Exclusive Interview with Mr. Siddharth Kukatlapalli, Co-Founder and CBO, Syntizen

Exclusive Interview with Mr. Siddharth Kukatlapalli, Co-Founder and CBO, Syntizen
Mr Siddharth Kukatlapalli, Co-Founder and CBO, Syntizen

-Editorial Team SWS

We at Shreyas WebMedia Solutions (SWS) thank Mr. Siddharth Kukatlapalli, Co-Founder and CBO, Syntizen for the exclusive interview opportunity. Mr. Siddharth Kukatlapalli (SK) discussed various aspects such as the brand’s USP, various challenges faced since the company’s inception, the company’s global expansion plans and many more.

Let’s know more about his success story and his vision.

SWS: Can you tell us about  Syntizen digital identity solutions??

SK: Syntizen offers Digital Identity solutions which can help any Business/Government identify citizens before offering any kind of service/subsidy. Syntizen offers Aadhaar authentication, e-KYC with Aadhaar, Video KYC, Digi Locker, Facial Matching & Liveness Detection, etc. On a daily basis, Syntizen’s Digital Identity solutions clock about 6-7 Million transactions per day for all the clients put together.

SWS: When and how did the concept for Syntizen first occur to you? 

SK: The concept of Fingerprint Matching was one of the co-founder’s projects in Engineering. Keeping that as a base, we had done some research on Biometric databases and understood more about Aadhaar in 2013-14 and started the organization with an idea to offer digital identity services. Slowly, we developed products on top of Aadhaar and later on marketed the same with BFSI and Government sectors. During the pandemic, we started to work on Contactless Digital Identification and started to explore more with respect to Facial Matching and Facial Liveness technology.

SWS: Until now, what has been your most difficult challenge? 

SK: There were multiple challenges that we faced during our journey. However, if you ask us what has been the most challenging, I would say it was the scaling up of the systems that we built. By understanding the concept and with a tech team a prototype can be built. While we built our system, initially we had planned at managing a system that can handle about 10,000 transactions a day. However, when we had on-boarded big BFSI clients and initial government clients, we had to immediately start deploying systems that had to process at least 10,00,000 transactions in a single day. Getting there was one of the biggest challenges as it was new to us and the system was directly being used in the production environment. Now, we are handling 60,00,000 – 70,00,000 transactions a day and are now in a position to increase the capacity 10-fold within hours.

SWS: Could you elaborate on the brand’s USP? 

SK: Syntizen has been a one-stop solution provider for all the Digital Identification or KYC needs of any organization. Apart from providing all solutions under one umbrella, we also have ensured that our systems are scalable to any level, safe and secure as per regulator compliances, and also systems audited by CERT-IN CISA Empanelled audit firms. In addition to all the above, we have everything built in-house and don’t depend on any third-party organization for any service.

SWS: Who do you want to reach out to? And how are you going to get in touch with them? 

SK: Currently, Syntizen is concentrating on BFSI Sector and Government Sector in India. In the future, we are targeting a global solution for digital identity. Currently, we are getting client references, and also with the help of our strategic partners and investors, we are getting introduced to our target customers. Social Media and Email campaigns are also being done in parallel.

SWS: What motivated you to start this venture? 

SK: During our engineering days, we had seen many instances where services were delayed because time was needed to identify the citizen. Sometimes, the time taken to validate a citizen was more than 2 days. This triggered the idea for us wherein we wanted to offer solutions that can help anyone identify a citizen in a digital way and instantly.

SWS: What has been your greatest achievement so far? 

SK: There have been a number of achievements that we as Syntizen are proud of. However, some of the key achievements include getting funded by Mastercard, recognized as Most Innovative Aadhaar Solution Provider by Telangana Government and also in being adjudged as a NASSCOM Emerge 50 Startup. Apart from the above-mentioned recognition, we are also really happy that our services are being used by common public and most of them are getting benefitted by getting instant services/subsidies.

SWS: Who is taking advantage of Syntizen’s Aadhaar services? 

SK: Currently, Syntizen’s Aadhaar Services are being used by four state governments which are Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh governments. Apart from the governments, our services are currently being used by Fincare Small Finance Bank, DCB Bank, Shriram Life Insurance, SBI Life Insurance, etc. Prior to the Supreme Court judgement about 10 BFSI Companies were using our Aadhaar Services including Muthoot Fincorp, Manappuram Finance, etc.

SWS: Syntizen uses their Aadhaar services for how many transactions per day?

SK: Currently, Syntizen’s Aadhaar engine performs about 6-7 Million transactions a day for all the clients put together.

SWS: Can you tell us about your 8-year journey of digital identification solutions and 1 billion digital identity transactions for all of your clients combined?

SK: Syntizen has been fortunate enough to complete 8 years in the Digital Identity domain and is very proud of the 1.5 Billion transactions that we have performed. Experience gained from performing 1.5 Billion transactions is probably our biggest takeaway. The transactions done by us are directly affecting people and helping them avail crucial services/subsidies. The fact that multiple people are availing of critical services/subsidies like getting a ration or government fund/scheme makes it much more special for us. Our plan now is to further expand to BFSI Sector and other state governments in India in the immediate future and also to go global shortly.

SWS: Could you please elaborate on the launch of new features for your existing products in India, such as C-KYC, Digi Locker, and Sensitive Data Masking? 

SK: The introduction of C-KYC, Digi Locker and Sensitive Data Masking is to further establish the fact that Syntizen shall be a one-stop Digital Identity solution provider for any organization. Previously we were working with Aadhaar and also offering PAN Services & Facial Matching with Liveness Detection. Now, we are expanding our product offerings by including C-KYC and Digi Locker. Sensitive Data Masking is a solution that we are targeting for a global launch as this product is getting built with the GDPR regulations in mind. In India, we have already launched Aadhaar Data Masking and are working on launching other OVD Masking in India really soon.

SWS: Can you elaborate on your Going Global Plan and how you plan to get your products suitable for global markets? 

SK: Syntizen’s Global Plan had taken a shape in the last financial year where we were in fruitful discussions with our existing investors and strategic partners for launching products with a global digital identification appeal. For instance, we have a product called Electronic Customer On-boarding System (e-COS), which is currently linked with the Aadhaar ecosystem in India. This product can be integrated with any other National ID and be made available for that country.

SWS: Could you please elaborate on GDPR Regulations? and the five state governments with which you collaborate Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Odisha. 

SK: As mentioned earlier, Syntizen is the Aadhaar solution provider for four state governments which are Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. In these four state governments about 100 different integrations of our systems are done and about 6 Million transactions are performed. In Odisha, Syntizen has launched a first-of-its-kind solution called Video KYC for Pensioners. This solution helps the Pensioner to sit at home and get the life certificate with the help of a selfie/video call.

SWS: Could you give us more information about your Digital Identity systems, such as facial matching and liveness detection? 

SK: Syntizen’s Facial Matching and Liveness Detection services are currently being consumed by two governments and also certain players in the BFSI Sector. These Services are being used by Telangana Government for Transport Department and Education Department where the need of the citizen to visit the government offices is eliminated. In Odisha, the systems are being used to provide Life Certificates for pensioners. Similarly in the private sector, Video KYC is being used for instant and contactless Customer On-boarding.

SWS: You’ve worked with over 20 BFSI firms, and your solutions have helped them save 90% of the time and money spent on customer onboarding. Could you provide some light on the situation?

SK: Syntizen’s services like Aadhaar Authentication, e-KYC, e-Sign, etc are being used by multiple BFSI firms. While the previous system of customer on-boarding i.e., paper-based customer on-boarding included an application form, collection of KYC documents, verification of KYC documents by private agencies, transporting of the application forms, and maintenance of the same for audit purposes for a period of 5-20 years based on regulators. Instead of all the above, our system was completely digital and this empowered the client to instantly verify the customer and also offer the service immediately. Our system helped by saving time for customer onboarding and also reduced costs by 90%.

SWS: Government clients have saved over 150 crores because of Syntizen’s Digital Identity solutions. How did you pull it off? 

SK: Syntizen’s Services like Aadhaar Authentication and Facial Matching with Liveness Detection were offered to our Government clients. Our government clients integrated our services to the majority of government schemes like Ration, Pension, Fees Reimbursements/Scholarships, Local Government Subsidy Schemes, Stamps and Registration etc. By doing so, we eliminated a lot of middlemen and also prevented leakages in the system as fake/duplicate entries were caught. This helped governments save a lot of money and also get a lot of transparency in the system. Our dashboards help the government to uniquely identify the beneficiaries and in taking key crucial administrative calls.

SWS: What are your plans for the future and what do you hope to achieve?  

SK: Our plans for the future are simple.  We want Syntizen to be recognized as a Global Digital Identity Solution provider. We want to offer products/services that are really simple to integrate and help our clients reduce a lot of time and money. Though we are present in five state governments and have 20+ BFSI clients, we believe that we have just started. We are building a strong R&D team and are bringing in a key strategic partnership in place which will help us get introduced to the Global Market.

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