Meltdown has Created More Opportunities for us

by Muntazir Abbas    May 07, 2009

What are the key challenges your industry faces today? How are you as a company responding to these challenges?

One of the key factors impacting the growth of our industry today is the fallout from the global financial crisis; specifically the disruption to financial institutions and the allocation of capital to new IT projects, the increased involvement of governments in the financial markets, and the burden on financial market participants to comply with additional rules and regulation.

 We are seeing more opportunities than challenges. As companies look to reduce their costs, or outsource functions that were traditionally managed in house, we can provide solutions and services to meet their requirements. Increased regulation often requires additional investment in technology to track and report on compliance and adherence with regulations. This means our customer may need upgrades to existing software products, or require the development of new products.

What has been impact of the US meltdown on your business? How are you coping with the current recessionary business climate?

We have not been impacted directly by the meltdown in the US, but indirectly as elements of the investment banks that we deal with have been impacted (for example by the mortgage subprime collapse) have reduced spending or delayed spending on new IT projects.

Like many businesses in the current climate, we are prudently reviewing our cost base and tracking our revenue very closely. However, we are continuing to develop new products and services and expand into new markets, which are providing new opportunities for the group. As a result of this we expect to be in a strong position once the global economy emerges from the current downturn. 

As an IT solutions provider, how has your own technology use evolved over the years?

As an Information Technology provider we are continually reviewing new technologies to enhance our own productivity and the products and services that we design and develop for our clients. For example, as a software developer we have invested in automated software testing technology that has significantly improved the quality and productivity of our own software development.

We have benefited by being a supplier to the finance industry which is so heavily reliant on information technology. Over the last decade the move to Straight Through Processing in the financial markets has been a revolution for the finance industry, delivering very high levels of automation. This has enabled financial institutions to process more transactions, more efficiently and at a lower cost. This would not have been possible without the investment in information technology.

Moving forward do you see technology becoming increasingly critical to business success?

Absolutely. Look at the benefits that we have all gained from; email, mobile phones, voice over IP, the internet, laptops and wireless networking etc. Our business and the businesses of our clients are dependent on technology. The sustainability of global economic growth and prosperity is dependent on technology.  But we cannot rely on technology for technology s sake, there needs to be a clear value proposition we can provide for our customers.

How important is IT for business innovations or is IT only a tool that aids business operations?

 I think IT can be both at different times. At the very least, IT is a mechanism to ensure we run and manage our daily business operations efficiently. Yet the IT that we take for granted today, such as email for instance, was an innovation fifteen years ago. 

But IT can also be leveraged for business innovations, for example as a distribution medium.  Today a business anywhere in the world can achieve global distribution via the internet at a minimal cost. In the financial markets, an individual can trade any financial instrument on any market in real time from a home computer with a broadband connection. Everyday our customers are seeking new ways to innovate in their businesses and they are coming to us at Religare Technova to develop solutions that will help them to achieve their goals.

What are your expectations from your CIO/IT organization?

 To maintain service levels to our global operations, maximize our return on investment on IT expenditure and keeping us informed of new trends and technologies.