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New India player in financial services

Zafar Anjum | Jan. 13, 2011
Ajay K. Ajay Kotkar, CEO Asia Pacific, head, global banking and finance practice, Omnitech, talks about the company’s journey so far and what plans he has for the region

Omnitech Services from India started its Southeast Asian operations about half a year ago. In a short time, the company has made notable inroads into the banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) sector in the region. Zafar Anjum caught up with Ajay Kotkar, CEO Asia Pacific, head, global banking and finance practice, Omnitech, to know about the company’s journey so far and what plans he has for the region.

Omnitech has been in India for 24 years. But it is a very young company in the Southeast Asian market. How has the toddler's journey been so far?

The journey of Omnitech Services of the new group has been great since the time it has started. In a short time span, we have been endorsed by six large financial institutes for their businesses and also it goes without saying that our value proposition has definitely attracted some key talent within the industry to join the Omnitech Family. Our strength has grown to a team of 70 professionals within a span of six months with some major successful projects which has further helped us build the credibility to take on bigger challenges.

Why did your company choose this region for its global expansion? There are already a number of big IT service providers from India playing in this region. How do you see Omnitech competing against them?

Asia is a region that looks very promising and brings a mix of some matured markets and a great business opportunity within some of the emerging markets. This expansion not only gave us a strong foot print in Asia but also added a very strong banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) team to drive this business within the Omnitech Group.

We have niche offerings in the BFSI domain, which is evident from the solid relationship and engagement that we have grounded with six of the banking giants in Asia. For the kind of business that we are pursuing, we are not only competing with our Indian companies but also other large technology service providers.

Are you looking forward to building partnerships with other companies?

We are and will be building various levels of partnerships depending upon the business strategy for the region.

What will be your focus areas for the first few years of operation?

In Asia, we definitely will be after the BFSI client segment. In addition, having seen a very positive response from the other business vertical segments like travel and transportation, healthcare etc., we will be focusing on these segments as well. We would also like to tap the SME (small and medium-sized enterprises) segment.

We will look at expanding beyond Hong Kong and Singapore to other key emerging markets and some of the mature markets.

You have said you are going to make testing your flagship service. Can you tell us about your testing framework and why you are so confident about it?

Testing is “one of our flagship” service offerings, among others. Our framework enhances the management, planning, execution and automation of testing. The management framework called OTA (Omni Test Assure) and automation framework OBTAF (Omni Business Test Automation Framework) have been deployed at various customer sites with great results. We have been able to bring down the cost and time of testing and conversely increased the number of tests created and executed.

How do you see the banking and financial sector growing in the Asia Pacific? What will be the major trends in the next few years?

Asia is a bag of diverse cultures that dictates the trends based on which country we are working in. However, the trends we see that will strongly emerge across the region are as follows

-       Enterprise CRM

-       Mobile Banking

-       P2P Payments

-       Data Centre Consolidation and virtualisation

-       Unified Communication
 
Tell us about the US$50 million that has been raised from the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) as part of Omnitech’s overseas acquisition strategy. Is it meant for fuelling organic growth in markets that are extremely promising?

The money has not been raised until now but we have taken a board approval (since Omnitech was listed) to raise money up to US$50 million to fuel its growth for the coming three years. We would be raising money in tranches as and when required and it could be well below the granted limit. The money would be utilised to fund our Europe and US acquisition and also for our organic growth to build more disaster recovery/ technology centres and also to offer innovative services such as cloud computing, among others.

 

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