Fintech

India world’s third largest fintech market after US, China

Question: I read a report recently that the fintech business is likely to grow by leaps and bounds in the coming years and the growth will be driven by lending to small and medium enterprises. What prospects are there for young NRIs like me to get into the fintech business?

Small and medium enterprises cannot afford the high cost of capital. Fintech players are able to provide capital by way of underwriting and through low cost delivery systems. It is expected that digital lending startups will continue to service small and medium enterprises and consumer lending will be driven with small-ticket unsecured products like BNPL (Buy Now, Pay Later) as well as through co-lending. It is expected that by 2030 Indian fintech will touch $1 trillion in assets under management and $200 billion in revenues. Apart from digital lending, wealthtech, insurtech, and neo-banking will contribute to growth in the fintech space. Currently, India has the world’s third largest fintech market after the United States and China. Therefore, young NRIs have good prospects in this line of business. In the last five years, foreign investors have put in $18 billion in around a thousand fintech firms. So far, there are 21 Indian unicorns.

China has always been the leader in the toy industry. Is there any scope for India to make inroads in this sector and compete with foreign brands?

Made-in-India toys are now gaining ground having regard to the huge population of children. Unorganised players are controlling almost 90 per cent of the Indian toy market. However, foreign market leaders are focusing on bringing more local flavour to their toys and games manufactured for the Indian sector. Several startups are making toys which are eco-friendly and which relate to the country’s culture. New-age parents want to gift their children toys which are not only entertaining but have a historical background, eg. Ramayana sets based on Indian fables. The Indian toy industry has gained strength from the Central Government’s mandate to have quality certification of the toys which would need the BIS trademark. This mandate has also brought in a wave of innovation among toy manufacturers who are now launching products that reflect Indian culture from the various regions of the country.

My daughter wants to train as a pilot and work in India. Is there scope for this profession, especially for women?

According to the International Society of Women Airline Pilots, India has the highest percentage of female pilots. About 12.4 per cent of all pilots in India are women compared to 5.5 per cent in the United States and 4.7 per cent in the United Kingdom. Airlines are opening up to employment of women pilots as studies have shown that female pilots exercise greater caution while flying. Indian women are being encouraged by airline companies by conducting outreach programmes based on their corporate policies. Many State Governments are providing subsidies for training women pilots. Established airlines in India offer women pilots flexible schedules during and after pregnancy and some give pregnant pilots the option of temporary jobs on the ground. Female pilots find it easier to fly in India in view of the family support which they have as mother-in-law, parents and grandparents help in raising children and managing households during the absence of the pilots. Such family support is generally not available to women pilots in other countries. Many young girls are attracted to flying through the air wing of the NCC. The Indian Air Force has also started recruiting women pilots for helicopters, transport aircraft, and now even for fighter jets.

H. P. Ranina is a practicing lawyer, specialising in tax and exchange management laws of India. Views expressed are his own and do not reflect the newspaper’s policy

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