Mahesh Rupawalla, an ex-investment banker with experiences in M&A, equity and debt capital markets, corporate finance, governance and equity trading. He has since transitioned into a role of a consultant, advising on corporate strategy, business expansion and fundraising with SMEs, startups and Fintech companies.
CFTE: Why did you decide to learn about Open Banking & Platforms?
Mahesh: In my previous position, I saw how our equities trading business was under threat by new incumbents who made investing a simple and easy process. Advances in technology created greater transparency and threatened the role of pure intermediaries.
Presently, I am helping a Fintech company in its regional expansion plans. They offer payment with embedded billing and claims management accounting services to SMEs. Their business model requires them to collaborate with banks and payment service providers.
I realised that technology was driving Fintechs to evolve traditional business models to democratize financial services. I chanced upon the Open Banking and Platforms Specialisation Program as I was researching available courses that would advance my knowledge of Fintech and their business propositions. Upon review of the CFTE’s Open Banking and Platforms programme content, I was convinced that the breadth and depth of the programme would give me a good comprehension of the subject matter. The fact that the programme was offered by a training provider accredited by the Institute of Banking and Finance (IBF), Singapore, and listed as “Future-Enabled Skill” by IBF also helped.
CFTE: How have you applied the skills and knowledge acquired through the course?
Mahesh: The course has given me the knowledge that now allows me to better appreciate the dynamics driving the growing surge of Fintech offering innovative and customer friendly financial products and services. In my current engagement with Fintech companies, I am able to apply the knowledge acquired to foster better collaboration and win-win propositions with partners in the ecosystem.
The course is broad and yet sufficiently detailed and gave me a good grasp of the forces driving the Fintech “revolution”, the business models adopted by incumbents and new entrants, the advances in technology driving it and regulatory and operational risk management. The course allowed me to have more informed conversations with platform providers and participants in the fintech eco-systems.
CFTE: What did you enjoy the most about learning about Open Banking & Platforms? What are the key takeaways for you?
Mahesh: The course is organised in 5 modules and is broken down into chapters covering specific topics. This allows for bite size learning without having to refer back to previous chapters/modules. I liked how besides the Introductory first module, the 4 other modules do not have to be taken in any particular order and allow you to start on the module that interests you the most. The quizzes at the end of each chapter was a good feature to test our understanding of each chapter.
I also enjoyed the sessions with the industry Experts as it gave the concepts and subject matter a practical perspective. These speakers, being market practitioners, shared real life examples of applications and issues facing the industry.
CFTE: Before we end, I have one last question! If you could describe yourself in 3 words or less, what would they be?
Mahesh: Inquisitive, analytical and committed.