Thinking About AI – Shankar Narayanan

Shankar Narayanan is the Co-founder and COO of Active.Ai, a Singapore-based Enterprise AI platform for financial services. With strong problem solving, change management, project management skills and the ability to develop strategic alliances, Shankar has founded and exited a number of start-ups.

Tell me a little bit about yourself.

I am a FinTech entrepreneur focussing on innovation, technology, operations and product development. In 2000, I founded Internet direct debit payment company Cazh. In 2005 I founded enterprise mobility company TAGIT, and in 2012 I founded Social Payment company, Fastacash.

I started my career in computer animation in India, and carved a niche in multi-media production work when I moved to Singapore in 1993.

What is your business venture about?

Active. Ai is an enterprise AI platform for financial services.

What is your mission at the outset?

Making it simple to bank the next billion

How did you get your idea or concept for the business?

We saw an opportunity to build a company based on 3 key hypotheses and impending trends:

1. Conversation is the new UX. Moving from structured to unstructured data.

2. Uberisation of banking, every bank will be opening up API.

3. AI, substantial progress has been made in automation and ML.

What is unique about your business?

We are focused on enabling banks into the Ai era. We have built a robust enterprise grade AI engine that can be deployed on premise or on the cloud. The engine comes pre-trained with data models of financial services such as retail, wealth, insurance, and corporate banking.

Who do you sell to and how do you get customers? 

Our primary customers are banks.

Why will customers stay or do repeat business with you?

Knowledgeable team, and our founding team is strong in the domain. In 12 months we have been able put together a great team. Product, we have built a great product, which addresses the customer engagement challenge and save costs for our customers.

If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?

It is a journey, have faith in yourself and trust your intuition.

Who is your biggest inspiration or drive to do what you are doing?

I am a fan of Arthur C Clarke…inspired by Steve Jobs and…admire Lee Kuan Yew.

What’s next for you and for Active.Ai?

Launching our Ai platform for developers.

Chia Hock Lai

Chia Hock Lai

Chia Hock Lai is passionate about how technology is disrupting the way financial services are being delivered to consumers and businesses, and in the process making the financial system more efficient and inclusive.

Hock Lai has 18 years of experience in the financial industry, having performed roles in both business and technology. He graduated from the National University of Singapore (Real Estate), Nanyang Technological University (Infocomm Technology) and Nanyang Polytechnic (Fund Management & Administration).

He is also a Fellow of the Singapore University of Social Science, advisor to FinTech Startups and mentor to student FinTech projects.
Chia Hock Lai

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