In an interview with CIO AXIS, Raj Cherabuddi, VP of Engineering at OakNorth, shares where India fits in OakNorth’s expansion plans.
What are your plans for OakNorth?
As we move forward, we want to continue building out the functionality and capabilities of our Credit Intelligence Suite, to ensure we’re constantly evolving and delighting our clients by improving their underwriting speed and management of credit risk.
We will remain focussed on working with lenders in the US, such as PNC Bank and Customers Bank as a priority, as well as those in Canada, Australia, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands. Furthermore, we will be continuing to deploy our software within our own bank in the UK, OakNorth Bank, which has propelled it into the top 1% of banks in developed markets in terms of RORE and efficiency, enabling it to profitably manage a high-quality, multi-billion-dollar commercial lending portfolio.
Could you shed some light on your new unit in Hyderabad and where India fits in your expansion plans?
We’re adding talent in Hyderabad over the course of this year who will help to deepen our technology expertise and capabilities. For this, we’re looking to hire top talent working in software engineering, artificial intelligence, machine learning and credit analysis.
Looking at where India fits in with our expansion plans and strategies moving forward, India has always been a key market for talent and our already existing offices in Gurugram and Bengaluru are hugely important to our operations and the development of our Credit Intelligence software.
As most people globally are working remotely, it’s expanded the pool of talent available to us as we’re not limited to markets where we have a physical location. In the US for example, our office is in New York, but in the last six months, we’ve made hires in California, Texas and Colorado.
What are the different services offered by OakNorth?
Our Credit Intelligence Suite aggregates banks’ data with third party data from thousands of external sources to provide instant, real-time analysis and insights directly to the banks’ front line, including automated portfolio insights and alerts.
There are several components:
- Portfolio Insights uses just 15-20 key data points from banks’ spreading and core banking systems to integrate over 200 proprietary, subsector-specific, stress scenarios with regional overlays. These scenarios incorporate assumptions for impacts on key financial metrics such as revenue, operating costs, working capital and CAPEX. These factors can be dynamically customized to reflect the lender’s credit risk criteria and appetite.
- Automated Credit Analysis provides lenders with a 360 degree view of their borrowers so that they can reach faster and better data-driven credit decisions. We generate financial forecasts on subsector specific scenarios so that lenders have a precise and consistent forward look for each loan in their portfolios. This is combined with intuitive charts on sector and macro drivers to highlight the most important external factors affecting the borrower’s financial performance. Our software also provides a comparable analysis across millions of relevant companies so that lenders can quickly compare its borrower’s performance against their peers. All of this analysis is refreshed automatically as new data points become available.
- Loan Monitoring analyses each borrower’s data in the context of its geography and sector. We monitor billions of data points to detect anomalies a lenders loan book and alert them when a portfolio, transaction, loan, or borrower needs attention. Relationship Managers have all the information they need and more for check-ins or annual reviews with their customers and to continue lending with confidence. We also have options for integrating with other bank systems so that lending teams can work smarter, not harder.
The result of all of all of the above is more effective, better equipped Relationship, Risk and Transaction Managers, superior credit outcomes, improved efficiency, reduced risk, enhanced regulatory compliance and greater customer delight.