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India tech centres steadily move up the value chain for JPMorgan

JPMorgan aims to strengthen the linkages with the technology ecosystem in India—both through its own centres and by tapping into the startup ecosystem.

India tech centres steadily move up the value chain for JPMorgan

Friday May 12, 2023 , 7 min Read

JPMorgan Chase, the US-headquartered global financial services institution, has always been at the forefront of adopting technology to drive innovations—whether it is improving client experiences using data analytics or using emerging technologies to safeguard the banking system.

Here, India plays a key role and has been moving up the value chain for JPMorgan Chase, delivering various kinds of technology services and solutions. The financial services institution is confident of its India operations as it accounts for one-third of its global technology workforce.

In an interview with Enterprise Story, Anil Puttegowda, Managing Director, Head of Asset and Wealth Management Tech for India, and lead for the Global Technology Centers in India, JPMorgan said the India team has become product owners, with teams from different locations reporting to it. “We have seen a conscious focus in building the product capability that has naturally led to the leadership here at various levels.”

Here are the edited excerpts of the interview:

Enterprise Story [ES]: Can you give an overview of the technology landscape at JPMorgan Chase?

Anil Puttegowda [AP]: We’re a financial institution and one of the world’s biggest technology-driven companies that support and leads the development of cutting-edge technology to better serve its clients and optimise every aspect of the banking business, starting from products, consumer experience, and business processes to the overall business model.

JPMorgan has been involved in several strategic technology partnerships and collaborations, technology developments, and rollouts over the past few years. As a global technology leader, we continue to invest in conducting groundbreaking research today that will help the bank excel in the financial services landscape of tomorrow.

JPMorgan Anil Puttegowda

Our significant investments in AI/ML, blockchain, data and analytics, and other emerging tech areas enable us to improve client experiences in areas such as digital, sales optimisation, and business process automation. We have been extensively leveraging machine learning to personalise the digital experience of our research platform.

JPMorgan Chase is the first major bank to roll out an AI-powered virtual assistant that provides self-service capability to our clients and delivers value to consumers. Our industry-leading expertise in blockchain has the knowledge, talent and tools to deliver blockchain-based solutions helping to bring real value to our clients.

We are leading in the quantum space, exploring future opportunities for quantum computing and quantum communication including quantum key distribution.

ES: How is India playing out for JPMorgan as a technology global capability centre?

AP: India is a key market in Asia for JPMorgan and one where we continually look to strengthen our capabilities and core technology delivery. As we move to the next level of global competitiveness, JPMorgan has been steadily growing our global technology centres in India for the last several years and our efforts in delivering business excellence and operational efficiencies have amplified over the last 2–3 years with the support of the vast and vibrant talent pool based in India.

Today, we make up a third of the company’s global technology organisation which is spread across Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad. This means three of our 21 global technology centres are in India. We have established technology centres in locations where there is a hotbed of diverse and innovative talent. Our early and continuous investments in the technology workforce here and the enormous pool of domain knowledge have led to some of our global products being incubated in India.

The bank is keen to further leverage India not only as a technology centre but also as a place which actually can build products along with the technology capabilities. We are now very well-positioned to accelerate our transformational journey by leveraging the maturity of our global technology centres and the broader technology ecosystem in India.

ES: What are the key themes the Indian technology centres are working on?

AP: At the heart of it is the core technology capability. The second theme is to organise ourselves to see where there is an opportunity to build specialisation and core functional capability. For example, in the space of payments and consumer banking, we feel that our tech centers in India have a better opportunity to build that digital capability.

Also, the availability of expertise in emerging technologies like AI/ML, data science etc has created enormous opportunities to build innovative solutions and foster new ideas for our business around the world enabling JPMorgan to offer innovative products.

ES: How has been the journey of building products out of India?

AP: A few years ago, we moved to a product operating model firm-wide, and we now have global product owners based in India. Product ownership, embracing agile, and nurturing the right tech and business talent are part of the success formula for building products out of India.

Over the last few years, we have seen a conscious focus on building the product capability that has naturally led to the leadership here at various levels becoming the product owners globally, where teams from different locations report to them.

This has actually changed the dynamics of the value, which we are delivering through our global technology centres here. Our product teams work closely with our software engineers, data scientists and other technologists to ensure the best product capabilities are delivered from India. 

ES: What value have India centres delivered to JPMorgan globally?

AP: Our global technology centres have the right blend of tech strategy, thought leadership, domain expertise, and innovation mindset to shape the technology and digital agenda and offerings of the organization around the world. The team has transformative capabilities across product development, operations and engineering excellence, and advanced and emerging technologies like AI/ML that can shape the future of the organisation at large.

If one looks at our product operating model construct which requires scale as well as quality, I think India is uniquely positioned to deliver that. Some of our India-based product development is around building global systems. For example, in international private banking, quite a few of those rollouts are led by people from here.

ES: What was the strategic intent of getting JPMorgan’s Innovation Forum for the first time in India?

AP: The Indian startup ecosystem is diversifying, with startups increasingly looking to expand globally and build their global brand and access new markets. For JPMorgan, the growth of the Indian startup ecosystem presents significant opportunities.

The JPMorgan Chase Technology Innovation Forum is an annual, flagship event that demonstrates the firm’s commitment to fostering innovation through partnerships with emerging technology startups and the venture capital community. It is an excellent opportunity to discover emerging technology companies, leading tech trends and have an interactive dialogue with innovators themselves. We have been holding the forum for 14 years in other locations around the world. It’s one of the ways we engage with startups there. And it’s helping us to more formally engage with startups in India now.

Through this forum, we are able to create a platform to validate the startups formally and see what complimentary value they can add to our future growth. It also gives good exposure to Indian fintech startups to understand JPMorgan. We're highly interested in working on innovative cutting-edge technology as well as delivering such solutions to our business and doing our part to help build up the emerging tech ecosystem in India.

Edited by Kanishk Singh