For this new BIGIT Blog series, we feature our Speakers – industry experts from around the world, as they share their insights on the ongoing challenges, future opportunities and growth potential of Big Data in the South East Asia (SEA). Read on to get a sneak preview of their presentation for the upcoming BIGIT Technology Malaysia 2016 and a fun trivia about them too.
This week, we welcome Aidil Zulkifli, CEO from UangTeman to provide his perspectives on the Big Data progress in SEA, its potential and key issues faced by the industry.
BIGIT Team (BT): What is your current position and can you share with us a brief overview of what it is you do in your work at the UangTeman?
Aidil Zulkifli (AZ): I am Aidil, CEO and cofounder of UangTeman, a fintech guy who believes in leveraging data as a way to disrupt the delivery of banking and financial services products and services to the emerging markets of Southeast Asia. I believe that banking and financial services model will eventually be unbundled so that consumers will enjoy a more effective, efficient and transparent financial experience. Before the founding of UangTeman, I founded and built up Kreditaja.com (a financial product comparison portal) where I have always received feedback from customers who failed to obtain loans due to the specific, inflexible and stringent requirements that banks and financial institutions impose. This gap that is not met by the mainstream banks and financial institutions led me to found UangTeman with the goal of providing that safe and transparent financial relief to Indonesians who just need that urgent bridging loan to the next pay check. I believe that by providing short-term loans in a transparent, fair and safe manner will empower Indonesians to fulfil their socio-economic goals that they otherwise would not be able to reach having limited access to credit. On a larger scale, I hope that this model is able to contribute in raising the socio-economic standards of people in Indonesia by bringing the under-banked to a stage where they are able to progress up the financial access ladder. My main job as CEO at UangTeman is to engage the regulators in creating a regulatory environment that is conducive for fintech innovation but at the same time, protects consumers in Indonesia, and to build the best team ever for any fintech in Indonesia!
BT: For those not familiar with UangTeman, can you share with us briefly about UangTeman?
AZ: UangTeman.com is Indonesia’s first online unsecured micro-lending service where credit decisions are made real-time and instantly by our proprietary big data driven credit risk algorithms. We provide safe and socially responsible alternative unsecured credit to Indonesians who would otherwise have to put up collateral or subject themselves to the criminal coercion of loan sharks. We provide with a quick, transparent and reliable process. UangTeman helps Indonesians to access small, short-term loans for individuals to meet their needs such as medical bills, school fees and more.
BT: What are your thoughts on the progress of Big Data in the SEA region?
AZ: I think the big data infrastructure and market in Southeast Asia are still in its infancy as the holders of data such as telco, banks, and centralized data repositories are not that that stage where they realize they value of the data being stored by them. I see a few data companies in this region, for example, Demyst Data in Hong Kong and Media Trac in Indonesia, who are trying to aggregate and structure the unstructured data out there for use by innovative companies, especially fintechs. The other challenge I think is that “big data” as a nomenclature is constantly being abused or misunderstood when, at its core definition, big data just means an immense amount of data. Big data is useless without any layer of intelligence or interpretation imposed on it in order for there to be any real value to any company looking to leverage “big data”.
BT: What are the potentials that Big Data can bring and how you have seen analytics applied to UangTeman?
AZ: There is a lot of potentials for big/smart data to be utilized for financial services in emerging markets such as Indonesia where there are many “new to credit” consumers who are disadvantaged by traditional FICO-based credit scoring. For example, at UangTeman, we look at various data points that point towards a behavioral profile of any individual who applies for a loan from us. Since we are a short-term loan provider, our loan cycles are pretty short and quick so we are able to iterate from the output of our decisions to improve our models further. Not only are we able to create credit risk analytics but also marketing and collections based analytics in order to gain a complete advantage in our business over our traditional competitors.
BT: What are the next stages after Big Data?
AZ: The next key stage after “big data” is actually “smart small data”. The conversation needs to shift towards how do we formulate or create that layer of automated intelligence that can automate the evolution of big data into smart data which provides the real value to the end consumer. However, before we do that, at least in Southeast Asia, there must be some real and valuable access to unstructured data before we can even think about intelligent structured data.
BT: Can you give us a preview of your presentation at BIGIT Technology Malaysia 2016?
AZ: Generally, I will be speaking about UangTeman’s experience in the use of smart data in a country where there is so much unstructured data, a huge segment which is underbanked or unbanked and a financial service sector that is still very much traditional in its risk assessment.
BT: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
AZ: I would want to travel to Lingga and Singkep Islands in Indonesia which is near the Riau Islands. They are relatively unknown but the reason why I want to travel there is because it is literally at the equator of the earth which makes it one of the best spots in Southeast Asia to launch a space-related venture such as a spaceflight port (the equator is generally the best place to launch any item into space since the earth moves fastest at the equator). Besides that, I heard that it is quite a beautiful place untouched by tourism yet! It could also possibly be a good location to build my dream animal protection wildlife reserve!
Read more on Aidil Zulkifli’s profile here.
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