What Every Aspiring Fintech Leader Must Know

The rise of smart, accessible digital technology means that fintech continues to climb the charts as an industry. Currently, the rate of fintech adoption worldwide is 64%, with India taking the lead at a whopping 80%. This represents a massive opportunity for aspiring fintech market leaders to emerge and further the financial empowerment of the masses. 

But trying to emulate successful global fintech leaders is easier said than done. Fintech’s rapidly changing landscape requires company leaders to be agile, innovative, and resilient on all fronts. Sure, investing in world-class technology goes a long way toward building a promising fintech firm, but how its leaders build a forward-thinking culture that embraces both employee and customer-centricity is also critical. 

All of this comes from developing the right skills and gaining the right experience before jumping into the world of fintech. If you are aiming to join the ranks of visionary leaders, here are three things you should know. 

1. Best fintech market leaders embrace disruption and display empathy

It is quite evident that the financial services industry has transformed rapidly in the past few years, especially with digital adoption skyrocketing in the post-pandemic era. This disruption might be a challenge to overcome for new finance company leaders, but it also represents a significant opportunity. The key is to drive your engineering and product teams to adapt swiftly to market dynamics and scale up on technologies such as blockchain, RPA, API, data analytics, etc. 

Uday Kotak – the CEO of Kotak Mahindra Bank – is an excellent example of embracing disruption through technological advancement in the financial sector. With digital platforms becoming rampant, he worked with his team to take the lead on digital transformation in Kotak’s services. The result was the launch of 811 – India’s first downloadable digital banking ecosystem in 2018. 

Additionally, those aiming to become successful business leaders in fintech must also tune themselves to the ever-changing customer behaviour and demands and how to align employees to your vision. This is possible only through empathetic leadership that figures out the needs of people in advance. As a result, aspiring leaders in finance will be able to provide a rich environment to support employees and service enhancements to empower customers.

2. A culture of innovation and ownership will help you differentiate

Global fintech leaders and aspirants are staring at a $699.5 billion opportunity in fintech by 2030, which means the industry is seeing new entrants emerging. The only way famous personalities in the field of finance and fintech, such as Sanjiv Bajaj, have been able to stand out from the crowd is through innovation. 

As the Chairman and Managing Director of Bajaj Finserv and President of CII (2022-23), Sanjiv Bajaj has built industry-leading calibre for his financial services company through innovation. Bajaj Finserv was one of the first movers in India to bring out digital banking products in underserved areas, thus enabling a strong consumer and MSME finance portfolio. The product innovation fostered by Sanjiv Bajaj has been a result of encouraging employees to think like owners, take creative risks and work in independent change-oriented teams called Centers of Excellence. His steadfast focus on technological advancement and employee ownership truly makes him one of the most visionary fintech market leaders.

3. Before jumping in, upskill yourself and build a robust team

As the fintech market is growing fast, we need leaders and teams with more diverse views and skill sets to make the company consumer-centric and drive the employees towards growth. In that regard, aspiring fintech leaders should develop certain necessary skills. These include:

  • Learning how to identify and strengthen your niche based on your expertise, experience, and the gaps in the market
  • Learning how to monitor and research the market through powerful analytics
  • Developing exceptional observational skills to predict customer behaviour and trends
  • Learning to build authenticity and trust with the audience through thought leadership

Moreover, the global fintech leaders you see today have only been able to reach those heights through efficient and successful team building. A robust and diversified team ultimately enables a fintech leader to execute multiple ideas quickly and iterate on the fly. Recruiting the right set of designers, product managers, operational specialists, engineers, data analysts, technologists, customer-facing representatives, etc., is critical. 


There could be no better time than now for fintech aspirants to launch their own start-ups in the industry or build a great new financial product in their existing firm. This opportunity stems from the increasing need for e-commerce and digital banking worldwide. 

In addition, global fintech leaders are increasingly finding themselves at the forefront of shaping the future of our financial security. From Robo-advisors to transactional anonymity to crypto to digital currency, many trends have the potential to change how the world works completely. This puts aspiring fintech leaders in a position of great responsibility to increase financial services’ agility, accuracy, security, and efficiency. 

To fulfill the same, they need to look toward the most famous personalities in the field of finance and learn from their experiences and stories. Whether embracing disruption, adopting a more empathetic leadership style, creating a culture of innovation, or building the right team; the above-mentioned mantras are sure to give aspiring fintech leaders a confident headstart.