India FinTech Forum concludes IFTA 2021 with focus on financial inclusion and emerging technologies


India FinTech Forum’s IFTA 2021 saw 34 innovative product demos over 3 days with the felicitation of Stockal as Fintech Startup of the Year and IDfy as Fintech Scaleup of the Year. IFTA 2021 saw the participation of senior representatives from Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City) and Tamil Nadu Government. It is the longest-running fintech event in India, and this was the 6th consecutive year of celebrating innovation in the Fintech sector.

Meet the most innovative companies in fintech

The 4-month assessment process culminated with recognising the most innovative companies in a number of fintech and allied fields from 800+ applications. The assessment framework was developed and managed by Deloitte, and Perfios felicitated the winners. Over 40 industry leaders were part of the eminent Jury and 50+ Speakers shared their valuable insights.

Past winners of IFTA include well-known names like Simpl, Capital Float, ZestMoney and Valocity Global, and have cumulatively raised over USD 3 billion in funding till date.

Winner at IFTA 2021

Fintech Startup of the Year


Fintech Rising Stars

(Runners-up to Fintech Startup of the Year)

BukuWarung, AccuraScan, Money View

Fintech Scaleup of the Year


Fintech Leader of the Year

Ravi Kumar, Co-Founder and CEO, Upstox

Woman Leader in Fintech

Aarti Ramakrishnan, Co-Founder and COO, Crayon Data

Most Innovative Fintech Product

Pine Labs

Best Fintech Consumer Lender


Best Fintech Business Lender


Best International Fintech in India


Best FinTech Ecosystem Partner

Grameen Impact Ventures

Most Innovative Bank of the Year


Financial Inclusion Initiative of the Year

Jai Kisan

Excellence in Payments

Mswipe Technologies

Best Use of AI in Fintech

Most Innovative Blockchain or Crypto Product


Best Innovation in RegTech


Best Innovation in Wealth Management


Best Technology Company for Fintech Solutions


Most Innovative Neo Bank

Open Financial Technologies

Excellence in InsureTech

Digit Insurance

The list of winners is available at:

Enablers for fintech growth

Fintech’s growing importance can be seen from Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s participation in the upcoming fintech InFinity Forum organized by IFSCA and launch of Tamil Nadu’s FinTech Policy by Chief Minister Shri M K Stalin. Mr. Sandip Shah, Head- IFSC Dept, GIFT City informed the IFTA audience that GIFT City is the only location today in India that has been recognised and notified as an International Financial Services Centre (IFSC).

Ms. Pooja Kulkarni, IAS, MD and CEO, Guidance Tamil Nadu elaborated on the multifarious initiatives being taken under the Fintech Policy for fintech companies including a Fintech Governing Council under the Chairmanship of the Honourable Minister of Industries, development of a Fintech City with built-up space of 1 million sq.ft in Chennai, Neo-TIDEL Parks in Tier II and III cities, power infrastructure, connectivity, cybersecurity, disaster recovery centre at Trichy, funding avenues and reduced compliance burden.

Drivers of fintech growth in India

Companies including PayU, CashRich, Perfios, Huobi Global, KUDOS Finance, TransUnion CIBIL and Miami Fintech came together to power discussions on the opportunities for upcoming technologies, challenges and way forward to capitalise on the next 2-3 years. Mr. Jitendra GuptaFounder and CEO, Jupiter and Advisory Committee Member of India FinTech Forum noted, “The India Stack has been game changing alongside Aadhaar. Government initiatives and regulatory sandbox for fintechs have been very helpful. Availability of capital in a vibrant ecosystem is one of the key drivers of fintech growth.”

Fintech companies in India are riding the global innovation wave despite the pandemic. This is supported by the number of unicorns in India that are fintech companies. Mr. Rajesh Kumar, MD and CEO, TransUnion CIBIL had a very positive outlook for growth of fintech companies, and said, “This is a dynamically evolving ecosystem where collaboration, competition and convergence exist in equal measures. Fintech sector players must take into consideration a very strong focus on data security norms, privacy laws and strong governance framework in their quest for growth.”

Upcoming innovation in global payments

Ms. Praveena RaiCOO, NPCI, noted that global payment systems were traditionally offered by large monolith institutions with payment infrastructure in various countries but now we have popular country-specific payment systems also. There is a need to look at how these payment systems can start operating together so that a network of payment systems can get created. The recently announced plan from the RBI and MAS to link UPI and Singapore’s PayNow will be useful. She pointed out, “There is a need to look at those payment solutions that can operate in an offline manner.” Global payments is likely to be a very significant revenue pool for fintech companies, given the current high cost of international transactions, and potential to bring more efficiency, transparency, and speed to the same. Mr. Mohit Gopal,  SVP at PayU cautioned that vanilla payment products tend to have very low margins, so it is important to find other products to get those margins.

Mr. Vincent Lau, MD – International Operations, Huobi Global spoke about recent global trends such as NFT, gaming and metaverse, and how cryptocurrencies could allow unbanked people to earn, invest and transact.

Mr. Ramgopal Subramani, COO, Perfios noted that India FinTech Forum’s IFTA continues to be one event where you get to know not only what is happening in India but also globally. He said that it was inspiring to know that the future is bright in the hands of the startups that presented their fintech innovation.

Mr. Sougata Basu, Founder, CashRich and Executive Committee Member of India FinTech Forum, said, “IFTA 2021 gave us an opportunity to see some amazing innovation done by fintech firms during the year in spite of the challenges caused by the pandemic. Several fintech companies have created solutions for true financial inclusion using the power of technology.”