International Conference on “Fostering Innovation in Financial Inclusion: Bridging Resources and Opportunities” (FIFI 2017)
March 04, 2017
The Centre for Advanced Research in Financial Inclusion, School of Management, Manipal Academy of Higher Education in association with International “We Serve” Foundation, Kentucky, USA organized an international conference on “Fostering Innovation in Financial Inclusion: Bridging Resources and Opportunities” (FIFI 2017) on 4th and 5th of March, 2017 at KMC Interact Hall, Manipal.
The Centre for advanced research in financial inclusion aims to develop new knowledge and insights within the field of inclusive growth related to financial inclusion, to generate awareness towards financial products and to work towards strengthening of microfinance institutions, business facilitators and business correspondents that can give easy access to banking services especially for rural population. FIFI 2017 was the maiden conference of the Centre for Advanced Research in Financial Inclusion. FIFI’s objectives were to i) analyze the role of innovation in bridging the business opportunity and scarce resources amidst policy mandates and fierce competition, and ii) deliberate on the digital technologies, innovative and lower-cost business models, innovations to transform the financial ecosystem and opportunities of disruptive technology in developing sustainable ecosystem for inclusive finance. It also aims to facilitate interactions with policy-makers on latest national and regional initiatives and frontier issues in enabling greater financial inclusion and showcase latest technology and innovations in financial products and services for the unbanked and underserved.
The conference was inaugurated on 4th March at 9.30 am by the Chief Guest, Mr. Jai Kumar Garg, Managing Director and CEO, Corporation Bank and Guest of Honour, Mr. Allen C A Pereira, Former GM of Syndicate Bank, CMD of Bank of Maharashtra and ED of Oriental Bank of Commerce. The function was presided by Dr. Poornima Baliga, Dean, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal Academy of Higher Education.
The program over the two days included three plenary sessions, three technical sessions and a panel discussion by a galaxy of leading experts from not only academic institutions but also experts from banks and financial institutions industries; scientific paper presentations by researchers and practitioners; and informal conversations for mutual sharing and enrichment. The FIFI conference brought together more than 150 participants from government, academia, civil society and banking.
In the first plenary session, Ms. Kamakshi Pai, GM/Joint Director, Bankers Institute of Rural Development, NABARD, Mangalore spoke on “Innovative Sustainable Business Models for Financial Inclusion” and Mr. Sunil Mishra, Senior Industry Principal– Finacle, Infosys delivered a talk on “Technologies for Financial Inclusion in India”. The session was chaired by Dr. Tim Thomas Goydke, Dean/Academic Director, International Graduate Center, Hochschule Bremen, Germany.
In the second plenary session, Mr. Ram Rastogi, Head –Financial Literacy & Advisory Cell, National Payments Corporation of India spoke on “Innovative Payment Systems for Financial Inclusion” and Mr. C K Gopal, General Manager, Corporation Bank delivered a talk on “Government Initiatives for Financial Inclusion in India”. The session was chaired by Dr. Ishwar Haritas, Area Chair- General Management, TAPMI, Manipal. In the third plenary session, Mr. V Leeladhar, Former Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India spoke on “Fostering Innovation in Financial Inclusion”. The session was chaired by Mr. Suresh Kumar, Member of Faculty Zonal Training Centre, Reserve Bank of India.
A panel discussion on “Fostering Digital Revolution in Banking” was held in which Mr. V K Bhat, Karnataka Bank; Mr. Johnson Miranda, Axis Bank; Mr. Sazzid Shaikh, ICICI Bank; Mr. Sunil Mishra, Finacle, Infosys; Dr. Ishwar Haritas, TAPMI, Manipal and Mr. G. Laxminarasimhan, LIC of India participated and the host was Dr. Radhakrishna Sharma, Justice K S Hegde Institute of Management, Nitte University.
The valedictory function was held on 5th March at 12.30 pm at KMC Interact Hall. Ms. Vidyalaxmi, Assistant General Manager, Karnataka Bank was the chief guest and Mr. V Leeladhar, Former Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India was the Guest of Honour. This function was presided by Dr. Raveendranath Nayak, Director, School of Management, Manipal Academy of Higher Education.
There was research paper presentations by around 85 academicians and researchers from all over India and abroad (USA, Mexico and Middle East countries) during the technical sessions. This conference provided platform to debate, exchange knowledge and develop partnership that would provide contemporary solutions and innovative ideas to accelerate innovation in financial inclusion with maximum impact.
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