Carmen Vicelich is an award-winning founder and Global CEO who has rapidly founded two multimillion-dollar businesses, leveraging world class technology and data to solve customer problems in several countries including India. Ms Vicelich has worked in the banking and mortgage lending domain for almost 20 years. She is a global expert on valuation best practice and how to provide both regulatory compliance and customer centricity through the power of technology and data.
Her growing business, Valocity Global, streamlines the mortgage lending and valuation processes. Valocity’s cloud-based, modular platform connects the entire mortgage lending ecosystem and has been recognised globally for fulfilling a critical need for innovation. Her other business, Data Insight, combines the best of advanced analytics, data visualisation and data strategy to deliver actionable insights to Australasian businesses of all sizes and industry. Recently, her company won the Fintech Start-up of the Year award in India and was among Global Top Ten Fintech finalists in Singapore. Ms Vicelich spoke at the recent INZBC India Unplugged Annual Summit and Kia Ora India interviewed her exclusively.
What led Valocity to India?
Valocity’s strategy is and has been to build a global business, recognising the size limitations of the New Zealand market. With this in view the company’s technology strategy was always to build a world class scalable and modular platform with no geographical boundaries. Having successfully displaced incumbents in the NZ market, Valocity established a presence in Australia, a more developed market. The success in Australia gave the company opportunities through partnerships to enter less developed markets in the South East Asian region including India. These countries, given their population size, increasing income levels and the shortage of housing is an attractive segment with markets many times larger than New Zealand.
India is one of the fastest growing countries in the world and combined with initiatives around a digital India and housing for all, presents the perfect opportunity to provide a digital solution that enables faster and more efficient mortgage lending combined with best practice risk management for banks.
How has your experience been – the process of navigating the challenges of setting up, getting up-and-running?
Entry into the India market has brought with it some unique challenges. An initial challenge for us was to understand the size and complexity of the banking and housing finance sectors and the way in which valuation services were ordered. As at the time of entry, India banking regulators had no firm view on the rationale or need for a valuation ordering service, although an increase in bank losses resulting from poor risk management has led to the Valocity platform now being seen as more of a “must have” than was the case two years previously.
What are the best things India has going for doing business with?
It is technologically advanced; has a literate and skilled workforce; is entrepreneurial attitude and recognition of the need to innovate; English is spoken in business; it is one of the fastest growing economies in the world; it has well established banking and IT environments with Indian banks world leaders in embracing new financial technology.
Your advice to Kiwi companies contemplating their India foray?
Definitely work with a partner and/or NZTE to assist; recruit a senior Indian national on the ground to assist and lead market entry; do the groundwork to validate the market before making the commitment to entry; be prepared to take 2 to 3 years to establish and start operations; Have face to face meetings; meet with NZTE’s India Beachheads. While the market is complex, the people, country and opportunities make it extremely worthwhile.
How can the NZ govt act as a catalyst in helping be a bigger part of India’s growth story?
By assisting with connecting NZ companies and prospective clients and partnerships; through support administratively; by funding to allow a company to undertake initial market exploration and validation and ongoing market development. Valocity is very appreciative of the support provided by NZTE in India.