IT has Driven Reliance Money's Growth: Sudip B

by Manu Sharma    Jun 24, 2009

Sudip Bandyopadhyay, MD & CEO of Reliance Money can claim to be a man who controls the fortunes of many, literally. An astute investment professional, his acumen is relied upon to not only steer one of the largest financial brokerage and distribution companies in India but also as an advisor to the general public on various financial matters. Sudip is a seasoned commentator in various media forums on financial issues. CXOtoday however prodded him to bare his views on technology and its implications on the business of finance. In an interview with Cxotoday’s Manu Sharma, he spoke on how significant IT is to his business and how it can be leveraged as a business solution. Excerpts from the interview…

What are the key factors that impact growth in your industry? How are you as a company responding to these challenges?
The health of the capital market is most critical for the growth of our industry.  This in turn depends on both macro and micro economic factors.  The economic condition, growth prospects, relative growth potential amongst the developing countries etc., determines the health & growth of the financial markets.

Currently the international financial markets are going through a crisis.  Indian markets and the economy have also been affected.  However, as a company, we are to a great extent insulated from market fluctuations due to following reasons:

a)  No percentage brokerage is charged by us.  Thus our brokerage income is not directly affected by our turnover increase or decrease.  We charge a fixed fee.

b) We do not only deal with few institutions and large clients, our services are widely available across the country and primarily retail in nature.

c) We do not rely on funding income (i.e. IPO funding, margin funding etc.), like many other broking companies.

d) Our product basket is wide and diversified. Apart from broking, we sell insurance, mutual funds, credit cards, loans etc.  We also facilitate money transfer, money changing and sell gold coins. We also run PMS and Wealth Management Operations.

What has been impact of the US meltdown on your business? How are you coping with the current recessionary business climate?
The impact on our business has been marginal.  The overall capital market volumes have come down significantly but our turnover in the equity market have remained almost stagnant over the last six months.  This has resulted in our market share to more than double.  Thus we are not adversely affected.

Over the last ten years large enterprises have automated their business processes and increased their efficiencies by deploying information technology, what has been your own experience in this regard?
No large business can be created or sustained without the help of information technology in today s world.  It is not possible to create a pan-India network and acquire large client base without significant support from IT.  We have used and leveraged IT to the maximum possible extent for creating Reliance Money and making it the largest financial broking and distributing company in India within a short span of 1.5 years since its launch in April 2007.

Moving forward do you see technology becoming increasingly critical to business success?
As we expand and grow, IT will become even more important to ensure best in class’ customer service and customer experience.

Do you think that IT can be leveraged for business innovations or is IT only a tool that aids business operations?
IT can be leveraged for business innovation and we have done so extensively. For instance, each customer of ours gets a unique security token which generates a six digit number and the same changes every 32 seconds.  Only with this number, the customer can get access to our site for using their account. This ensures best in class security.  Besides, like bank ATMs, we have introduced trading kiosks which are deployed at public places to enable customers to transact at ease even while on the move. We provide a mobile platform, real time online chat services, automated technical analysis and many other advanced technological solutions and features.

Do you pursue IT as a strategy or is it merely a tactical tool?
We pursue IT as a strategy

What are your expectations from your CIO/IT organization?
IT is the backbone of our organization and thus a critical function. We want to leverage IT to ensure bringing in of new products and services.  We also use IT for providing customer delight.

Personally also, are you gadget-savvy? What are the gadgets you use?
I use gadgets like laptop, PC, mobile phones etc