Following the success of our first internal Hackathon with Mastek, our key IT partner in June last year, we promised that we would run another one soon. Since it was a UK-based event, it was not available to our Mastek colleagues in Mumbai. Therefore, the concept of the first Together and Mastek Hackathon was born. This blog post captures my insights of the day without the use of too many techie terms along the way.
The planning started during my visit to Mumbai in January with Chandrakant Deshmukh, Mayur Trivedi and Suyash Apte from Mastek who took on the mammoth task of organising the event in just four weeks. Invitations to join the event were sent to all of Mastek and we received an amazing response of over 80 interested colleagues. Over time, this was finally reduced to a manageable size of nine individual teams including three teams from the Together account.
Customer On boarding for the Digital Age
The theme of the Hackathon was ‘Customer On boarding for the Digital Age’. Our reasoning behind this was that, “with the rise of challenger banks in the UK offering a digital only presence, customers are increasingly expecting a simpler, less traditional on boarding experience. As Together look towards opening new direct to customer digital channels, the need to speed up customer on boarding becomes paramount. To enable this new approach, we need to explore how current technologies and approaches can be leveraged.”
The Tek@thon, as Mastek refer to it, ran on Saturday, March 17 at Mastek’s new Learning and Development Centre in Mahape. Having got over the initial shock of having to get up at 6 am on a Saturday morning, I set off in the Mumbai heat and traffic - arriving with the other delegates at 8 am, to a selection of fresh fruits and healthy snacks, accompanied by local foods throughout the day.
Anyone that knows me are aware that food is very close to my heart with Indian being my favourite. With so much to choose from, I decided the best path was to have all of it including seven varieties of puris. With puri in hand, I spent time with all teams to answer questions. At some point, someone asked me for a copy of my passport. Should I have been worried?
As I worked my way around, one thing that was evident was the tremendous energy and excitement. When combined with the aromas from the food, it became quite contagious. We noticed many synergies in some of the cool technologies that were investigated. Each team brought a unique approach and some great ideas, which was impressive to see.
As the coding drew to a close and the keyboards fell quiet, the presentations began. Mayur and Suyash were tasked with the unenviable job of judging. We saw many exciting things such as selfie verification (which explained my passport), voice recognition, I&E analysis using Open Banking APIs, chatbots, image processing and machine learning and much more. It was a very tight presentation. In the end, the winner’s trophy went to the A Team from Mastek’s Pune office with The Inventors from our own team coming a very close second.
All in all, it was a fantastic event that I feel very proud to have been involved in. A great example of how working together with our partners in Mumbai, we can use technology to shape the future at Together.