I had a super conversation with Asheesh Chanda, the CEO and Founder of Kristal.AI. Asheesh has more than 15 years of experience in the financial industry, including 8 years at JP Morgan Chase heading South and South-East Asia. Prior to founding Kristal.AI, Asheesh was a portfolio manager at KrisCapital, a global macro hedge fund.  As he noted to me, a resume perfectly crafted to get into FinTech.

I asked Asheesh what the most important trends were in the FinTech space in Southeast Asia.  Asheesh was very quick to answer.  In the last year, both Hong Kong and Singapore have allowed and approved applications for virtual banks.  During Asheesh’s career in the hedge fund world, there was the realization that the traditional financial sector catered to the already rich and helped them get richer.  He wanted to have a more significant impact on the financial lives of those that are not yet wealthy.  He was looking for a problem to solve and the idea of providing advice and an investment platform to the underserved using technology made the most sense.

You have to listen to this entire conversation to understand how committed Ashes and his team are to the democratization of investing and financial services as a whole.  He is clear about the necessity to help those without a network, the knowledge or the bandwidth to grow their wealth by allowing them to use the platform for free.  He notes that if we can not solve this problem using technology, then what is the point?  Very powerful stuff…

Asheesh also noted that the partnership of Apple with Goldman Sachs and the issuance of the Apple (credit) Card was significant.  I was not sure why this was so important until we came back to this at the end of our conversation.  The real competition is not between startup FinTechs and big, established financial institutions.  The real competition is between big tech companies and the incumbent financial services companies.  Fascinating…

Asian FinTech Podcast - Episode 10 - Asheesh Chanda - Founder & CEO Kristal.AI - The Markets and the World Has to Decide

by Asheesh Chanda | Asian FinTech Podcast