CXO Roundtable- Reimagining the Next-Generation Business Correspondent (BC) Model

Grameen Foundation India (GFI) and Business Correspondent Federation of India (BCFI) organized a two-day CXO Roundtable Meet in Goa, India on 11th and 12th November 2022 at the Radisson Hotel, Baga, Goa.

The CXOs from 19 prestigious BC industry institutions very graciously attended the event. The aim was to communicate, coordinate and collaborate to reimagine the next-generation BC Model. The envisioned model should not only provide additional revenue streams to the CBCs (Corporate Business Correspondents) but should also be instrumental in providing the dignity that the Business Correspondents truly deserve.

The two-day meeting gave the CXOs the opportunity to retrospect on their journey this far in the industry, all the opportunities which they have leveraged, and the ones that they have missed. The pandemic that stalled the world provided BC Agents a platform where their efforts were recognized by officials at top-rung governmental organizations. They were rightfully accorded the status of being COVID Warriors because when India was under complete lockdown, BC Agents opened their doors and hearts to provide financial services to all those who approached them.

During the initial warm-up session, many CXOs shared endearing and heart-warming stories on how the BC Agents were doing their bit in making critical last-mile services available across the length and breadth of the nation. BC Agents visited the doorsteps of customers, especially elderly villagers, and liaise with NGOs to make free rations available to the needy during the pandemic.

As the momentum picked up, the CXOs then took upon themselves the mammoth task of imaging, imagining, and reimagining the Next Generation BC Model which is more efficient, responsible, viable, and gender inclusive. The CXOs divided themselves into groups and discussed five different and extremely pertinent themes; all of which when considered in totality would be game changers for the BC Industry. They discussed short, medium, and long-term visions and aspirations for the BC Industry. Several ideas were welcomed and there were deliberations on how to put these into action. It was agreed that a relationship-based delivery model should be built where the major chunk of their profits would come from non-CICO (Cash In – Cash Out) products. Also, the need of the hour is to develop the trust of both the CSPs and customers to grow further in business. As in all other walks of our lives, women need to play a more progressive and stronger role in the BC Industry. It was opined that the creation of a common database for fraud management and grievance redressal was immediately required.  Most of the issues being faced by CBCs would get eliminated through this. The creation of a BC Member Charter and self-regulatory organization status for the body is also of paramount importance.

On the 2nd day, a long session was organized with a dignitary from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). At the very start of the address, he spoke very appreciatively of the efforts of CBCs and BCAs during the very challenging times of the pandemic. In March 2020, interoperable transactions were 39 million, and by April 2020, they catapulted to 90 million. He also apprised the CXOs of all new initiatives being undertaken by NPCI whose effects would be very humungous and far-reaching.

All in all, the CXO Roundtable proved to be the magnum opus amongst all such events organized thus far. Many questions were raised and the quest to find answers to them all has begun even more earnestly now. Stay tuned for more updates soon from the Grameen Foundation and BCFI.

Authors:

Sunil Kulkarni – Chief Executive Officer, BCFI
Suchitra Moorty – Vice President Operations, BCF

Sunil Kulkarni, a veteran Fintech Industry professional with 35 years of cross-industry experience in technology-led businesses is CEO at BCFI. He is also a Strategic Advisor on Payments and Digital Banking Services to select banks and initial and growth stage start-ups. Under his able leadership BCFI is now a membership institution with almost 70 members servicing 20+ lakh BC Agents Pan India. Suchitra Moorty, Vice President (Operations) assists him at BCFI.

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