Innovation is Not a Destination, It’s a Continuous Journey

by Amit Garg, Head of Banking at AGTB

The banking industry today faces serious challenges from multiple angles. Most observers focus on the usual suspects such as risk, capital adequacy, return on equity, regulatory trust and compliance standards, to name a few.

However, I believe one of the most potent existential threats to the industry comes from unregulated but innovative and agile FinTechs. These disruptors have already triggered the process of unbundling of banking services by slowly but surely chipping away at some of the most profitable or least risky elements of banking. Left unchallenged, this could lead to a fundamental reshaping and revaluation of corporate banking model as we know it today. Banks need to face up to this reality and find ways to rapidly transform their business models, system designs and most importantly, internal culture, to survive in this new environment. 

These observations were reaffirmed during AGTB’s recent attendance at Inspire – Microsoft’s annual conference in Las Vegas where thousands of partners from over 130 countries meet to connect, collaborate, and share best practices.

As a platform for the exchange of ideas on the state of play within the banking sphere, participants were able to immerse and interact with some of the world’s brightest and most innovative thought leaders on the future direction of travel. Through a series of networking events, sessions, and Corenote presentations, the Inspire event agenda enlightened me to several key takeaways from these thought-provoking conversations:

  1. Digital players like AGTB have a unique opportunity to define the next generation of trade finance banking solutions and client propositions. While there is general realisation about the need to transform in the banking industry, most incumbents face significant legacy constraints and are therefore forced to try a piece-meal approach as opposed to fully integrated, end-to-end modernisation.
  2. Collaboration and connectivity is the name of the game. With increasing complexity and specialisation, no single provider will be able to support the entire breadth of corporate client requirements. Hence it has become imperative to forge the right partnerships and collaborations which are value accretive and sustainable over the long term.
  3. As business models evolve, the nature of corporate requirements are changing fast. There is a need for the industry to develop customised solutions for these new-age business models and not continue down the path of the ‘one size fits all’ approach.

Innovation is not a destination but a continuous journey. As a bank committed to challenging the status-quo, AGTB needs to remain at the leading edge of thought innovation, combined with an ability to identify and assimilate the right technology enablers in its pursuit of excellence.

Together with strategic partners like Microsoft, AGTB looks forward to a future of continuous innovation enabling renewed focus on meeting new customer needs through innovative approaches to models, systems, and culture.

Joining partner events like Inspire provides an opportunity to not only stay abreast with the latest developments, but to also build and nurture an ecosystem of strategic and symbiotic partnerships. I encourage all industry insiders to embrace this opportunity to connect and collaborate.

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