India is seeing the rise of a thriving open banking ecosystem, a burgeoning landscape that has emerged on the back of governmental initiatives and infrastructure projects seeking to boost financial inclusion through digital technology.
The India Stack digital infrastructure, which comprises three key layers of open APIs focusing on digital identity, payments and data-sharing, has been praised for revolutionizing access to financial services in an economy that had been historically heavily reliant on cash.
The biometric digital identity scheme, also known as Aadhaar, has dramatically lowered the cost of confirming people’s identities, facilitating client onboarding but also drastically reducing fraud. In less than a decade since the launch of Aadhaar, 1.2 billion people, or almost 90% of the country’s population, had signed up for a digital identity, and about half of them had linked their new identity to their bank account.
The Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is another key component of the India Stack, acting as a foundational layer for digital payments. Launched in 2016, UPI is an open source application programming interface (API) that runs on top of Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), allowing for peer-to-peer (P2P) and person-to-merchant (P2M) real-time transactions.
As of July 2022, there were 338 banks available on UPI with a monthly volume of 6.29 billion transactions and value of INR 10,630 billion (approximately US$133 billion).
India’s digital infrastructure has allowed for a rapid increase in the use of digital payments and the entry of a range of competitors including bigtech firms and fintech companies. This has subsequently led to the emergence of innovative digital banking solutions and accelerated the growth of country’s open banking ecosystem.
Local fintech consulting firm the Digital Fifth estimates that Indian open banking startups has raised a whopping US$1.5 billion across 2021 and 2022 till date. In a new report, the company identifies the top 30 business leaders at the forefront of India’s open banking revolution, recognizing them for their contribution to the ecosystem, expertise and the impact they’ve had on the industry.
Top 30 Open Banking Influencers 2022
Ajay Pandey, Co-Founder of Card91
Ajay Pandey is the co-founder of Card91, a plug and play payment infrastructure-as-a-service for businesses to launch co-branded cards and simplify payments. At Card91, he looks after the sales, partnership’s functions (client, network, banks, and other financial institutions), new product strategy, client implementations and investments.
Ajay is a serial entrepreneur with 20+ years of experience in creating and scaling businesses from ground zero. Prior to co-founding Card91, he co-founded and led Mastiff, an outsourced product development company, co-founded Badhai, a gifting wallet, as well as Marrily, a matrimony matchmaking app.
Akash Sinha, Co-Founder & CEO of Cashfree Payments
Akash Sinha is the co-founder and CEO of Cashfree Payments, a payments and banking technology company that enables businesses in India to collect payments online and make payouts.
Backed by State Bank of India, Y Combinator and Apis partners, Cashfree Payments helps more than 100,000 businesses collect and send money with solutions such as an easy to integrate payment gateway that supports instant refunds, an API banking platform for disbursals, a split payment solution for marketplaces, a Bank Account Verification API, a dedicated United Payments Interface (UPI) stack for businesses, and a virtual account solution to match inbound payments to customers.
Prior to co-founding Cashfree Payments, Akash worked as a software engineer at Amazon and Bankbazaar.com.
Amit Kapoor, Founder & CEO of OneStack
Amit Kapoor is the founder and CEO of OneStack, a super app that encourages users to save, spend, lend and grow their wealth within their bank accounts. The unified dashboard of the app displays all of a user’s assets and liabilities, as well as their balance sheets without having to switch from one app to another.
An award-winning business leader, Amit has over 15 years of experience leading product innovations from conception to go-to-market for businesses across payments, hospitality, consumer internet, entertainment and advertising.
Anish Achuthan, Co-Founder & CEO of Open
Anish Achuthan is the co-founder and CEO of Open Financial Technologies, a startup providing a business current account that combines everything from payments to invoicing and automated bookkeeping in one simple service. Open is one of the largest small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)-focused neobanking startups globally, powering over 2 million businesses, adding over 100,000 businesses every month and processing over US$24 billion in annualized transactions.
Anish is a fintech professionals with more than 18 years of experience in payments, consumer mobile and the Internet space. Prior to co-founding Open, he was part of the senior leadership of PayU and Citrus Payments Solutions. He also founded and co-founded payment startup Zwitch, plug and play mobile payment and financial inclusion platform CashNxt, and mobile services company iFuturz Wireless.
Anuj Kacker, Co – Founder of Freo
Anuj Kacker is the co-founder of Freo, credit-led neobank in India that is designed to serve the banking needs of millennials in South and Southeast Asia. Freo offers a range of applications that serve as saving accounts, credit lines, credit cards, pay later apps, and more.
Prior to co-founding Freo, Anuj co-founded Tapstart (formerly SkillWiz), a job discovery platform, which he exited in September 2015. He has spent more than a decade in the industry with some of the top global corporate names such as Airtel, Reliance Communications and JWT.
Anupam Bagchi, Founder of Upswing Financial Technologies
Anupam Bagchi is the founder of Upswing Financial Technologies, an open finance business-to-business (B2B) ecosystem enabler. Upswing specializes in offering differentiated financial products and empowering financial institutions with greater reach through an API platform, enabling consumer companies to integrate directly with banks to provide financial services to their customers.
Prior to founding Upswing, Anupam was the chief business officer at neobank Jupiter, and worked at Standard Chartered Bank as well as Axis Bank.
Anuradha Ramachandran, Director of Flourish
With extensive experience in early-stage venture capital investing, Anuradha Ramachandran is an investments director at Flourish, fielding new investment opportunities in India and helping to manage the fund’s portfolio in the country.
Prior to joining Flourish, Anuradha worked at Omidyar Network between 2012 and 2018, focusing on financial services for several years. Before that, she spent seven years at VentureEast, an early-stage venture capital fund, where she made a number of successful investments across sectors spanning financial services, clean tech, enterprise software, IT services, supply chain, and group buying. Previously, she was an investment banker at Lazard India, where she focused on the life sciences and consumer products sectors.
Anurag Sinha, Co-founder & CEO of FPL Technologies
Anurag Sinha is the co-founder and CEO of FPL Technologies, a fintech startup specializing in consumer credit. FPL Technologies provides OneScore, a digital credit score platform offering free credit score checks and personalized insights, and OneCard, a credit card that works alongside a mobile app to allow customers to lock their card, manage their features and active services, pay their bills, and more.
Prior to co-founding FPL Technologies, Anurag co-founded Walnut, a personal finance mobile app that automatically track spends, bank and card balances, peer-to-peer (P2P) and bill payments, and split expenses, and spent 14 years at ICICI Bank where he led business roles in cards, payments and unsecured lending.
Hemant Vishnoi, Founder of EnKash
Hemant Vishnoi is the founder of EnKash, a corporate cards and spend management platform. EnKash offers a range of corporate cards from managing purchases like supplier, utility and tax payments, expenses like travel and entertainment, digital marketing or cloud payments, to payroll and petty cash to employee benefits like meal vouchers to gift cards for partners.
Prior to founding EnKash, Hemant worked at renowned firms and banking institutions like First Data, ICICI Bank, and MoneyGram, as well as startups like Nomarks, Citrus Payments Solutions and PayU.
Jitendra Gupta, Founder & CEO of Jupiter
Jitendra Gupta is the founder and CEO of Jupiter, a neobanking product operated by Amica Financial Technologies, where he aims to create a mobile-first banking experience for Indian millennials.
Prior to Jupiter, Jitendra was the founder of Lazypay, the managing director of PayU, and the founder of Citrus Payments Solutions, a leading digital payments company in India that was later sold to Naspers for US$130 million.
Jitendra has more than 16 years of work experience in banking and financial services and is considered an expert in the payments industry. Prior to Citrus Payments, he worked with ICICI bank for 7 years where he was part of the founding team of the retail cross-sell and investment banking division in the bank.
Monish Anand, Founder & CEO of Myshubhlife
Monish Anand is the Founder & CEO of MyShubhLoans, a digital lending and savings platform with
a focus on the retail segment. They offer products like Personal Loans, Earned Wages, Investments, Insurance, Tax Filing and Bill Payments. MyShubhLoans is backed by Gojo & Company, Patamar Capital, Omidyar Network, Saama Capital and SRI Capital. Prior to this, Monish worked in financial institutions like Citibank, BNP Paribas, Standard Chartered, ING Investment Management Dhanlaxmi Bank as well as founded Exceed Support Services providing business process management services like collections, retention, cross and upselling, etc. He completed his education from St. Thomas & IFIM.
Munish Bhatia, Co-founder of Finvu
Munish Bhatia started his career as a software engineer, following which he moved to HSBC and then Barclays. With immense banking experience, he co-founded Finvu, an NBFC Account Aggregator which is easing the sharing of trusted data between customers and Banks/NBFCs, thus expanding the scope of
lending. Munish completed his education from University of Mumbai and California State University, Fresno.
Nigel Morris, Co-founder & Managing Partner of Qed Investors
Nigel Morris co-founded QED Investors, a fintech venture capital platform. They have previously invested in unicorns like Credit Karma, NuBank, Avant, SoFi, Klarna and more. With respect to the Indian open banking ecosystem, they have backed Jupiter, FPL Technologies and Upswing, the founders of which have been mentioned in this list for their impact. Prior to this, he co-founded Capital One, a Bank Holding Company. Nigel completed his Bachelors at University of East London and then pursued his MBA at from London Business School.
Nilufer Mullanfiroze, Head of Banking of Groww
Nilufer Mullanfiroze is the Head of Banking in Groww. Having worked in Standard Chartered Bank, Federal Bank as well as an NBFC IndoStar Capital Finance, she has a wealth of knowledge in retail banking. Nilufer also spearheaded multiple neobanking initiatives and innovative lending products. Federal Bank has partnered with Jupiter, Fi and OneCard as well. She completed her education at Narsee Monjee and Sydenham College of Management Studies.
Paroma Chatterjee, CEO- India of Revolut India
Paroma Chatterjee is the CEO of Revolut India. Revolut is a global neobank which offers services to both retail and SME customers, and is amongst the most valuable fintechs in the world. With 18+ years of experience, Paroma has worked to drive business across different domains of Financial Services, Telecom and eCommerce. She was previously Lendingkart’s Chief Business Officer. She has also held senior executive roles at Airtel Money, Flipkart and Via.com. Paroma completed her education from St. Xavier’s, Kolkata and IIM Lucknow.
Rajat Agarwal, Managing Director of Matrix Partners India
Rajat Agarwal is a Managing Director at Matrix Partners India. He finished his education from IIT Delhi and ISB, after which he joined McKinsey. Rajat also spent time helping his family business, a Delhi based SME, where he gained practical experience in operations, sales and marketing. At Matrix, Rajat focuses on Fintech, Consumertech and Healthcare. He has backed Razorpay, OneCard and Jupiter, all of which are immensely successful open banking entities.
Ramanathan RV, Co-founder & CEO of Hyperface
Ramanathan RV is the Co-founder of Hyperface. Hyperface is a Credit Card-as-a-Service platform that aims to help businesses integrate financial products into their mobile apps. It is backed by Kunal Shah, Better Capital, GFC and others. Prior to this, Ramanathan had co-founded Juspay in 2012. In the past, he has worked at Amazon and BankBazaar. He completed his education from NIT Tiruchirappalli.
Rahul Raj, Co-founder & CEO of Flobiz
Rahul Raj is the Founder & CEO of Flobiz, and is a serial entrepreneur. He previously founded Koinex, a cryptocurrency exchange as well as an online food delivery business within his college campus. With Flobiz, Rahul is disrupting and digitizing everyday business for SMEs, a segment which has received minimal focus till recently. Flobiz is backed by marquee investors like Sequoia Capital, Elevation Capital, Greenoaks Capital, Beenext and Think Investments and has received USD 44 M in funding till date.
Rajeev Ahuja, Head- Strategy of Axis Bank
Rajeev Ahuja is the Head- Strategy of RBL Bank, and has over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry. RBL Bank has partnered with multiple fintechs such as Razorpay to offer banking services. In the course of his tenure in the banking industry, Rajeev has held key positions in investment banking and financial markets in India, Singapore and Hong Kong. He completed his education from Shri Ram College of Commerce and IIM Ahmedabad.
Rohit Taneja, Founder & CEO of Decentro
Rohit Taneja is the Founder and CEO of Decentro, an automated API platform for banking integrations, which has partnered with banks like ICICI, Yes Bank, Axis Bank, Equitas and Kotak. He is a fintech entrepreneur with experience across payments, banking & security. Previously he has worked at Sony Japan, founded Mypoolin and sold it to Wibmo and then PayU. He completed his education from IIT Delhi.
Sambhav Jain, Founder of Fampay
Sambhav Jain is the founder of FamPay and has been listed in Forbes 30 Under 30. FamPay is a Bengaluru-based fintech that helps children below the age of 18 achieve financial independence by enabling online and offline card payments. It also won in The Best on Campus category at the Economic Times Startup Awards. Fampay is backed by Elevation Capital, Sequoia Capital India, Venture Highway and Y Combinator. Prior to this, Sambhav worked at Aeon Learning and Hotstar, and completed his education from IIT Roorkee.
Shalini Warrier, Executive Director of Federal Bank
Shalini Warrier is the Executive Director at Federal Bank and primarily heads Retail Banking Products, Operational excellence, and Digital Innovation. She has transitioned the bank into a digitally-forward leader amongst the old private sector banks with partnerships across Neobanking (Jupiter & Fi), Securitization (CredAvenenue), Credit Card (OneCard), and Gold Loans (Rupeek). The bank has also improved its digital capabilities across domains.
Shashank Shekhar, Co-founder & Head of Consulting of the Digital Fifth
Shashank Shekhar is the co-founder & Head of Consulting at The Digital Fifth. He has led Fintech consulting practice for the firm and has advised across Embedded Finance, Digital Lending, Digital Payments, Wealthtech and Security areas. In addition, he has helped in fostering the Fintech ecosystem in the country by training thousands of participants, including founders & senior leaders in Fintech and Open Banking.
Sidharth Rath, MD&CEO of SBM Bank
Sidharth Rath is the MD & CEO of SBM Bank. Under his tenure, the bank has partnered with open banking entities like RazorpayX, Open, Enkash, Stashfin, Karbon Kard and many more. Sidharth is a seasoned banker with over 26 years of experience in the financial sector. Before joining SBM Bank, he was with Axis Bank as the Group Executive and Head of Corporate, Transaction Banking and International Banking. He completed his education from Berhampur University and Xavier Institute of Management.
Sucharita Mukherjee, Co-founder & CEO of Kaleidofin
Sucharita Mukherjee is the co-founder & CEO of Kaleidofin, a fintech with the aim to propel financial inclusion. The company offers products like long term goal based savings solutions, credit analytics for lenders to aid in underwriting customers as well as a BBPS payment platform. Kaleidofin is backed by Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, Oikocredit International and Omidyar Network and has raised almost USD 23 M till date. Sucharita completed her education from Lady Shri Ram College for Women and IIM Ahmedabad.
Sumit Gwalani, Co-founder of Fi
Sumit Gwalani, who earlier worked at Google Pay, co-founded the company Fi Money. Fi is a money management app for working professionals, loaded with a zero balance savings account and commission-free mutual funds. They offer a Savings account, Fixed Deposit and Flexible Jars, Debit Card, Payments and more. They have partnered with Federal Bank to offer these services. Fi is backed by investors like Hillhouse Capital Group, Ribbit Capital, Sequoia Capital and B Capital Group. Fi will soon offer mutual fund investments and peer-to-peer lending as well. Prior to this, Sumit worked at Trlokom and Google, and completed his education from University of Mumbai and UC Santa Barbara.
Tushar Aggarwal, Founder & CEO of Stashfin
Tushar Aggarwal is the founder and CEO of Stashfin, a neobanking platform that offers credit lines to underserved retail customers. They offer products like credit line, personal loans as well employee expense management platform. They are backed by investors like Uncorrelated Ventures, Fasanara Capital and Abstract Ventures, Altara Ventures, Kravis Investment Partners, and Snow Leopard and have raised USD 270 M recently, boosting their valuation to between USD 700-800 M. Prior to this, Tushar worked at Goldman Sachs, General Atlantic and Everstone Capital. He completed his education from Stony Brook University and Wharton.
Vaibhav Domkundwar, Founder & CEO of Better
Vaibhav is the Founder & CEO of Better Capital. They have backed successful open banking companies like Open, Jupiter, Hyperface, Khatabook, Upswing, M2P and more. Better Capital is a tech venture firm with a focus on segments like Fintechs, Saas & Software, Crypto, Edtech, Consumer tech, Agritech, Healthtech, Gaming, Climate and services. Prior to this, Vaibhav founded Roamware, which was venture backed and subsequently acquired. He completed his education from College of Engineering Pune and University of California Berkeley.
Vinay Bagri, Co-founder & CEO of Niyo
Vinay Bagri is the co-founder & CEO of Niyo. Niyo offers multiple products like global debit card, a wealth management platform as well as neobanking products for consumers (NiyoX) and businesses (Niyo Bharat.) NiyoX is amongst the most successful Retail Neobanks. Vinay is an experienced business strategist and an entrepreneur. Prior to this, he was working with Kotak Mahindra Bank as a Business Head. He completed his education from IIRM and IIM Calcutta.
Vipul Sharma, Founder & CEO of Chqbook
Vipul Sharma is the founder and CEO at Chqbook, a Gurugram and Bengaluru – based neobanking startup. It offers small business owners financial services through its five pillars of banking, lending, insurance, khata, and rewards. Chqbook focuses on the underserved segment to help drive financial inclusion. Chqbook is backed by Aavishkaar Venture Capital, Rajiv Dadlani Group, InnoVen Capital, Aavishkaar Venture Capital and YWC Venture Capital. Prior to founding Chqbook, Vipul worked across banks like Citibank, HDFC and IndusInd as well as BankBazaar. He completed his education from Loyola College and International Management Institute.