Ram Sharma: Dreamer | Believer | Creator

Ram Sharma
Ram Sharma | Founder & CEO | Bank-Genie

A big dreamer, Ram Sharma is the Founder & CEO at Bank-Genie, re-imagining banking and presenting tomorrow’s technology in today’s world. An innovative and creative entrepreneur by nature, Ram has worked in both the banking and technology environments. With over two decades of experience he is bringing together a thorough understanding of banking procedures and processes, software design and implementation, a pioneering spirit and a never-say-die attitude in all his endeavors.

The Beginning
Ram Sharma began his career as a banker in the year 1993 with an Indian private bank then moved on to a banking technology company ‘Temenos’. Bitten by the entrepreneurship bug,-he started his own banking consulting company from Mysore, India. He then called the banking consulting company to a NASDAQ listed company, started his second startup sold that too, to a Swiss based company.

After a few years of non compete with the previous buyer, he started off again and this time he was very clear that he wanted to start a banking product company to help the unbanked people of the world. So, he with his key members, came up with the idea of branchless banking where banks can establish branches in the remotest corner of any country to serve the unbanked. That’s how BANK-GENIE was born!

The Flagship Product
Bank-Genie’s flagship product is a mobile native software running on a tablet, POS device or smartphone. This enables banks and financial institutions to create virtual, integrated, secured and seamless retail branches freeing ‘the teller’ from brick and mortar branch. The state-of-the-art solution enables banks to set up branches where customers can access complete set of banking services at a fraction of the cost of a full traditional branch.“What we have done with Bank-Genie is to take out all the dependencies and connectivity of a bank teller to branch facilities.” -said Ram. Further, he added, “We have modeled the company on  large industry leaders like Temenos and large value companies like Apple.”

Overcoming Challenges
Selling to Banks is a difficult proposition as banks tend to buy software from established and proven vendors. It was initially difficult for the team to break this wall and earn the trust of the banks. Once, it had successfully implemented at UniBank, Ghana it was smooth sailing as banks had started to see value in company’s offering. Further Ram said, “Today, one of the key challenges faced by banks and financial institutions is their inability to set up multiple branches or access points due to capital and operational constraints.”

Major Achievements
Secured Series A funding from SBI (Softbank investments) and FMO (Dutch development Bank)
Reached 7th position globally on the IBS SALES LEAGUE table in terms of sales.
Expanded the product portfolio from one product to a suite of 7 products.
Ranked as one of the TOP 50 products in digital banking products.
Received the Red herring award for one of the TOP 100 companies in Asia.
Ranked as one of the 50 global leaders in digital transformation by BIG AWARDS

Industry Outlook: Banking Sector 
The growing influence of fin-techs and non-banks seems an accepted fact now. Investment in online lending platforms by both startups and incumbents is still significant. While it is unclear how many fin-techs will become successful, this seems a sign of maturity in the industry as fin-techs become part of the mainstream banking system. In Europe, PSD2 (Revised Payment Service Directive) and the open banking standard are having the intended effects—spurring innovation and creating a more level playing field. But incumbents have not been caught flat-footed—they have responded well to the challenge.

Encouragingly, open banking is catching on in other parts of the world, despite the lack of a regulatory mandate. And, in the United States, banks are expected to test the waters in 2019. But, across the globe, the retail banking industry is fast embracing a mobile-centric customer experience. Investments in mobile technologies have increased meaningfully with Asia Pacific leading the world in the rapid adoption of digital banking due to consumers’ constantly evolving demands.

Meanwhile, consumers’ experiences in other industries are upping the ante for most banks. Deloitte’s recent global digital banking survey across 17 countries showed that banking consumers have a stronger emotional connection to technology brands like Apple, Amazon, and Google than to their banks. Some of these companies’ ability to blend experiences from the physical and digital worlds is considered a good model for banks. In response, banks are deploying a mix of strategies to stay ahead in the game, including higher technology spending on channel improvement—branches, ATMs, call centers, and digital banking. JPMorgan Chase (JPMC) has adopted “mobile first, digital everything,” while Santander has four investments in the online lending space alone. 

Driving Forward 
Banking solutions company Bank-Genie with corporate headquarters in Singapore has announced it will establish its presence in Manila to service a growing clientele that includes Universal Banks, Saving and Lending Banks, Rural Banks and Multi-Finance Institutions across the globe. Also, the company aims to accomplish the number one position on IBS Sales League and achieve their goal of transacting one billion transactions on their Genie Platform on a daily basis.

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