)

Former founding member of ISTS Worldwide and Radical Payments, Bhavik is the man behind Mumbai based alternative funding platform GetVantage. Started in August 2019, GetVantage specializes in meeting the funding needs of startups across the country without needing their founders to dilute their equity and ownership. Centred around the idea of revenue based financing, GetVantage has helped popular startups in India like Rage Coffee and EatHealthy raise funding.


Source : FinTech Industry in India by RSBA Advisors

Dr. Kshama Fernandes (Wealth Management)

A former academician by passion and profession, Dr. Kshama Fernandes is the CEO and Chief Risk Officer of Northern Arc. Headquartered in Chennai, Northern Arc promises a transformative approach in credit to its promoters. A PhD and MBA holder in Finance, previous to her career at Northern Arc, Dr. Fernandes has been an active contributor to several financial inclusion committees set up by the Reserve Bank of India.

Ishan Bansal (Investment & Discount Broker)

If you have ever struggled to find a platform which makes your investment decisions simple, then Ishan Bansal’s Groww is the solution you have been looking for. Founded in 2016 and headquartered in Bangalore, Groww specializes in providing a simple and intuitive investment platform to first-time investors across India. Leveraging modern fintech technology Groww provides more than 2 million users with an opportunity to invest in mutual funds and stock markets all from their smartphone screens.


Source : Leading private insurers across India in financial year 2020, by gross direct premiums by Statista

Dhirendra Mahyavanshi (Insurance)

If you have ever wondered why buying insurance in India is so complicated, then Dhirendra Mahyavanshi’s TurtleMint might just be the platform you have been looking for. With a turnaround time of 10 minutes and boasting working partnerships with over 40 insurers across the country, TurtleMint aims to simplify the insurance buying decision for Indian consumers, and Dhirendra is the man leading the change.

Varun Dua (Insurance)

Founded in 2017 by Varun Dua, Acko was one of India’s first InsurTech platforms. Aimed at providing customers with customized insurance products by leveraging data analytics and online customer behaviour, Acko recently received funding of 43 million USD and is backed by some of the most well-known investors, right from Amazon and Accel Partners to Catamaran and DSP Group.


Source : Value of digital transactions across India in financial year 2019, with estimates until 2025 by Statista

Arif Khan (Digital Payments)

The Chief Digital Officer of NPCI, Arif Khan, heads the strategic planning committee for the organization’s digital transformation initiative. A specialized branch of the Reserve Bank of India, NPCI is the organization responsible for developing and launching several fintech technologies used by millions of Indians on a regular basis, right from IMPS and RuPay to UPI and Bharat BillPay, and Arif Khan is one of the chief promoters responsible for introducing fintech technologies of tomorrow to millions of Indians.

Raj N Phani (Digital & Corporate Payments)

Founder of Zaggle, a network-agnostic payment platform, Raj is a well known and respected serial entrepreneur amongst the Indian fintech community with over 20+ years of experience. Started in 2011, Zaggle aims to build financial solutions which effortlessly solve the day to day business expenses of corporates, SMEs and Enterprises. With more than 3500+ corporate clients under its wing, Zaggle is a market leader in its niche.


Source : RegTech Solutions In A Nutshell 

Ravi Naresh (Accounting)

Former founder of India’s leading real estate portal, Ravi is the brains behind KhataBook, a startup which aims to digitize the offline and informal credit MSMEs extend their customers on a regular basis. In a nation which hosts more than 6.5 crore MSMEs and counting, KhataBook, available as a downloadable Android application, which leverages RegTech technology to help merchants easily extend credit, keep track of liabilities and secure repayments from customers without any hassle.

Manish Sharma (Tax Compliance)

With over 12 years of experience in indirect taxation, Manish Sharma founded EaseMyGST in 2017, a startup based out of Gurgaon which aims to simplify the GST filing process for millions of GST registered merchants across the country. As of date, the company has processed more than 20 million invoices and has a strong presence across the Indian subcontinent. In its own words, EaseMyGST leverages RegTech to ease the indirect taxation process for businesses and extends them the luxury of focusing on more pressing matters.

Honourable Mentions

B.G Mahesh (Account Aggregator)

Earlier known as the pioneer behind, India’s largest multilingual news portal, Mahesh is now popularly credited with the formation of Sahamati, an ecosystem which nurtures a cohort of Account Aggregators. Formed with the intention of increasing financial inclusion, along with allowing consumers greater access and control on their data, Sahamati is headquartered in Bangalore, and as of date, boasts some of the most influential financial and non-banking financial institutions as members of its cohort.

Krish Gopalakrishnan (Digital Payments and Financial Inclusion)

Former co-founder of Infosys and the first chairperson of the RBI’s innovation hub, Krish Gopalakrishnan has been internationally recognized as a global business and technology thought leader. Currently the Chief Mentor of Startup Village, Mr. Gopalakrishnan heads the organization aiming to incubate startups across India with the help of technology.

The Way Forward

Source : FinTech Industry in India by RSBA Advisors

According to a recent report by Research and Markets, the Indian Fintech industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 22.7% over the next 5 years and reach an estimated valuation of 6,207.41 billion at the end of this period.

As the disruption across the various sectors of fintech continues to grow, we at Finflux are hopeful of a bright future for the Indian financial sector.

Thank you for reading, and I will see you in the next one.

The Reference Shelf

  1. FinTech Industry in India Future of Financial Services [Link]
  2. Top 30 Fintech Influencers 2021 & The Indian Fintech Ecosystem [Link]
  3. Factors Driving The Growth Of Fintech Industry In India [Link]
  4. BFSI – Fintech & Financial Services [Link]
  5. Emergence & Growth of Fintech Startups in India [Link]
  6. FinTech in India Ready for Breakout [Link]
  7. Fintech In India – A Global Growth Story [Link]
  8. Value of digital lending market in India from 2012 to 2018, with forecasts until 2023 [Link]
  9. Share of start-up funding value in India from 2015 to 2020, by sector [Link]
  10. Leading private insurers across India in financial year 2020, by gross direct premiums [Link]
  11. Value of digital transactions across India in financial year 2019, with estimates until 2025 [Link]
  12. RegTech Solutions In A Nutshell [Link]