Date: February 5, 2011
Speaker Profile :
Mr. Siddharth Das started his career as an investment banker at Morgan Grenfell, before turning to hi-tech. He has spent the last 8 years as an organization builder and turnaround specialist in hi-tech companies. He has built, grown and successfully run Analytic Consulting practices at Fair Isaac Corp and Acxiom Corporation in California. He earned his technology stripes first at a start-up, TenFold Corp, managing the development and deployment of mission-critical transactional applications in financial services companies, and then at Oracle Corp, managing the development of an innovative CRM product. In 2008, he moved to Mumbai from San Francisco, to start a credit information company, High Mark, where he serves as an Executive Vice President.
Mr. Das has degree in Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee and a post graduation in Technology Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge.
Speaking of High Mark – the entrepreneurial venture that he is a part of, he said it provides credit information and rating services in India. Giving the example of CIBIL, which is India’s first credit information bureau; he said that it is a repository of information containing the credit history of commercial and consumer borrowers. He highlighted the fact that Highmark is one amongst four companies in India to have got Reserve Bank of India’s license to start a credit information service company. High Mark got its license in November, 2010.Economic slowdown has made the banks, mortgage firms, non-banking financial institutions, etc., more cautious than ever in giving credit. To make their job a little easy, they are availing the benefits of individual credit reports while deciding on whether to disburse the loan at all to an individual or not. The basic problem faced in this process is of establishing the identity of an individual . Citing an example on the same , he said that it sometimes happens that the bank has given a loan to three different persons who have the same names. In such situ ations it is not very easy to differentiate one individual from another. Thus the credit bureaus find out ways and means to define the individuality and credit worthiness of an individual.At the time of granting loans to the customers the banks enquire about the credibility of the customer. What gives rise to the cost of capital in a bank is “cost of risk”. Mr. Das underlined the fact that in a country like India it is a major challenge to take risk while granting loans to the poorer section of the society. But at the same time the country’s economic progress is ensured only when the bank doesn’t take high risk and provides loans to the needy. Therefore to support the bank in this endeavor, the credit bureaus provide the necessary information and rate the individ uals on the credibility factor. Thus these bureaus ensure a triple bottom-line by serving the people and planet while earning profit.Eventually, he told us that there is a difference between social good and social service. Social service can only serve some people but by becoming entrepreneurs you could do greater social good by creating jobs and helping people earn livelihoods for themselves & their families.