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Selvamani Jagannathan: Pioneering the Future of Financial Technology with Big Data and AI

Selvamani Jagannathan

In the fast-evolving landscape of financial technology (FinTech), the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is significantly transforming the industry. According to a McKinsey report, the banking industry generated over $6.5 trillion in revenues in 2022, with FinTechs accounting for about 5 percent of this global banking sector’s net revenue. This share could rise to over $400 billion by 2028, indicating a significant growth potential for FinTech driven by AI and other technological advancements​​.

The impact of generative AI, a subset of AI, in the finance function is particularly noteworthy. As outlined in a BCG report, generative AI is increasingly being integrated into finance operations, enhancing tasks like drafting contracts and supplementing credit reviews. This technology is expected to transform core finance processes by improving efficiency and offering innovative solutions, such as assisting with financial reporting and planning, and even augmenting investor relations activities​​.

Selvamani Jagannathan, a Google-certified professional data engineer and an accredited generative AI specialist, stands at the forefront of technological innovation in the financial sector. His extensive experience in implementing big data and AI platforms for large enterprises is a testament to his expertise and forward-thinking approach. This article delves into Selvamani’s journey in revolutionizing the data infrastructure for one of the largest credit card issuers in the U.S., highlighting the challenges, accomplishments, and his passion for generative AI.

Navigating Complex Challenges

Selvamani’s task was monumental. The need to transition the customer’s in-house solutions to sophisticated cloud-based services was not just a technical challenge but a strategic transformation. This shift required meticulous planning, coordination, and the migration of an immense volume of data, setting the stage for a revolutionary change in data management and utilization.

The volume of data itself presented a formidable challenge. Managing over 10 TB of data, with projections to expand to 80 TB or more, demanded exceptional planning and execution skills. This scenario is not just about data storage; it’s about transforming enormous data sets into actionable insights.

Moreover, Selvamani had to navigate a complex web of stakeholders, ranging from technical teams and business users to product owners and end-users. Effectively managing change at all these levels required not just technical acumen but also exceptional leadership and communication skills.

Achieving Remarkable Milestones

Despite these challenges, Selvamani’s accomplishments are nothing short of remarkable. He successfully implemented the big data and AI/ML platform, a feat marked by the onboarding of 250 applications in just 18 months. His strategy for data ingestion was so effective that it accelerated monthly revenue by an astonishing 7x in just 12 months, outstripping revenue expectations by 48% and achieving a 100% customer satisfaction rating.

Under Selvamani’s guidance, the customer is now poised to onboard over 700 use cases to the platform. This achievement is not merely a technological victory; it signifies a paradigm shift in how financial services leverage data and AI for strategic advantage.

The Fascination with Generative AI

Selvamani’s fascination with generative AI goes beyond mere technical interest; it is about envisioning and shaping the future of customer experiences. His recent applied learning session on generative AI at the Wisconsin School of Business – Madison (University of Wisconsin – Madison) is a clear indicator of his commitment to this innovative field. His ability to engage and excite the students about the potential of generative AI reflects his deep understanding and enthusiasm for this transformative technology.

His perspective on generative AI is not limited to its current applications; Selvamani foresees a future where generative AI will dramatically alter the landscape of work and innovation. As a thought leader in AI implementations, his insights and expertise are shaping the way industries, especially finance, prepare for a future dominated by AI-driven solutions.

“The future of work isn’t just about automation, it’s about augmentation,” predicts Selvamani, a leading voice in generative AI. “Generative AI has the potential to revolutionize how we approach problem-solving and innovation, not just in finance, but across every industry.”

Talking about the role of Cloud platforms, such as Google Cloud, in applied generative AI, Selvamani warns, “Don’t get fooled by the hype of bigger and ‘better’ Generative AI models. The true key to unlocking GenAI’s potential lies in four crucial elements that have nothing to do with the model itself: Data governance, security and compliance, reliable infrastructure, and responsible AI design. These are the pillars upon which successful GenAI applications are built.


Selvamani Jagannathan’s journey in the realm of big data and AI is a beacon for the financial industry, showcasing how technology can be harnessed to drive unprecedented growth and innovation. His work not only sets a new benchmark in financial technology but also inspires a new generation of technologists to explore the limitless possibilities of AI. Selvamani’s story is one of vision, resilience, and transformative impact, making him a true pioneer in the world of financial technology.

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