Digital transformation is a big trendy word that has become a buzz word these days. Digital Payments have made a great impact on almost every segment and retail in particular. However, when we dig out further to explore the key drivers of this digital transformation phenomenon, we may get some technology trends such a blockchain. Meet a Belgium-based SettleMint that is all set to enter India after Belgium, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore. Sharing some interesting insightful Global CEO, Matthew Van Niekerk, who is in India and is available for an interaction along with Shazad Fatmi, CEO, SettleMint (India). With 35+ implementations of blockchain solutions across sectors, including Indonesian elections, SettlMint is a leading force in blockchain technology.
Faiz Askari: What is your take on how the Indian market is ready for your business?
Matthew Van Niekerk: We started back in 2016, since then we have grown our team to 30 people now. It’s a nascent industry today and we are experimenting with the technology. We focus on applications of blockchain technology. Globally, blockchain technology is expected to add USD 3 trillion over the next 10 years. At this point in time, the companies will also grow, numbers around USD 4 billion annually this too is on account of just 3 percent of companies globally spending on Blockchain. The potential is huge and we expect an increase in the number of such companies to reach double digits, around 20 to 30% in the next 4 to 5 years
FA: What level of maturity do you observe while looking at the Indian market?
Matthew Van Niekerk: We have a strong presence in the Middle East and Europe and are working extensively across APAC & EMEA. The markets in APAC are moving very quickly with the adoption of new technologies.
Last two weeks we have traveled from Delhi to Bangalore to Hyderabad, we found very strong pockets for technology, Telangana in particular for example. Hyderabad is positioning itself for defining standards in blockchain technology. They also are hosting meetings to develop powerful blockchain standards in Hyderabad including an SEZ where the government will provide subsidies for blockchain solutions based companies.
It is one of the Indian states which have oriented use cases varying from land registry to vehicle lifecycle management to healthcare data & many more, which will be made available on blockchain’s decentralized platform for the people. Of course, there are certain states like Maharashtra and Kerala, which are also exploring blockchain opportunities. But there are certain states, which still needs to catch up in terms of blockchain adaptation and exploration.
Almost every Big Bank giant in India is performing blockchain PoC or pilot for different utilities & cases. One of the consortia called Bankchain includes around 35 members which involve 7 to 8 Financial Institutions from Gulf countries as well.
Almost 60% of the blockchain is being explored by the financial sector, followed by 15% public sector, 12% healthcare, 8% by logistics and 5% by other sectors.
With the large scale successful adoption of digital payments, India is now keen on moving towards adopting blockchain. So India has emerged to adopt and utilize Tech friendly business cases to achieve the set targets and increase awareness for their different sectors.
FA: So in which all sectors in the next 2 years blockchain will have important uptake?
Shazad Fatmi: Blockchain lets the participants of the network take of distributed ledger technology in a decentralized manner that can be utilized in industries like financial institutions, banking, the supply chain for food processing and retail sector, logistics, and healthcare. Blockchain has the biggest impact on government sector offerings which has a reach over millions of individuals for cases like digital identity, record management, certifications, and registrations. Blockchain is being explored with other disruptive technologies like IoT, AI, and ML which has created a better opportunities for transparency and trustless network management. In the next two years, blockchain can be seen as a solution to integrate different network mostly affecting financial institutions and track and trace businesses.
FA: Which sectors you will be focusing on for the next one year in India?
Shazad Fatmi: The sectors which are in focus in India for Blockchain solutions are BFSIs, Logistics, Public Sector, Legal, Healthcare, Trade Finance and Retail solutions which require better information sharing through peer to peer networking.
Our first priority will be BFSI where there is a lot of work being done. Then we will also be looking forward to pharmaceuticals, as well as logistics followed by the government sector.
FA: So is there any headcount or any amount of investments?
Matthew Van Niekerk: We are a global team, product development, and engineering teams are based out of Belgium and we are developing regional excellence centers focused on delivery, customization, and localization, along with that we have local sales, marketing and operation teams. Currently, we are a team of 10 people based out of New Delhi and are expanding and hiring aggressively, we aim to double our team in the next 3 months.
India’s office would also contribute significantly to the global delivery operations along with back end development, front end integration, and execution.