Artificial Intelligence has reached the shores of antiquated industries like mortgage lending. It is bringing about a digital transformation of the sector. One of the individuals disrupting the industry with innovative products is Hemanthkumar Jambulingam.
Hemanthkumar is the Director of Product Management at Tavant. Tavant is a digital products and platform company that provides impactful results to its customers across North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. It is creating an AI-powered intelligent lending enterprise by reimagining customer experiences, driving operations efficiencies, and improving collaboration.
Hemanthkumar is spearheading the development of Tavant’s Touchless Lending® suite of products and has focused on building enhanced and next-gen AI-powered digital transformation platforms for Loan Origination and Loan Servicing business areas specific to customer acquisition, customer conversion, customer management, and customer retention.
In an exclusive interview with Insights Success, Hemantkumar Jambulingam shares how he is disrupting years-old mortgage processes by building next-gen products and platforms.
Below are the highlights of the interview:
Briefly describe your professional journey up until now.
I am the Director of Product Management and oversee a large part of the product development for Tavant’s Touchless Lending® platform. I am responsible for giving life to most of the prominent of Tavant’s products, including Touchless Experience and Touchless Automation products, which have been deployed by the consumer, retail, and wholesale channels for not one but two of the largest independent Mortgage Bankers in the US.
My portfolio also includes the Decision Analysis product, which allows lenders to achieve fungibility across Government Sponsored Entities and Non-QM Investors. With Smart Processor and Smart Conditions, I am disrupting the whole conditions management lifecycle that plagues lenders today as one of the most inefficient manual processes that underwriters and processors on a loan juggle trying to converge on a loan’s fulfillment.
Having spent 18 years in the mortgage industry, I am adept at both the Loan Origination and the Loan Servicing side of the house and move from one domain to another effortlessly. I, therefore, find it easy to go and talk about market analysis, business trends, product overview to existing customers and prospective clients, taking them through a tour de force of business case, growth plan, ROI, features and functionality, highlighting the digital pathways of the mortgage borrower’s loan application journey in one product and then transitioning over seamlessly to the same borrower’s post-funding experience as they pay off the loan in a multitude of touchpoints.
What challenges did you face along the way?
The mortgage industry, and more specifically, loan origination is an archaic, traditional, decades-old, legacy process. Years have passed, but the process and procedures remain the same with operational staff still following the processing steps defined as legacy.
With Touchless Lending’s Decision Analysis product, we focused on a specific process area. We disrupted the end-to-end Automated Underwriting System (AUS) ordering, handling, and post-processing activities for the government agencies. Decision Analysis is the first product in the market that brought awareness of how to utilize automation to the full extent and use data insights from the AUS findings to determine the best operational and pricing execution for the loan factoring in the complexity of the loan and the corresponding document requirements.
It might be said that a product that brings such levels of disruption to an entrenched historical process will never be fully adopted on its immediate launch, and therefore, it took a lot of effort and care to increase customer adoption so that they can truly appreciate the business lift they get at the end of the day, and consequently, we can create a success story for the product in the mortgage industry.
People, Process, and Product – all three must align to promote and make the product successful.
What significant impact have you brought to the Mortgage industry?
As a director product manager at Tavant, I have been fortunate to manage several products in Tavant’s Touchless Lending® platform. This AI-Powered Lending-as-a-Service platform provides straight-through mortgage processing and automated underwriting as part of the end-to-end mortgage manufacturing pipeline. Loan officers, processors, and underwriters utilize Touchless Lending’s optimized workflows to engage with data and make decisions faster, instead of relying on physical documentation and manual data entry.
This one-of-a-kind automated mortgage software solution allows lenders to originate more mortgages faster while reducing costs and repurchase risks. Touchless Lending integrates effortlessly with existing systems, including CRMs, POSs, LOSs, and automates the loan production process. As part of my Product Management strategy, I always focus on studying the current process, understand its low-level nuances, and go deeper to tease out insights on transforming and eventually disrupting it digitally.
What methodologies do you implement that contribute to new growth opportunities?
I created the disruption in the Loan manufacturing process; instead of following the year-old traditional process of underwriting the loan to a specific investor, why don’t we upfront check if the loan can qualify for multiple investors so that it increases the salability and fungibility for the loan.
Decision Analysis service will automatically run the GSE /multi-investor rules, auto-resolve data errors, data discrepancies and analyze the multi-investor requirement and create the loan file fungible for all the investors. Decision Analysis also improves the loan data quality and enhances the overall loan origination experience; expanded product choices enable lenders to deliver a frictionless origination experience for Borrowers, Loan Officers, Underwriters, and Capital Market teams.
Decision Analysis service reduces the origination costs by comparing multi-investor responses, utilizing investors’ data and documentation requirements to enable speed to close (reducing loan cycle time by days and weeks).
Automated conditions will transform multi-investor-specific requirements and lender-specific requirements into conditions and then auto-classify the owner and the responsible party for each condition, define the complexity, acceptable documents, and auto-satisfy the requirement/condition.
Tell us about Tavant and its foundation pillar.
Tavant is a products and services company providing impactful results for customers-partners across a wide range of industries and verticals including Financial Services: Real Estate/Proptech, Banking, and Lending with comprehensive strength across depth and breadth of the Mortgage domain with additional expertise in Media and Entertainment, Manufacturing, and Retail from a digital transformation perspective.
Locations include geographical areas of North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia-Pacific. Tavant specializes in providing engineering services to enable the highest orders of digital transformation. Founded in 2000 with headquarters in Silicon Valley and development and product support centers in Dallas and other global locations, Tavant is driven by 3000+ passionate professionals highly skilled in their respective domains. Tavant’s domain-focused product managers and designers, product engineers, technical architects, software and quality assurance engineers, project and program managers, business analysts and subject matter experts all bring a wealth of hands-on expertise and experience to drive our customers’ vision and business outcomes.
Tavant follows a “Digital First” approach and strategy for developing services and products. “Digital First” implies a customer-first, mobile-first, data-first, AI-first, automation-first, collaboration-first, API-first, transformative approach to design and development.
What is your take on technology’s importance, and how are you leveraging it?
I believe technology is the biggest, and most probably the most critical, a savior for the mortgage industry’s woes. The industry is inundated with inefficient processes, with humans playing ping pong with loan files across months and with rivers of paper flowing through every mortgage loan application. The cost to originate one mortgage is north of $10,000 . We need a digital transformation wave to the hit the shores of this industry and hit it deep and wide.
At Tavant, given our experience in other industries that have truly reaped the benefits of digitization and technology (manufacturing, media, retail and healthcare), we are determined to bring the benefits of such digital creativity to the mortgage industry. We have successfully incorporated AI and Machine Learning models into our products for a judiciously chosen set of use cases. We have deployed Blockchain capabilities in our platforms for a fundamental shift in how data is selected and distributed to other players in the mortgage manufacturing ecosystem.
What will be the next significant change in the mortgage industry, and how are you preparing for it?
In the world of digital lending, the most challenging items lenders deal with is analyzing the borrower data and making the right credit decision based on it. With the traditional borrower evaluation approaches becoming outmoded, lenders need to consider fully digital and automated underwriting approaches to gauge risks quickly and accurately.
With the rise of big data, credit decisioning gets a lot more granular and accurate. So, the lack of data for analysis is not the problem anymore. The daunting task is to seek a sophisticated solution to get all the needed insights from this data in a matter of seconds. Lenders need to focus more on gleaning insights from the humongous amount of data generated from digital channels and leverage it for differentiated experience design.
Lenders have always leveraged data points to help them make decisions. Still, next-gen technology now allows them an enterprise-wide, 360-degree view of borrowers as well as the lending operation while enabling them to make better decisions and seek advantage of previously unrealized opportunities.
What are your goals in the upcoming future?
The mortgage industry will undergo major changes in loan origination, servicing and secondary marketing and these changes will be fundamentally disruptive. Fintech companies will induce more data transparency & insights, digitalization of data and process automation with the use of AI and Machine Learning techniques. With the next generation of Fintech firms, funding the loan will not just be the loan application process but extend to enabling borrowers to manage and maintain home equity, connecting borrower financial data with digital payments and smart home technologies, etc.
I would like to lead such Fintech firms and eventually, enable affordable lending and create more homeowners, and in the process, build a stronger American economy.
What advice would you like to give the next generation of aspiring business leaders?
Every day in life, there is a learning waiting to be found, and we should make these learnings count – As business leaders, you should always pay attention to detail, understand the process, the market, the people, the culture, deeply and widely and know how they come together to make life work.
Always question the status quo, never be afraid of failures; learn from your own and other’s mistakes and always look for or create opportunity for yourself and others.