Skills You Need To Make Inroads Into The BFSI Sector

"Ours is an industry where diverse talents are needed," says Alok Bansal, Visionet Systems India’s MD and Global Head of BFSI Business  

According to indiainvestmentgrid, the BFSI (Banking, Financial services and Insurance) sector in India is valued at Rs. 81 trillion and is likely to become the third largest in the world by 2025. It can be safely assumed that the industry has survived the pandemic and is on an upswing. This has been affirmed by a report by online recruiting platform, which has noted a year-on-year growth of 27 per cent in February 2022 in the BFSI industry.  This also means that the sector will require a skilled workforce to grow even more. Mr. Alok Bansal, Visionet Systems India’s MD and Global Head of BFSI Business says, "Ours is an industry where diverse talents are needed to manage cyber security, corporate and investment banking, treasury, credit operations, internal audit and even HR. However, I would like to emphasise that what we look for apart from technical skills are people skills as well. The ability to lead, be led, to communicate well and work with diverse teams  is critically important as well."

Here are some of the additional skills on Mr. Alok's wishlist:

Flexibility, adaptability and the willingness to learn: Says Mr. Alok, "The pandemic has shown us that stagnation will sound the death knell for any industry and we need minds that are not just ready to deal with the challenges of today but of the future." According to him, aspirants need to know the sector and its various streams inside and out, stay updated about various changes in the industry, have analytical and numerical skills and have a sense of ease with fast-evolving technology. Most importantly, he says, they should be willing to learn something new everyday as this is one industry that is continuously transforming to become increasingly borderless, digital and synergistic.

Problem solving skills: Says Mr. Alok, "Everyday, while dealing with clients, employees have to take personal responsibility for solving issues, be they technical or administrative. They need to manage large volumes of information with clarity and accuracy and deliver solutions on time. Whether you are a data scientist or a data analyst, a financial analyst, a credit or a wealth manager or a cyber-security expert, you will come across a unique set of issues and the number one skill employers will be looking for apart from your expertise in your field is your ability to solve problems and offer tailor-made solutions."  

Multifaceted managerial abilities: Managers do not just oversee teams, says Mr. Alok but must also have a deep understanding of all aspects of the BFSI business. He adds, "Managers must know how banking methodologies, fintech and analytics work and must be able to decode the fine prints of insurance claims and data management. They must be willing to update their skills and also be able to gauge if their teams need reskilling. Individuals who are multi-skilled grow quicker and faster in the BFSI industry. I also feel, educational institutions must grow beyond offering conventional degrees and teach skills that are in demand in the global market today. The demand and supply gap otherwise will keep expanding. This is one reason why we are offering a free skilling program called, 'Unnati for India' to the country's youth where we familiarise them with Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, financial and digital applications."

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Cybersecurity expertise: The Global Cybersecurity Market was valued at USD 132.94 billion in 2021, and it is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 14.1% from 2022 to 2027. During the pandemic, as businesses increasingly grow digital, the BFSI sector has to be ready for mounting cyber and web-based attacks, online frauds and thefts of data and identity. Says Mr. Alok, "Our industry needs cybersecurity experts who can iron out the glitches that can potentially derail IT systems. They must be able to protect sensitive data from hackers, malware, spyware and phishing. We don't just need firefighters but experts who can detect, predict, monitor and thwart cyber threats before they can happen." Data breaches are the worst nightmare for the trust equity of a financial institution, says Mr. Alok and adds that more and more companies are now looking for cloud-based security proficiency, compliance specialists and forensic analysts to nip threats in the bud.

A vision for wealth management: At the heart of the BFSI business are wealth management experts, says Mr. Alok and adds, "I prefer to call them visionaries because they see potential where the client sees only a certain amount of money. So it is critical that we draw the best financial experts, investment planners and asset managers to the industry. They must have a passion for providing the right financial advice and guidance to clients and also expertise in identifying the right management tools and software programs that can help them achieve the maximum benefit for the client. Professionals who understand finance, accounting, securities trading and economics and have the commitment and integrity to serve their clients to the best of their ability, will always be in high demand." 

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