The financial sector is the first space for the aggregator idea to be tried out
Almost to the day, it was 10 years ago that Nandan Nilekani outlined how he would solve a problem in the retail finance space. I was consulting with the ministry of finance for a year and was assisting the Swarup committee. We were trying to solve the problem of mis-selling, consumer protection and financial literacy. On the committee’s invitation, Nilekani had come across to the chairman’s office in Vasant Kunj, New Delhi. He instantly picked a white board marker and drew a screen on the board. This was the one screen that would reflect a person’s entire financial life—all the products, taxes, savings, loans—everything was in tiny boxes in that screen. A one-screen image would give the investor a much better handle of various products and what they are doing for his financial life. But at that time, the fragmented regulatory system, lack of adequate machine-readable disclosure and the inability of entities like financial planners and wealth managers to access this information, made that screen look like science fiction. Ten years later, that idea is almost ready to roll out. But the idea has got deeper and wider, and is attempting to solve a much bigger problem.