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Jasir’s successful FinTech journey inspires professionals



Jasir's successful FinTech Journey

Business Kashmir is excited to feature Jasir Altaf Haqani, an experienced data scientist and FinTech product manager with a remarkable track record of driving innovation in the financial services industry. Jasir has been recognized with the prestigious Citi-IDC award for his work on the Citi-Paytm co-branded credit card project. The International Data Corporation (IDC) is a premier global market intelligence, data, and events provider for the information technology, telecom, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,300 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. This recognition further cements Jasir’s status as a leader in FinTech. Throughout his career, Jasir has consistently utilized his expertise in data science and analytics to develop groundbreaking solutions that have transformed businesses and empowered individuals.

Today, we’re diving into Jasir’s journey, exploring his vision for the future of FinTech, and delving into his passion for inspiring the next generation of tech talent.

Q. Jasir, your journey in the tech industry is nothing short of inspiring. From pioneering digital assets custody platforms to leading transformative projects at Citigroup’s innovation lab, your impact has been truly extraordinary. Can you share with us some highlights from your remarkable career so far?

Thank you for your kind words. It’s been an incredible journey filled with opportunities to drive innovation and make a meaningful difference in the world of FinTech. Each project has presented its own unique challenges and rewards, but I’m particularly proud of the work we’ve done to leverage emerging technologies and reshape the future of finance.

Q. Looking back at your career, what project or initiative are you most proud of and why?

One project that stands out for me is the development of the Citi-Paytm co-branded credit card in India. Citi’s market share was stagnant due to limited reach, and I led the team in designing a machine learning model to assess customer creditworthiness and recommend features for the card. This model played a crucial role in acquiring new customers in Tier 2 and 3 cities, leading to a significant increase in account acquisition (1 million in the first year) and sales ($25 million).  It’s an example of how data science can revolutionize traditional financial systems, and I’m proud to have been at the forefront of this innovation that not only benefited Citi but also expanded financial inclusion in India.

Q. In your experience, what are some of the biggest challenges facing the tech industry today? How do you see yourself contributing to solutions for these challenges?

One of the biggest challenges is the ethical integration of new technologies. As a leader who champions responsible innovation, I prioritize data privacy and security in all my projects.  Furthermore, the lack of diversity and inclusion in tech hinders progress.  I actively promote initiatives that encourage women and underrepresented minorities to pursue tech careers, fostering a more equitable and innovative environment. Additionally, the rapid pace of technological change can create a skills gap.  I’m passionate about mentorship and knowledge sharing, and I plan to continue empowering future generations by providing them with the tools and guidance they need to thrive in the ever-evolving tech landscape.

Q. We know you are involved in mentoring students at the University of Kashmir, and it’s evidently making a big change. Can you elaborate on your leadership style and how you inspire the next generation of tech talent?

My leadership style is a blend of mentorship and empowerment. I believe in fostering a collaborative environment where students feel comfortable taking risks and exploring their ideas. I inspire them by sharing my own experiences, highlighting the transformative power of technology, and showcasing real-world applications of their theoretical knowledge.  By providing guidance and encouragement, I help them develop not just technical skills but also critical thinking, problem-solving, and leadership abilities – all essential for success in the tech industry.

Q. As a leader in the tech community, how do you encourage collaboration and innovation among local professionals?

Collaboration is key to accelerating innovation. I actively participate in industry events and conferences, fostering connections between local professionals. I also believe in knowledge sharing – I organize workshops and hackathons that provide opportunities for collaboration and the exchange of ideas.  Furthermore, I leverage my network to connect aspiring entrepreneurs with established mentors and investors, creating a supportive ecosystem for local tech talent to flourish.

Q. What advice would you give to aspiring tech professionals who are just starting their careers?

Firstly, cultivate a strong foundation in the fundamentals of computer science and data analysis.  Secondly, never stop learning – immerse yourself in the latest trends and developments. But remember, technical skills are just one piece of the puzzle. Develop strong communication and soft skills to effectively collaborate and translate complex ideas into actionable solutions. Finally, don’t be afraid to take risks and experiment.  Embrace challenges and learn from your failures. Most importantly, find your passion within the vast tech landscape and use your skills to create a positive impact on the world.

Q. Imagine the tech landscape five years from now. What exciting advancements do you foresee?

The future is brimming with possibilities! I foresee advancements in AI and machine learning leading to even more personalized experiences across various sectors. Additionally, the rise of quantum computing has the potential to revolutionize fields like drug discovery and materials science.  Furthermore, the integration of the physical and digital worlds through the metaverse will create new opportunities for innovation and connection.  As tech leaders, it’s our responsibility to navigate these advancements responsibly and ensure they benefit humanity as a whole.


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How to begin investing



How to begin investing

Role of regulators and necessary compliances

Financial Investments
Irshad Mushtaq

How to begin investingPrior to investing one’s hard-earned funds, it is crucial for every investor to have a thorough understanding of certain key questions. What exactly is the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)? What roles do entities such as the National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL), Central Depository Services Limited (CDSL), the National Stock Exchange (NSE), and the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) play in the investment landscape? What is the purpose of the Central Know Your Customer (CKYC) process, and why is it deemed necessary? Additionally, why is direct communication through email and SMS to clients’ registered mobile and email addresses required? Furthermore, what is the rationale behind the prohibition of third-party cheques in clients’ trading accounts, and why is it important to engage only with SEBI-registered brokers or members? Why are Ponzi and pyramid schemes considered fraudulent, and why are high and assured returns viewed as deceptive traps in the Indian context? Additionally, what are the viewpoints of the financial minister regarding Ponzi schemes? It is always advisable to invest only through a SEBI-registered stockbroker, a bank registered with the RBI, or to obtain insurance exclusively through an IRDA-registered insurance company; entities offering high returns without these registrations are engaging in fraudulent activities through Ponzi and pyramid schemes. Prohibiting cash transactions and allowing only mapped bank transactions in the stock market is a fundamental practice, and having a nominee in a demat account is essential. Furthermore, why are hot tips not considered a suitable investment strategy? Taking the time to fully understand these concepts and complying with the established laws of the Government of India is crucial before making any investment decisions in order to avoid involvement in illegal schemes.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is the regulatory body for the securities market in India, overseeing and regulating the functioning and activities of stock exchanges and other securities markets. Its primary role is to protect the interests of investors and maintain the integrity of the market.

The National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL) and Central Depository Services Limited (CDSL) are the two central depository agencies in India, responsible for holding securities in an electronic form. They play a crucial role in facilitating the seamless settlement of trades and the transfer of securities.

The National Stock Exchange (NSE) and the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) are the two primary stock exchanges in India. They provide a platform for trading in securities, including equities, derivatives, and debt instruments, and play a crucial role in price discovery and liquidity in the market.

The Central Know Your Customer (CKYC) process is a mandatory requirement for all financial institutions to verify the identity of their clients. It is aimed at preventing money laundering, terrorist financing, and other illegal activities by ensuring that customers’ identities are verified and their risk profiles are assessed.

Direct communication through email and SMS to clients’ registered mobile and email addresses is required to ensure that investors receive timely and accurate information about their investments and transactions. This helps in enhancing transparency and reducing the risk of fraud and misinformation.

The prohibition of third-party cheques in clients’ trading accounts is aimed at preventing unauthorized transactions and ensuring that the funds are sourced from the investor’s verified bank account. This helps in preventing fraud and unauthorized access to the investor’s funds.

It is important to engage only with SEBI-registered brokers or members to ensure that the investment activities are conducted in compliance with the regulatory requirements and that investors’ interests are protected.

Ponzi and pyramid schemes are considered fraudulent as they involve using new investors’ funds to pay off earlier investors, with the promise of high returns. Such schemes eventually collapse when there are no new investors to sustain the payouts, leading to significant financial losses for the participants.

High and assured returns are viewed as deceptive traps in the Indian context as they often involve high levels of risk and are usually offered by entities that are not registered with SEBI or other regulatory bodies. The financial minister has expressed concerns about the proliferation of Ponzi schemes and has emphasized the need for stricter regulations and enforcement to protect investors from such fraudulent activities.

In conclusion, it is essential for investors to have a clear understanding of the regulatory framework and compliance requirements before making any investment decisions. By engaging with SEBI-registered entities and following the established laws and regulations, investors can safeguard their funds and avoid falling victim to illegal schemes and fraudulent activities in the market.

 The author is the founder of MI Securities and business partner of Sharekhan in Srinagar. He can be reached at

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Desist from levying commitment charges: FCIK to J&K Bank



FCIK to J&K Bank

Jasir Haqani

Srinagar, Dec 18: Federation of Chambers of Industries Kashmir (FCIK) has urged on J&K Bank authorities to withdraw their latest decision regarding levying of ‘Commitment Charges’ on the unutilised portion of the loans and credit lines provided to the enterprises.

While expressing its displeasure, the FCIK in a statement issued to Business Kashmir said that it was for the first time in the history of J&K Bank that borrowers were being made to pay for loans or the portion of loans which actually they didn’t lift or utilize. The bank would not so far levy such charges probably in acknowledgement of the un-conducive working atmosphere.

According to the guidelines issued by RBI, levying of commitment charges was not mandatory upon the financing banks but discretionary, and it was left to the wisdom of banks to charge or not to charge it, said the FCIK.

“If the plea of the bank was that they could have earned interest on the unutilised portion of the loan, had they lent it to other borrowers, the question could be asked about the gap between their credit flow and permissible limit of lending which continues to be huge despite some narrowing in the recent past,” reads the statement.

FCIK agreed that J&K Bank had been extending some small concessions including waiver of commitment charges to the borrowers of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, but that was only peanuts in reciprocity to the gesture that 88.2% of the total deposits of the bank comes from the kith and kin of these borrowers at an unprecedentedly low rate of just 3.67%  which was the lowest than available to any other national or commercial bank in the country.

While criticizing the decision, FCIK questioned the wisdom of the bank to perceive that the condition of entrepreneurs had changed for to better now to take additional brunt even after facing long spells of business interruptions from the 2014 floods to the aftermath of the Covid-19 situation. The bank should know that currently the product market appetite ran at its lowest ebb for the complexities caused by these situations besides the change in policies which obviously resulted in the lifting of lower amounts from sanctioned credit lines, reads the statement.

Hailing the prudent entrepreneurs for lifting only the required portion of the amount out of their sanctioned credit line in tune with market demand for their products, FCIK cautioned the bank not to force them to lift entire sanctioned loans for illegally siphoning it off towards any other non-bonafide activity. It was as such imperative upon the bank to withdraw the decision of levying commitment charges till the product market appetite stabilized.

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J&K Bank organised awareness programmes in Sopore villages



J&K Bank organised awareness programmes in Sopore villages


Sopore, Nov 24: J&K Bank Branch Chinkipora Sopore on Thursday organized a day-long Customer Awareness Program and Financial Literacy Camp. At the request of the local community, a programme was organised in the villages of Rampora and Rajpora, Dangerpora Sopore, Baramulla.

Mohammad Yaqoob Kaloo (Branch Head) presided over the programme assisted by Sameer Gojwari (Manager Credit), and Tawseef Ahmad (Recoveries & Follow-up). Dr Ashraf Ahmad (Veterinary Department), Dr Farooq Ahmad (Veterinary Department), Jahangir Ahmad (Horticulture Department), and Parviaz Ahmad (Khidmat Centre Warpora Sopore) attended the event as well. Several established unit holders under various government-sponsored programmes backed by J&K Bank graced the occasion and motivated the young to pursue the road of entrepreneurship/start-ups.

Yaqoob Kaloo opened the discussion by introducing J&K Bank and its mission of ‘Serving to Empower’ the youth of the country in general and the UT of J&K in particular, followed by the product line provided by the bank for youth development and upliftment to pursue entrepreneurship as a vocation and be job creators rather than job seekers. He introduced the audience to a plethora of government-sponsored programmes for unemployed youth, as well as the role of banks, notably J&K Bank, in establishing these policies through funding and linking the government and the unemployed youth for economic improvement and balance.

PMEGP, MUMKIN, Prime Minister Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi), DAY-NULM, DUDM, Tejaswini, KCC for Agriculture and allied etc schemes  were discussed.

In addition, Sameer Gojwari emphasised the need for clarity of ideas, followed by thorough project reports on the sort of activity in which youth desire to grow their careers.

“Make in India concept needs to be replicated and implemented in every corner of the country wherein “produce and use local must be too vocal” to put the revolution in deep rural areas,” he said.

The J&K economy is opening up to the rest of the globe, and consumption is expanding in line with per capita and disposable family incomes. To meet that need, a large percentage of it is imported from neighbouring states, which might otherwise be produced in the J&K region. Projects in the pink revolution (meat), white revolution (milk and dairy goods), blue revolution (fish farming), green revolution (agricultural and associated products), and biproducts can breathe new life into the economy and reduce the region’s reliance on tourism and the apple industry. Aspiring entrepreneurs should develop ventures where raw materials are readily available, and the initial consumer should be the region’s native population, leading to profit generation in the early stages of the project with fewer chances of failure.

Youth were encouraged, and the role of J&K Bank in financing sustainable and future-oriented initiatives that prospective entrepreneurs may have in mind was reaffirmed.

Tauseef Ahmad emphasised the need for timely payment of interest dues.

“Once the project is funded and the trajectory is established, the crucial measures that must be taken care of when handling the finance part and its repayment,” he explained.

“It is visible where interest helps in managing leverage ratios can lead to downfall if not managed and paid well in time thus affecting the credit score initially and can lead to blacklisting in the long run which is no option in the modern-day world where in the entire economy and business revolves round the banking sector,” he added.

Parvaiz Ahmad focused on the digital aspect and paperwork linked to various credit products, as well as the online submission of applications for government schemes, and promised to assist ambitious entrepreneurs in this sector.

Yaqoob Kaloo presented a vote of thanks to people from both villages for coming out in large numbers despite the harsh winter. The Chair offered full financial assistance to the young who want to pursue entrepreneurship as a career and have unique ideas for repairing and rebuilding lost crafts and skills that were previously appreciated across the world.


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