Balasubramanian Ganesh is the head of HSBC’s technology centres in India. He mentors senior leaders across several financial domains HSBC works in and is reckoned for his unique approach to combine legacy capabilities with new technology and enabling quantum leaps in customer experiences. Earlier, as the Global CIO of HSBC’s largest business – Retail Banking and Wealth Management, Balasubramanian was instrumental in transforming one of the largest BFSI technology teams in the world by embedding agile and DevOps ways of working. Before joining HSBC, Ganesh served as the Chief Executive of Products & Solutions Business at Wipro Ltd and prior to that as the Chief Technology Officer at Lloyds Banking Group.
HSBC Technology’s manifesto aimed to transform banking experience for its 40 million customers by making banking simpler, better and faster. Additionally, with cyber threats growing at an exponential rate, the banking major set the highest benchmarks for security and safety to protect its customers’ money and trust. HSBC Technology launched a drive towards zero defects, zero vulnerabilities, and therefore, zero outages – it thereby christened the programme Shunya. More than a year into the programme, HSBC has successfully created and matured an AI/ML-based innovative meta-engineering platform that is at the core of Shunya. Shunya also enables the bank’s mainframe and midrange development teams to leverage automation and achieve rapid delivery cycles, rather than working in the more accepted bi-modal IT model. HSBC’s meta-engineering technology platform enables work in a distributed manner by using close to 100 DevOps tools in agile ways – with multiple instances and variances in development technologies, it achieved engineering maturity and practices suited for the businesses and markets they serve. In addition to this, the bank has identified ‘top engineers’ and their practices, and therefore gamified the race to excellence. The meta-engineering platform coupled with the Top Engineer Programme rapidly influenced the adoption of the ‘shift left’ culture. With the new culture, most teams are seeing between 25 to 50 percent improvements in code quality and speed to market.