In our last installment of the Women in Tech series, we introduced you to Liesl Bebb-McKay, one of the most influential figures behind digital innovation in the banking industry. This time around, we are profiling Priyanka Naik, Chief Strategy Officer at CapOne Research.
Born in Mumbai, Priyanka obtained a degree in Engineering (Computer Science) at the University of Mumbai. After graduating, she worked extensively in finetch and digital transformation; currently based in Tallinn, Estonia, Naik helps generate, develop and curate new ideas and strategies at CapOne Research OU.
Keen to learn more about Priyanka, we quizzed her on a range of different topics; Priyanka spoke with us about her involvement with Money20/20’s inaugural Rise Up leadership program and her thoughts on what’s in store for the future of financial services.
Trulioo: I understand you’re somewhat of a multi-disciplinary expert when it comes to the likes of banking, risk and fintech – you’ve certainly forged a very exciting career for yourself. What interested you about the space?
Priyanka: It happened by chance. The first job that I landed was of a Systems Analyst, wherein I worked on a legacy core banking product. Being the proactive person that I am, I started researching every allied innovation out there in the market and was introduced to, and enamored by, the world of fintech.
Trulioo: What it is about working in this sector that excites you?
Priyanka: Its enormous untapped potential. There’s so much that can be achieved in the world by simply extending financial services to each and every person, irrespective of his/her background. Fintech can enable better circulation of money in an economy and effectively lessen the rich-poor divide. It can also enable better access to finance; better management of investment and cash flow; offer banking services to the unbanked, and much more!
Trulioo: Can you tell me a little about the Money20/20 Rise Up Leadership Program? How did you become involved and what does it entail?
Priyanka: RiseUp is a leadership accelerator program that was conceptualized to address the gender imbalance in leadership positions within the fintech industry. It was a profile-based selection, wherein a cohort of 30 women (including myself) were handpicked by panelists to be the beneficiaries of their curated agenda.
Trulioo: What do you think is in store for fintech and financial services in the future? Where do you see these sectors heading in five, 10, 50 years?
Priyanka: I believe that fintech will become indispensable in the coming years. Financial entities will unite by synergies - encouraging new digital platforms and innovations. In 10-20 years, systems like SWIFT will most likely disappear and more reliable and quicker solutions will replace them. Eventually, economies may withdraw cash and securities from circulation, replacing all financial assets with digital ones – a move that will encourage financial institutions to adopt fintech solutions. In addition, fintech development will boost the financial cybersecurity and authentication market. I also see banking, insurance, stock exchange and other financial business domains switching to smart digital solutions based on the symbiosis of technologies.
Financial bots-assistants will likely become part of everyday life and augmented reality and new AI algorithms will work to make them "more human".
Lastly, I believe we’ll see the implementation of financial solutions to fulfil the prevention of anti-money laundering and other crimes, making financial operations more secure and transparent.
Trulioo: If you had to sum up your personal mission in one sentence, what would it be?
Priyanka: My personal mission is to bring about a fair distribution of money (metaphor for resources) to the various strata of society, by means of a technology solution.
Trulioo: What is the biggest challenge that women are currently facing within the technology industry?
Priyanka: Women in this industry are often at the receiving end of irrational biases, stereotypes and generally lowered expectations. Even with all the diversity programs and gender ratios in place, women are often channeled into support roles and unpromotable tasks, rather than high visibility projects. This strips them of their chance to get ahead in their careers and gender imbalance continues to persist.
Trulioo: Lastly, if you gave a Ted Talk, what would the title be?
Priyanka: I get asked so many times by industry outsiders about what fintech is or how to make a career in it, that I feel compelled to have my first TED talk be titled “Breaking into Fintech”.
If there’s a female trailblazer that you’d like to see featured in our Women in Tech blog series, please send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out our previous posts here and stay tuned for the next installment!