Brokerage Angel One’s superapp to create new customer experiences: CTO Raiturkar
Hoping to expand its customer base, online brokerage Angel One Limited is set to roll out a SuperApp that enables “enhanced discovery, information architecture and personalized investment journeys”, says its CTO Jyotiswarup Raiturkar.
Technology innovation, he explained in an interview with PTI, ranges from creating dynamic native experiences on mobile devices to creating customer cohorts and journey attribution.
The company’s digital approach, which was previously known as Angel Broking Limited, has helped it stay ahead of the curve, meet the expectations of young, tech-savvy investors and position itself as a new era fintech platform that offers innovative solutions. seamlessly – at a mobile tap.
According to Raiturkar, the power of AWS (Amazon Web Services) cloud computing, combined with the technological DNA of Angel One, has led the fintech platform to strengthen real-time portfolio information, reduce the stake on the market, reduce costs by 18% and drive operational improvements to meet the financial needs of its customers.
Excerpts from an exclusive interview:
The pandemic has compressed the digital transformation journeys of many companies. What have been the key strategic pillars on which you have built your digital strategy over the past two years at Angel?
Key strategic pillars of Angel One’s digital journey include increased customer focus, personalization, technology prioritization, engineering focus and a people-centric approach. The first pillar of our strategy is the customer, which translates into understanding their behavior and solving their problems. It starts with defining what to monitor or where to receive the data signals from. It then moves on to setting up analytical plumbing lines from discovery to post-market funnels, building a data science talent pool, and setting up an experimentation platform. data to create/deploy and derive models.
In April 2019, the company pivoted to create custom solutions for its diverse customer base. Here, we launched a self-service app-based model allowing customers to experience personalized financial journeys. Our approach has also changed to tech-first. This has brought significant change and is well reflected in our leadership. We have also transformed the way we perceive a problem. It’s defined clearly, taken live, and managed with the speed and agility of engineering.
It also changed the way we prioritize things – tech debt, hardening, as well as new features. Finally, build a people-centric culture where every voice is heard and where policies enable work-life balance and solve big problems. Angel One is a top 100 GPTW (Great Place To Work) company and a remote workplace.
There has been an increase in the participation of individuals in the Indian stock markets. How have you been able to meet your clients’ growing needs for speed and accuracy of data, trade execution, use of data analytics and artificial intelligence/machine learning for help make smarter decisions, etc. ?
Individual participation in the Indian equity market has increased significantly in recent times. We made some strategic decisions to meet customer expectations. For example, focus on hardening key services. This includes things ranging from ensuring high server availability to rewriting certain services. Since systems are extremely complicated, it takes a great deal of attention to detail and imagination to design tests that facilitate failure paths and then resolve them.
Another factor is the democratization of insights. There is a lot of data in terms of portfolio information, real-time market information, transactions and fees, which are not readily available to customers. But at Angel, we provide access to years of data and advice to our clients. An example is (recommendation engine) ARQ Prime, which has delivered approximately 26% compound annual growth rate to customers over the past five years.
To attract more customers, we are in the process of rolling out our new SuperApp version which enables better discovery, information architecture and personalized investment journeys.
Customers have access to relevant and timely content, including risk safeguards, to ensure they can enjoy the products without taking risks they are unaware of. Technology innovation here ranges from creating dynamic native experiences on mobile devices to creating customer cohorts and journey attribution.
With the technology landscape changing so rapidly, how do you manage to stay ahead of the game? What are the essential qualities of a successful CTO today?
I believe that by conceptualizing a vision and architecture for the product, the team moves forward. It is driven by the desire to simplify and modernize systems. Essential qualities of any leader are the ability to communicate the vision to engineers unambiguously, allowing for creative freedom in coding.
At the same time, it is important to be curious and to have a basic interest and internal motivation to understand new emerging trends. Other than that, the ability to dive deep helps uncover a system for understanding details that might not initially be obvious. And finally, a leader must know how to prioritize and have the ability to anticipate problems and opportunities in advance.
What has cloud technology enabled you to do that you couldn’t do before?
We run our core trading services on site and almost everything else on Amazon Web Services (AWS). This includes consulting services, data and machine learning platforms, customer engagement and KYC (know your customer).
Running on AWS has several advantages. Angel One has reduced time to market because we can do live updates in minutes that would otherwise take days. We leverage AWS managed services like Amazon ElastiCache, Amazon Redshift, and Amazon OpenSearch Service, allowing our engineers to focus on solving business problems rather than infrastructure ones.
We are also using resources efficiently with appropriately scaled deployment fleets, which has resulted in an 18% cost reduction. For applicable scenarios, we can autoscale based on load, and for many other scales, we can automatically pre-adjust in anticipation of traffic patterns during that time.
Availability is also improved. We operate multiple Availability Zones to ensure systems are always up. We will be one of the first AWS customers to create a multi-DC active-active solution for increased business continuity. With AWS, we can also take advantage of out-of-the-box insights, monitoring, and alerts.
Using AWS has also improved business operations. We can create seamless workflows using services like AWS Step Functions, which automates and simplifies our business operations. Additionally, managing infrastructure as code, configuring/dismantling fleets, getting metrics, and scaling resources have become accessible and amenable to automation.