The latest entrant into the space is fintech platform BlinkX, owned by JM Financial. Led by IIT-IIM alumnus Gagan Singla, BlinkX is developing four mobile apps offering a range of financial services including digital brokerage, lending, wealth management and investment advice.
“We are striving to position ourselves among the top five players in the sector, both in terms of consumer acquisition and overall industry position, within the next two years,” says an ambitious Singla. The main differentiator for BlinkX would be the focus on customer experience with a focus on being India’s first trouble-free app.
Edited excerpts from a chat:
At a time when everyone is talking about great apps, what is the reason to launch four different apps on brokerage, loans, wealth management and investment advice?
JM Financial has always favored a gradual and meticulous approach to business strategies. We don’t allow ourselves to be swayed by buzzwords, but base our decisions on in-depth analysis. Although super apps have grown in popularity in the market, our launch approach will be very analytical. Although we have made substantial investments in the consumer internet space and have helped many businesses, we have not yet ventured into building our digital ecosystem. And we aim to do it step by step, focusing on each business.
Our priority is to establish a robust ecosystem internally through the right technology and the right team. We developed all these applications in-house, a decision which is perhaps not the most obvious for a financial institution. We strive to position ourselves for future growth and success through a calculated approach and the strategic building of our Fintech ecosystem. By continuously analyzing data and looking at consumer engagement and experience with different apps and their cross-value, the possibility of merging apps can be explored. This is an ongoing process and therefore we may or may not have a great app in the future – only time will tell.
In terms of brokerage, how do you see the landscape changing with a number of new entrants vying for the discount brokerage space?
As the industry becomes increasingly consumer-centric, there are many opportunities for those with a deep and diligent understanding of their business. As a stalwart of the financial industry, particularly in investment banking, we are armed with knowledge and expertise. We are now venturing into the consumer digital space. Although the field has become very lucrative, it is also flooded with companies that lack the necessary experience and knowledge and see it as just a start-up space. However, our in-depth understanding of regulations and compliance gives us a distinct advantage. And because we’re actively building a cutting-edge technology ecosystem internally, we’re making sure we stay ahead of the competition. Moreover, the technology sector often overlooks the value of the consumer experience, while we recognize its paramount importance.
What will be the main differentiator in the brokerage industry: price, technology or service?
Customer experience will be the key differentiator in our industry. The user experience landscape is changing rapidly, with apps designed to meet specific consumer needs. Our BlinkX app aims to introduce several unique features and functionalities that are surprisingly currently unavailable even in the most popular apps due to the complexity of backend systems. From a usability perspective, we are testing features that will bring tremendous value to the table in terms of consumer engagement and long-term retention amidst market volatility.
Additionally, we partnered with Google to enhance our digital customer experience strategy and expand our digital retail customer base. By leveraging the strong data and analytics capabilities of Google Cloud, we will gain deeper insights into our customers, enabling us to deliver personalized experiences, reduce customer churn, and increase customer engagement. overall customer engagement.How much emphasis is placed on creating a hassle-free brokerage application?
We are driven by a visionary goal of creating the industry’s first “Zero Glitch App”. We know that achieving this ambitious goal will require considerable effort and dedication. Our main goal is to prioritize the robustness of our app development process, ensuring that it runs flawlessly without technical issues.
Where do you see Blinkx in the next few years? What type of market share do you envision?
We have taken a market approach that encompasses all age groups rather than targeting specific demographic groups such as Gen Z or Millennials. Our goal is to collect data that allows us to understand our consumer behavior , which allows us to personalize our offers accordingly. I believe behavior patterns in the market matter more than the age of the trader. Therefore, we will use behavioral targeting strategies to meet the unique needs of our clients.
Our goal is to become the preferred choice for investors and options traders. By December 2023, we will introduce specific features suitable for options traders. We are also developing algorithmic options to improve their experience. Our vision is to ensure that no consumer is turned away when they come to BlinkX. We are striving to position ourselves among the top five players in the industry, both in terms of consumer acquisition and overall industry position, over the next two years.
Can you tell us more about the lending platform? Could it be P2P?
Initially, we will not offer a P2P lending service, but there will be noticeable changes to our offerings. Currently, we are focusing on Digital Lending Against Mutual Funds (LAMF) and Lending Against Securities (LAS). We are committed to developing a complete digital lending application encompassing LAMF and LAS services. Our apps are already in beta phase and we are actively working on transitioning them to full production soon.