Interview Bank Bazaar

Here is an interview with one of the most successful Indian startups in fintech. Adhil Shetty CEO Bank Bazaar speaks candidly.

Q1 We last interviewed Adhil Shetty, founder and CEO of Bankbazaar in 2008. Those were early days. Since then what milestones have you crossed in terms of customer fulfillment and others

The last ten years were a fantastic time for BankBazaar. We moved completely to the B2B business and are today India’s first neutral online marketplace that offers end-to-end instant services across leading financial institutions of India covering loans, credit cards, and insurance products. Supported by global investors such as Walden International, Sequoia Capital, Fidelity Growth Partners, Mousse Partners, Experian, and Amazon,’s goal is to deliver a marketplace that can help users access the right financial product and provide them a simpler, smoother, end-to- end experience in their financial journey.

With its focus on harnessing mobile technology to deliver paperless transactions, BankBazaar aims to be the leading marketplace for financial products. The company offers the largest number of financial products from more than 85 partner organizations over a highly secure, user-friendly, and intuitive platform. The partner organizations include the biggest nationalized and private banks, NBFCs, and insurance companies in India, providing a never-before range of financial products and services.

BankBazaar conceptualized India’s first and leading world-class digital marketplace. With changing times, online financial services have come to their own and there is a lot of demand from customers for a more holistic range of services. There is also an aggressive push from the government in this direction. BankBazaar has championed presence-less, paperless, cashless initiatives that will go a long way in democratizing personal finance and bring banking to the large unbanked population of India. We have been actively involved in developing an infrastructure ecosystem similar to the India Stacks framework that can provide online verification and consent system.

Introduced last year, the proprietary BankBazaar Paperless Stack is one of the biggest innovation that makes the experience of purchasing financial products synonymous with online shopping for the first time ever. The proprietary BankBazaar Paperless Stack is the world’s first multi-brand, paperless e-KYC platform for instant loan approval. The Bankbazaar Paperless Stack eliminates the need for physical document submission for loan approvals through the company’s online platform, and customers can now opt to retrieve and submit their documentation online for authentication and KYC purposes. This infrastructure stack, developed completely in-house, brings down the processing time substantially from as much as one week to one business day.  

With its technology automation, BankBazaar can deliver more than 20% savings in cost of customer acquisition for financial institutions. Simultaneously, they enjoy features that remove redundancy, on-ground team and cumbersome paper based verification with features like auto-submission of applications, and e-KYC document verification. This reduces the cost of selling a financial product without the financial institutions having to invest heavily in the underlying technology.

Today, BankBazaar sees 100M customers per quarter, of which more than 60% opt for the paperless route. Currently, more than 75% of the traffic is organic. Paperless has also contributed significantly to conversion rate, with 3X conversions in 1/3 time.

BankBazaar’s modular, scalable technology has helped them extend the scope of services rapidly across products and partners, not just in India but in other Asian countries as well. Apart from India, also has offices in Singapore and has commenced operations there and in Malaysia this year.

Q2 What do you think makes BankBazaar stand out in the world of online fintech

At BankBazaar we recognise the individuality of each of our customers and their unique needs. Our biggest USP is that we have personally experienced the difficulties our customers face while accessing the right financial product in the larger offline personal finance ecosystem regardless of whether it is a loan, credit card or mutual fund product. We enable financial brands to deliver financial products instantly over our platform, thanks to our robust, secure, and scalable technology, so that our customers can access the right financial product seamlessly.

Today, we offer the largest number of financial products in the market as well as the largest number of partner organizations including the biggest nationalized and private banks, NBFCs, and insurance companies. Currently we have partnered with more than 85 institutions to provide more than 100 distinct products.

BankBazaar provides an end-to-end financial services. We have a full-fledged application platform where people can search of offers, select the one that suits them the best, and then apply for it online. BankBazaar does not close the process with the application. We provide constant support and assistance at every stage of the application process all the way to the final disbursal.

Unlike our competitors, we do not follow a lead-based system where all customer details are passed on to banks as leads. Only once an application is submitted are the customer details are passed on the respective bank along with the application. We have strict privacy norms in place to make sure that customer data is not passed on to any third party, so there practically zero chances that our customers will be spammed.

Q3 What are your growth and expansion plans for India and/or other markets

Our main focus for FY19 is to maintain our aggressive growth. FY 2018 has been a year where we grew more than 100 percent in multiple categories, including insurance and mutual funds, and have seen more that 1M Experian credit score pulls per month. We are aiming to overshoot this performance in FY19 and are expecting to grow by more than 2X.

Our operating revenue, too, witnessed 90% growth in FY18 while our total costs grew by only 30% as compared to same time last year. Since Q3-18, we are seeing positive unit economics net of HR and Marketing. In FY19, we are expecting to be EBITDA positive. This is because we are a tech driven company with a long-term consumer-centric vision of PaperLess financial products accessed over the mobile and do not have high overhead expenses such as offline agent commissions.

Our core strategy continues to be very focused on bettering what we do. In FY19, we are looking to consolidate our presence in every category with a bigger variety of products from more number of partners so that the customers have the highest number of options ever to choose from.

We are also focused on bringing more and more paperless presenceless products from a larger than ever number of partners so that our customers can apply for the product that is right for them get an approval in a matter of minutes. There is a lot of R&D going on in the paperless, presenceless processes, and we are working on simplifying and speeding up the process even further.

On the international expansion front, we have plans to eventually expand into Philippines, UAE, Hong Kong, and Australia. Currently, we are working on narrowing down our options.

Q4 Do you use Machine Learning and AI in your products.

As Fintech company, we deeply care about providing the best shopping experience to our customers. One aspect of this is matching the product to the customer and providing the right mix of options every time the customer visits our site. We use analytics to find the sweet spot of our returning customers to target financial products accordingly, so that the ecosystem expands. This is an important area where analytics and machine learning made a difference.

One place where our analytics and technology succeeded was in the way it utilized non-financial data to bring financial inclusion especially in areas where penetration of the financial industry has been hampered due to difficult terrain or remoteness of the location. Our analytics has helped us reach out to tier-2 and tier-3 towns and border areas with products and services suited their typical demographics.

We are slowly moving towards the use of cognitive computing to improve product matches and profiling for a more personalized and improved customer experience. We are also working on ways to use data to enhance the financial health of our customers.

Q5 What makes a great place to work for current and future employees

The key to retaining employees is to make sure that they have enough incentives to stay with an organization. While the salary package is important to attract the right employees, retaining them is a slightly different ball game. At BankBazaar, we look for employees who are innovative and like to take challenges head-on. The biggest support we can provide them is to give them a work culture that encourages innovation and disruption. We have a flat organization that makes it possible for employees at all levels to seek out others across teams and hierarchies. We encourage open communication and make sure that employees know they are being heard.

At the same time, we make sure that the employees know where the company stands and the direction in which it is growing. This kind of open two-way communication builds employee confidence. It also eases their concerns about the direction their career is taking. To make this doubly sure, we try to provide a clear career growth path to our employees, which is closely aligned to the company’s growth. So, the employees know how their career will pan out over the years. This makes them confident about staying and growing with the organization.

We make sure that employees do have sufficient time to brush up on their skills. We have training plans and schedules in place that let employees select, plan, and undertake trainings and certifications relevant to their fields. This is a continual process and is highly encouraged. On one hand, it motivates and encourages employees. On the other, we end up with a highly motivated and skilled workforce.

We are a resource-intensive company, and prefer to build our leaders. So trainings help us identify and nurture these leaders as well. The opportunity to learn something new and apply it in your day-to-day work is something that all employees enjoy, and we try to give them this chance.

Above all, we make sure that individual contribution of our employees are recognized by their peers and the senior management through spot awards and other recognitions.

Data Science for Free

The following articles on LinkedIn gained almost 50000 views and 500 likes collectively

Data Science Education- Some people charge Rs 90000 rs for bootcamp. Some charge few hundred thousand rs for a diploma. Dont be an donkey to fall for these scams as they wont give you a job. Learning is free !! .

Everything you need to learn in data science is free online. Just be methodical and cover topics . SAS learning free is free on e-learning, SAS On Demand for Academics, and SAS University Edition

R and Python learning is free in websites like kaggle, kd nuggets, coursera, codeacademy, edx , datacamp,,, analyticsvidhya hee-haw hee-haw hashtag#machinelearning hashtag#datascience

if you sign up for free here you get 2 months of free

Dont be a DONKEY , Do homework before selecting paid study since huge material exists free already Some tricks DONKEY ACADEMY OF DATA SCIENCE uses to capture students into suckers giving money ignorant of facts

1) Tell about huge shortage of data scientists while not telling how many % students got a job within six months. Instead they tell you about a dozen companies which hired their students – amazing since they also claim thousands of students which is also inflated number)

2) Disguise costs (25000 for six weeks but 90000 for six months making you think the six months one is a bargain BUT IT is a trap)

3) Deceptive discounts- inflating price and giving either 10-15% discount or making some other course free

4) Using SEO and blog articles to give impression they do highly complicated work (they dont)

5) Cross selling other courses which are irrelevant (like selling IOT and Analytics together

6) Paying leading blogs (esp Indian) for ads and getting a genuine looking mention in interview, or list of top ten institutes or list of top ten data scientists for their instructor

7) Not telling things like git, data preprocessing, missing value imputation, feature selection on real life datasets instead of iris

From comments-

Most importantly they tell you that you don’t need mathematics at all or just a slight of mathematics to be the Data Scientist and also they are getting subsidies under NSDP without any or least regulation

one more deceptive practice is blogs offering paid content /interviews/ lists of rankings in return of money as ads on blog or other blog (conference/ hackathon /community pages)

I’ve seen all most all institutes(and a few e-learning sites) have good reviews/ratings on the net. Interestingly, the institutes reply to “negative reviews” claiming that the name is not present in their db. People even post fake quora answers.BUT! I believe there are good institutes with quality trainers, one just needs to go through genuine reviews.

If information asymmetry is the problem in data science education solution is making the free courses more widely known

Learn SAS

SAS Studio – SAS OnDemand

Learn R (note link for 2 months free datacamp above or at ) for reference

90 two minute videos on R

Many Courses by

Learn Python

see more courses at

when people smoke (behavior) and they know that smoking causes cancer (cognition), they are in a state of cognitive dissonance . Same is the case with people payng a tonne for courses and knowing the material is available free

so Dont be a donkey, be a race horse. Learn on free sites and test on kaggle, building up a profile on stack overflow and github.

Shun these DONKEY ACADEMY that charge you 90000 or 40000 for free content.

Donkeys carry load and are slow , Racehorses can do many things and are fast. Dear Student, Be a race horse

Elections remain hackable

Can the next ELECTIONS be HACKED?YES YES да да да
Computers belonging to important people in electoral campaigns are still exposed, and lack secure cyber security. Consider following-

C4ISR stands for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance. C4ISR can be extended to political campaigns. The C4ISR system is a network of networks is vulnerable to similar attacks called cyber attacks

fake news- organic and paid ads to discredit using social media

spear phishing-the fraudulent practice of sending emails ostensibly from a known or trusted sender in order to induce targeted individuals to reveal confidential information. This can be directed on campaign workers

An advanced persistent threat (APT)-a prolonged and targeted cyberattack in which an intruder gains access to a network and remains undetected for an extended period of time. The intention of an APT attack is usually to monitor network activity and steal data rather than to cause damage to the network or organization. This can and was be directed at party and candidate networks
Unless a national cyber security force extends to election commission to protect cyber attacks during an electoral cycle is established democracy will continue to be hostage to the hardest hackers.

Installing Wireshark on Ubuntu 18

Wireshark is the world’s foremost and widely-used network protocol analyzer. It lets you see what’s happening on your network at a microscopic level and is the de facto (and often de jure) standard across many commercial and non-profit enterprises, government agencies, and educational institutions. Wireshark development thrives thanks to the volunteer contributions of networking experts around the globe and is the continuation of a project started by Gerald Combs in 1998.


Step 1: Add the stable official PPA. To do this, go to terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T and run:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:wireshark-dev/stable

Step 2: Update the repository:

sudo apt-get update

Step 3: Install wireshark 2.0:

sudo apt-get install wireshark

Step 4: Run wireshark:

sudo wireshark

If you get a error couldn't run /usr/bin/dumpcap in child process: Permission Denied. go to the terminal again and run:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure wireshark-common

Say YES to the message box. This adds a wireshark group. Then add user to the group by typing

sudo adduser $USER wireshark restart your machine (/sbin/shutdown -r now) and open wireshark


Installing Penetration Testing Tool Sparta on Ubuntu 18 made easier #penetrationtesting

sudo apt-get install python-elixir python-qt4 xsltproc

sudo apt-get install nmap hydra cutycapt

sudo apt-get install ldap-utilsrwhorsh-clientx11-apps finger

cd /usr/share/

sudo apt install git

sudo git clone

/usr/share$ cd sparta

sudo cp sparta /usr/bin

/usr/bin$ sudo chmod +x sparta

/usr/bin$ sudo apt install python-pyside.qtwebkit

/usr/bin$ sparta


Dear Future Data Scientists

Be a data scientist in 6 months. Learn R or SAS or Python in 6 weeks. Learn Data science by doing one capstone project on one dataset.

Sorry mate, there are no short cuts to success.

Your real data science journey begins AFTER you learn the statistics AFTER you learn the techniques AFTER you learn the tools like R/SAS/Python.

A couple of datasets like Iris / Boston / German Credit / Scraping Tweets wont do it. A few weeks on kaggle wont do it.

You probably need to spend a few more months on Kaggle and a few more months on competitive programming like will bring your data science dreams closer.

Disclaimer-I have interviewed potential data scientists and I have taught on some of these kind of courses. #datascience #python #programming #r #statistics  #datasets

Internships are like magic for budding data scientists

Internships are the magic that a student to convert to data scientist. Not everyone can solve Kaggle contests while still in engineering or other schools. Not everyone has the money to pay for private institute’s training which basically teach R, Python or SAS but not analytical thinking when confronted with a messy real life dataset.

A project in such training is worth much less than the experience of internships.

Companies who have existing data science teams should also try and give internships to create a  steadier supply of data scientists for their operations besides building a bigger brand in data science recruitment.

Meetups and LinkedIn groups( Facebook groups) are good places to offer internships and students should make attending Meetups as a pseudo proxy part of curriculum with the goal of landing internships in each year of their summer/winter break. #analytics #recruiting #python #r #meetup  #engineers #internships #datascience