Could India become the next ‘Silicon Valley’?

Published on
26 Jun 2015
Final Author
Sukhi Jutla

India has long been touted as one of the biggest emerging economies to go mainstream. With an expansive and growing population this country is ripe for a financial revolution of its own. Although there are vast amounts of people living in poverty, India is a place where more people have cell phones than toilets. A UN study shows half of its 1.2 billion residents are mobile subscribers, but only 366 million people (about a third of its population) have access to toilets.

This explosion in mobile phone ownership it seems could be enough to not just disrupt the current financial landscape but completely re-design it. Entrepreneurs and investors in India are now looking at what FinTech companies are doing across the world and are trying to replicate or adapt the business models at home.

One of the main areas we are beginning to see such change in is the banking sector and especially in Indians ‘Silicon Valley’, mainly the South of India. A few examples of such companies include Bank Bazaar, a truly comprehensive marketplace for financial services including loans, credit cards and insurance); Jocata (who provide Know Your Client (KYC) and Anti Money Laundering (AML) services to the financial industry, to Milaap, a loans platform for good causes

We are also seeing finance combining with social media where ICICIC bank, India’s largest private sector bank now offers banking through Facebook for non- resident Indians. As well as viewing account summaries, customers can order cheque books and track service requests. A customer is able to access the application by logging in with their Facbook ID and register for the app to activate it and start using it.

With so many people now having easy access to a mobile phone, is India set to overtake the original Silicon Valley in San Fran?