Praveen Agarwal, Managing Director, OakNorth India

Praveen Agarwal, managing director, OakNorth India, has  extensive experience in the fintech domain. He joined OakNorth around four years ago after a 12-year stint with Copal Amba, a company that was acquired by Moody’s Analytics in 2014.

Currently, Agarwal co-manages OakNorth’s Indian operations. In this role, he primarily focuses on credit underwriting and portfolio monitoring. OakNorth is a Europe-headquartered fintech company that leverages digital technologies to help traditional financial institutions improve their credit decision-making capabilities. The company is considered one of the fastest growing fintech companies in the European region.

India is an important market for OakNorth. According to Agarwal, “India is our biggest market in terms of headcount. Our India team is critical to our operations and the continued success of the business. The team includes some of the best credit analysts, along with engineers and data scientists who integrate into a global product team, all focused on developing our business platform.”

He considers the setting up of operations for OakNorth in India as his most memorable experience till date. “It set me on an incredible journey that has seen the team scale up to 450 employees across two offices in the country,” he says. “It is still work-in-progress but I gain immense satisfaction from seeing how far we have come.”

Having worked in the sector for close to 15 years, Agarwal has gained in-depth knowledge and understanding of the business. He believes that fintech is an ever-evolving space. “We need to ensure that we keep pace with technology and deliver reliable solutions to deal with business challenges faster and better, while optimising our investment requirements,” he says.

Agarwal believes that perseverance, attention to detail and following a hands-on approach are his biggest strengths. He adds, “I am proactive, collaborative, open to new ideas and encourage people to come forward for setting goals and solving problems”.

Agarwal has a bachelor’s degree in technology and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. A fitness enthusiast, he runs regularly and participates in the annual 21-km-long Airtel half marathon in New Delhi.

His family comprises his wife and two daughters. “They keep me very busy and most of my time away from work is spent with them,” he says. Agarwal belongs to Indore, and he goes there often to visit his parents.