Women are making great strides in leadership roles and are taking the business world to whole new levels. With exceptional abilities combined with focus, engagement, curiosity, and insights, they are bringing much-needed value to the workplace and their contribution to the business world has been nothing less than spectacular. Women leaders are breaking every stereotype and are shattering every limit that has been stopping them from achieving the greatness they have always deserved. One such leader, who defies all the limitations and continues to rise is Neeta Mundra, a Financial Services Transformation Advisor at Salesforce.
We got into a candid conversation with Neeta to know more about her journey and contribution to the financial services domain.
Aspioneer (A): Can you brief our readers about your journey until your current position at Salesforce?
Neeta Mundra (N): “I am a Banking Financial Services Technologist with 21 years of experience in consulting Financial Services organizations to become a unified data-driven organization by reducing their technical debt. I started my career in the USA as a C++ developer and very early in my career, I realized that technology is an enabler, however, it can’t be done without connecting business to technology. Over the years I have performed various roles, including the Head of Product Management and Head of Large Transformation Deals, eventually leading to managing large P&L and Business Units. I am always curious to understand the operating and business models and the vision of the organizations to see how technology will help achieve it. Continuous Innovation, Trust, and Equality are values that define me and incidentally, these along with Sustainability and Success are the values at Salesforce too.”
(A): What is Salesforce all about? How would you describe its vision and its values in general?
(N): “Salesforce is the global leader in CRM, bringing companies and customers together in the digital age. Founded in 1999, Salesforce is a global company with multiple locations and enables companies of every size and industry to take advantage of powerful technologies—cloud, mobile, social, voice, and artificial intelligence—to connect to their customers in a whole new way. Companies trust Salesforce to help them transform their businesses around the customer in this digital-first world.
Salesforce was started with a vision for a different kind of company, to change the way the world does business and at the same time, improve the state of the world. These values are the foundation of Salesforce, and they’ve inspired us to improve the world around us. Salesforce Customer 360 is our vision for how we help customers with their digital transformations. With Customer 360, every team — sales, service, marketing, commerce, and beyond — can have a single, shared view of their customers on an integrated CRM platform powered by AI. This single source of truth enables employees to work together to build lasting, trusted relationships and deliver the intelligent, personalized experiences their customers expect. We have also transformed philanthropy with the 1-1-1 integrated philanthropy model when we started Salesforce. Following the 1-1-1 model, Salesforce co-founded Pledge 1% – a global movement to create a new normal where giving back is baked into the DNA of companies of all sizes. It encourages companies to dedicate 1% time, 1% product, 1% profit and/or 1% equity to improve the state of the world. Now the Pledge 1% movement is changing the face of business philanthropy. Today, more than 12K companies in 130 countries have joined Pledge 1%. This includes companies like Yelp, TripAdvisor, DocuSign, Glassdoor and Twilio. (You can join the movement too, at https://pledge1percent.org.) For Salesforce, this has resulted in $475M+ in giving; 6.2M hours of employee volunteer time; and 52,000 non-profits, schools, and philanthropic organizations using our technology for free or at a discount. Again, giving back is one of the most fulfilling aspects of our jobs for many of us at Salesforce. And, Philanthropy Cloud connects employees to causes they care about through giving, matching, and volunteering tools, improving companies’ employee retention, brand reputation, and community impact.
Furthermore, Salesforce is committed to a set of core values—trust, customer success, innovation, and equality of every human being. Salesforce is one of the leaders on Fortune’s Change the World list and has been one of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For, for twelve years in a row. For information, please visit www.salesforce.com.”
Salesforce is the global leader in CRM, bringing companies and customers together in the digital age. Founded in 1999, Salesforce is a global company with multiple locations and enables companies of every size and industry to take advantage of powerful technologies—cloud, mobile, social, voice, and artificial intelligence—to connect to their customers in a whole new way.
(A): Fintech is quite a challenging domain. What makes you thrive in this industry? How do you stay up to date?
(N): “It is all about money! I love the financial services industry. It’s exciting, challenging, and fast-paced. I always wanted to break barriers and work in a global environment. Personally, I am passionate about the economic advancement of women by driving financial literacy and awareness to empower women to manage their financial wellbeing – better financial inclusion and sustainable finance. In today’s age of social media, access to information is much easier. I read the Financial Times and Harvard Business Review regularly. Besides this, I keep abreast of various sources like speaking to our clients, partners, and industry bodies.”
(A): What’s your take on the current state of the banking industry?
(N): “Since the 2007–2009 financial crisis, the banking industry has been faced with low-interest rates, increased regulation and compliance requirements, and more importantly broken trust. Since major changes have taken place in the banking sector in recent years, profitability margins have been threatened. Since then, the financial services industry is undergoing a transformation from being based in physical branches or intense relationship-driven models to using technology, machine learning, and AI as part of their digital transformation and to drive the experience their customers/clients expect.
For years, we at Salesforce have been the trusted digital advisor to companies of all sizes and at every stage of their transformation journey. In the 4th Industrial Revolution, everything is connected to everything. Today, we see financial services driving towards this disruption, which is driven by client expectations but also the threat of the innovative fintech competition.”
(A): What is your take on the influence of Fintech on the banking sector? What factors, in your opinion, must Fintech businesses focus on their route to driving digital disruption?
(N): “Fintech has transformed the banking sector. The traditional financial services operating models have come under threat pushing them to transform. Due to this, traditional players are now transforming to drive better customer-oriented solutions and omnichannel service. Another trend we are seeing is that specialized fintech companies have built solutions that are not typically provided by traditional banks like Personal Finance Management or P2P Lending to drive financial inclusion. Competition between banks and new entrants may give way to direct collaboration across the Fintech ecosystem.
FinTech’s driving digital disruption in financial services require leaders with the vision to build trust, drive D&I agendas, and client-centric execution of business strategy with new business models. An advisory board is usually very useful to provide a sounding board on key decisions and access to additional expertise. While driving digital disruption, Fintech companies should also focus on regulatory compliance, which will help them build trust. Laying strong foundations of good technology design principles, managing security-related issues from day 1 will help build scalable platforms.”
(A): Last but not the least, can you tell us a bit about your passions and upcoming projects you are working on?
(N): “I love reading, cooking and nothing beats long walks and a good game of badminton. I am currently focused on driving customer-centricity and experience in financial services whether it be Embedded Finance and driving hyper-personalization or driving e-commerce elements in financial services to build stickiness with the clients.”