School of Mathematics, Statistics & Computer Science

Mr Creolin Pillay.

MSc Optimises Collection Strategies in the Banking Industry

MSc Statistics graduate, Mr Creolin Pillay melded his passion for statistics with a vision to improve South Africa’s financial sector.

His dissertation was titled: Optimising Collections Strategies in the Banking Industry: An Application of Markov Chain Models and Survival Analysis.

During his BSc at UKZN, Pillay cultivated a deep understanding of statistics, covering both foundational concepts and advanced topics. The guidance of his lecturers left an indelible impression, motivating him to return to UKZN for his master’s degree.

Pillay’s MSc research delved into a critical area of the financial landscape: credit collection. He aimed to develop a strategic predictive solution using Markov Chains and Survival Analysis techniques to enhance credit collection processes.

He explained that his research bridged the worlds of statistics and business as it applied theoretical frameworks in practical ways to bring about positive change within the corporate environment. He believes it has the potential to impact the financial industry by optimising credit collection strategies, ultimately improving businesses’ bottom line and ensuring fair and efficient debt recovery.

Pillay’s future plans include pursuing a PhD in Statistics and Machine Learning, as he envisions further advancements and innovations in South Africa’s financial industry, to which he hopes to contribute.

He thanked his family, particularly his wife and child, who stood by him throughout his challenging academic journey; and extended his gratitude to his supervisors, Professors Retius Chifurira and Knowledge Chinhamu for their expertise and mentorship.

‘Creolin demonstrated a great understanding of his MSc research problem, rigorous statistical analytical skills and exceptional report writing skills,’ said Chifurira. ‘A paper from his dissertation was presented at the College’s Postgraduate Research and Innovation Symposium (PRIS 2021), where it won two awards: Best Research presented across all oral presentations within the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science; and Greatest Impact in Industry, Society and Environment across all oral presentations within the School.’

Words: Siphesihle Shezi

Photograph: Sethu Dlamini