A new chief executive officer has been named for the Fintech Association for Consumer Empowerment (FACE), India’s industry association for fintech lenders. Sugandh’s appointment comes at a time when FACE has applied to the RBI to become the Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) for the digital lending industry.
From MFIN, Sugandh has brought over two decades of experience in the fields of microfinance, social-economic development, technology, and non-profit organizations to FACE. During her time at MFIN, an SRO for the microfinance sector, she played a pivotal role in shaping the industry through discussions with regulators and industry players to formulate and enforce ethical guidelines. While working for the SRO, Sugandh has had a wide range of experience in promoting industry growth. She has also worked at ITC, the Self-Employed Women’s Association of Bharat, and Bharat Electronics, where she has also worked. For Sugandh, an MNNIT graduate and a postgraduate in social policy from the LSE, Allahabad, he is an accomplished electronics engineer (LSE).
For Sugandh, the mission at FACE will be to lead the Association’s efforts to engage in an active dialogue with policymakers, regulators, digital lenders, and other market participants in order to build an ethical, safe lending ecosystem for consumers and work with stakeholders to develop choices for consumers as part of financial inclusion.
Sugandh said of her new role: “Lenders in the digital age have filled in huge credit gaps by offering more options and convenience to a wider range of customers and credit needs that had previously gone unmet for many years. Technology and innovation, spearheaded by government policies encouraging the use of technology to increase financial access, have pushed financial inclusion to new levels that were previously unimaginable. Our collective responsibility is to ensure that our customers’ financial well-being and value are always at the forefront of the digital lending industry. For various reasons, caveat emptor is not sufficient, and market participants must play a role. Working with regulators, policymakers, our member companies and potential new members, and all other industry stakeholders, we can help make India’s digital lending industry a global standard. “”
Founded in September 2020, FACE aims to bring together fintech lenders and the wider digital lending ecosystem to promote fair and customer-centric lending practices by engaging in policy and business environment, self-regulation, and consumer empowerment initiatives. In India, FACE member companies account for more than half of all consumer lending.
FACE has applied for the position of an SRO and intends to work in tandem with policymakers, regulators, and industry players to promote both the Prime Minister’s vision of inclusive finance for India and the RBI’s mission of consumer protection and wider financial solutions.