You are here: Home » Finance » News » Banks

UAE Exchange applies for universal bank licence

Business Standard

Banks tap hackathons for ideas to compete in digital world

SBI's Code For Banks was a month-long event with over 1,000 participating teams


Romita Majumdar  |  Mumbai 

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

are opening up their platforms and data to people with ideas to improve their business in a digitally disruptive environment.

Unlike in the past, such as State Bank of India, RBL and Axis Bank are organising to welcome youngsters to innovate digital solutions.

Axis Bank held a similar event last year for technical and business roles across their offices. help attract talent instead of recruiting people first and then putting them through extensive digital transformation.

SBI's Code For Banks which concluded last week was a month long event with over 1,000 participating teams. Based on this success, the bank is working towards conducting quarterly in the future with specific themes to increase speed of innovation.

"When we had conducted hackathons earlier for our own employees we would typically see 25 to 30 teams. A public event like this increases the level of engagement with young talent and also brings a host of new ideas from developers and startups," said Sudin Baraokar, Head of Innovation, SBI.

Baraokar of SBI sees hackathons leading to more practical engagement with future recruitment candidates as they can be asked to work on codes directly to judge their competence. However, banks still look at hackathons more as a brainstorming opportunity with hiring being a secondary outcome rather than the main goal. Code For Banks will be announcing winners later this month.

HackerEarth, a start-up in Bengaluru that helps tech firms and banks to conduct hackathons and discover ideas and talent, says the exercise is a low cost and high impact programme for organisations to achieve their objectives.

"Typically, an organisation would spend millions to drive innovation internally and might even end up acquiring a few companies in the process. Instead, hackathons provide a bottoms up approach where developers compete to come up with such ideas," said Sachin Gupta, co-founder of HackerEarth. ""Basically, banks have figured out that they need to be part of the entire user experience rather than just providing banking facilities if they want to remain relevant."

While it is difficult to reprogram bank employees to think from a user-experience point of view, it comes easily to a technically sound generation of developers. Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Machine learning and robotics are the hottest trends at hackathons although the events themselves are technology agnostic. The focus is always on finding the best solutions.

French multinational institution Societe Generale recently hired a number of candidates through a Hackathon. The ICICI bank Hackathon earlier this year generated over 600 innovative ideas in one event.

"Hackathon helps to position a brand like DBS as a highly digital platform to campus students. Our summer internships and Ideathon for B-school students are also designed as hackathons with huge focus on cloud and big data," said Kishore Poduri, ED & Head, HR, DBS Bank India. DBS made offers to almost 60 participants, in technical roles, out of 180 finalists at their two-day long Hack2Hire event earlier this year.

Most participants are between 18 to 30 years of age with a technical background in IT sector. One third of the candidates tend to be college students. Banking hackathons also see large participation from people from financial background. Also, the best talent and winners are often from lesser known institutions and remote areas added Gupta, of HackerEarth.

Sanjay Sharma, Head of Technology, RBL bank said Hackathons help a bank's own staff learn to integrate with tech-savvy participants. "Hackathons are useful not only in finding talent that may have great ideas but not the financial strength to achieve it. It also helps to increase the visibility of the bank itself," he said. RBL has partnered with IBM and PWC among others for a Hackathon which will conclude at the end of this month.



What you get on Business Standard Premium?

  • icon Unlock 30+ premium stories daily hand-picked by our editors, across devices on browser and app.
  • icon Full access to our intuitive epaper - clip, save, share articles from any device; newspaper archives from 2006.
  • icon Curated newsletters on markets, personal finance, policy & politics, start-ups, technology, and more.
  • icon Pick your 5 favourite companies, get a daily email with all news updates on them.
  • icon 26 years of website archives.
  • icon Preferential invites to Business Standard events.


Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Sat, July 01 2017. 23:35 IST