Axis Bank Thought Factory – Unimagined is Undone
I have always believed that an idea can spark a revolution. An idea when implemented has the power to change the lives of millions. This thought led to the launch of Accelerator Program last year in the month of July. The program is run from Thought Factory, an Innovation Lab located in Bengaluru which is a brainchild of Axis Bank. Axis Bank became the very first bank in India to launch a program for supporting and accelerating start-ups. One can conveniently say that here, Axis Bank raised an idea to support an idea!
“Unimagined is Undone,” the maxim of Thought Factory says it all. The sole purpose of this is to give constructive solutions for disruptive banking. Thought Factory team has collaborated with OCBC and Visa Innovation Lab, Singapore, for co-innovating. A Tech Advisory Board comprising of Sharad Sharma (iSpirit), Manish Chokhani (Enam), Vishal Gondal (Founder, GoQii) and Shankar Narayan (Singapore based serial entrepreneur) along with Axis Bank Senior Management from the Think Tank for Thought Factory, guide the Thought Factory team in its various functions and idea implementation.
Due to the launch of Thought Factory, Axis Bank has got a cutting-edge advantage over other banks with the better understanding of the new technologies and the focus of using these new era technologies as solutions to disruptive banking and to build something far more innovative. Thought Factory focuses on the ideas whose cornerstone is set up on the new emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Big Data Analysis, Robotics, IoT (Internet of Things) and much more. Thought Factory has given a major boost to the industry-start-up collaboration by hosting a number of events and workshops in Bangalore and thus it has now become a thriving part of the FinTech Revolution.
Thought Factory directs three exclusive programs to stimulate trailblazing ideas that have the potential to grow big and lead emerging innovations. The first program is the Accelerator program and as it name says, this program speeds up the innovation journey of the start-ups and thus sets a solid foundation for a huge idea. From a massive pool of 108 applications, Axis Bank’s Think Tank selected 6 emerging start-ups with ground-breaking ideas for the first cohort of its Accelerator Program. The second program is the Incubator program, where the start-ups would work with a technical team to build digital solutions for banks. The last program is the Partnership Program where the startups get a chance to collaborate with huge innovators, Amazon being one of them. The main focus of these programs was to traverse the overall growth of the startups along with exploring novel banking.
21st July witnessed the Graduation Day of the first cohort start-ups. This was attended by Axis Bank management and various investors and representatives of many enterprises. But what’s in store for the start-ups? Well, the startups get a boost on their original ideas and can brainstorm through the vast expanse of technology to build something far more innovative than the original idea with the guidance of an enormously technology oriented team of experts. The biggest advantage for the start-ups who step into Thought Factory is that they get exposed to the collaborators ready to back them up for their idea and exceptional talent.
We were given a sneak peek of the 6 hand-picked start-ups and their evolutionary ideas.
S2Pay – Enabling Offline Mobile Payments
Digital payments have become a part of the urban lifestyle. But what about the areas where the internet is still a luxury? S2Pay enables the consumer to make secure payments even without the Internet. Now that is a peek into emerging bright future of digital payment becoming a reality.
Pally – AI Stack based Chatbot for Investment Advisory
Pally created a chatbot that creates an investment portfolio on the input of a salary slip. This amplifies tax savings for the consumer by customizing the desired plans by an intelligent chat by a bot. This is when you realize that artificial intelligence is at it’s best!
Perpule – Self-checkout on mobile app
Perpule is an application that understood the mess of checkout queues on shopping apps and took it a step further by enabling the consumer to pay for the shopped products from within the app once the list is complete. Happy Shopping! It also raised a seed funding of $650K from Kalaari Capital.
Fintech Labs – Analytics in lending
The analytical model of Fintech Labs digitizes lending completely and makes it easy as well as secure. It offers focused and quick lending solutions.
Paymatrix: Credit in rental space
Paymatrix has set to resolve a single problem for a million masses by imbibing transparency and reducing commotion in Indian rental. This is done by making it possible to pay the rents to the landlords via credit cards.
Thought Factory is not just encouraging and supporting the start-ups with innovative ideas but it has also implemented some of the finest earth shattering technologies. Axis Bank has always been an enthusiastic child when it comes to fostering technology for its systems and solutions. Axis Bank is building a chatbot along with Active AI which is a start-up specializing in AI stacks, based in Singapore. This bot will resolve customer queries via chat, so bid a farewell to the long wait for the customer care. Thought Factory is working with Uncanny Vision on an AI based video surveillance which uses IoT and cloud computing. By using video cameras and sensors, this project is marching on the way to make ATMs secure. It also has the potential to detect and eliminate manual intervention in surveillance. Thought Factory is also developing a platform- a sandbox environment of all APIs which can be used by the startups for a quick plug-n-play and quick implementation.
Axis Bank is all set to make way for the second cohort of its program and Thought Factory is definitely the best initiative to become a major FinTech ecosystem enabler and a part of the tech start-ups and bank collaboration step. This is a sure step in changing our financial landscapes and digitizing it for the better times to come.
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