Fintech Association for Consumer Empowerment (FACE) Appoints Sugandh Saxena As its First CEO

Sugandh will drive the Association's efforts to bring together digital lending players to collectively advance customer-centricity through self-regulation and customer empowerment


Fintech Association for Consumer Empowerment (FACE), an industry association for fintech lenders in India, has announced the appointment of Sugandh Saxena, as its first CEO. Sugandh's appointment comes as FACE has applied to the RBI to become the Self-Regulatory Organisation (SRO) for the digital lending industry.

Sugandh has moved to FACE from the Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN) and comes with over two decades of experience across sectors like microfinance, social-economic development, technology and non-profit. As the Head of Self-Regulation and Compliance at MFIN, an SRO for the microfinance sector, she played a pivotal role in shaping the microfinance industry with conversations with the regulators and industry players to formulate and to enforce ethical guidelines for the industry. Sugandh has diverse and hands-on experience in leading industry-building efforts through the industry body and the SRO. She has also held roles at ITC, Self Employed Women's Association (SEWA) Bharat, and Bharat Electronics. Sugandh is an electronics engineering graduate from MNNIT, Allahabad and a postgraduate in Social Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

At FACE, Sugandh aims to drive the Association's efforts to engage in an active dialogue with the policymakers, regulators, digital lenders and other market participants to build an ethical, safe lending ecosystem for consumers, and to work with stakeholders in developing choices for the consumers as part of financial inclusion.

Speaking on her new role, Sugandh said, "New-age digital lenders have addressed huge credit gaps by improving choice and convenience across credit needs and customer segments, left unaddressed for years. With the power of technology and innovation spearheaded by the Governmental policies in encouraging usage of technology to widen financial access, digital lending has pushed the boundaries of financial inclusion unthinkable in the traditional credit approach. As the digital lending industry continues to innovate, grow, diversify, it is our collective responsibility to rigorously prioritise value and financial health for the customers. For various reasons, the rule of caveat emptor is just not good enough and market participants must play their part. I look forward to working with regulators, policy makers, our member companies and potential member participants, and other industry stakeholders in creating adequate framework to empower consumers, and to make India's digital lending industry a global benchmark."

FACE was constituted in Sep 2020 with the aim to bring together fintech lenders and the larger digital lending ecosystem to collectively advance fair and customer-centric lending practices through engagement in areas of policy and business environment, self-regulation and consumer empowerment. FACE's member companies cater to more than half of the consumer lending market volumes in India.

Having applied for the role of an SRO, FACE aims to work in tandem with decision makers, regulators, and industry players to drive both the Prime Minister’s vision of inclusive finance for India and the RBI’s mission of consumer protection and access to wider financial solutions.

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