Agile Financial Technologies (Agile FT), a global technology partner to key players in the BFSI (Banking, Financial Services and Insurance) sector in emerging markets, has announced that its Indian operations is to become its South Asian headquarters to help expand its presence into emerging markets in the region.
Agile FT’s South Asian operations are now based in Mumbai’s prestigious Prism Towers at the MindSpace complex, an IT park housing global technology and outsourcing companies. Over the course of 2009, Agile FT plans to expand its operations further into South Asia and Asia Pacific through channel partnerships in strategic markets.
The expanded South Asian operations in India will not only provide resources for domestic on-shoring services for Indian BFSI institutions but will also provide Agile FT with a hub, logistically and in terms of economic fundamentals, to enable the company to manage the needs of the BFSI industry in regions that include emerging countries in Europe, Central and South East Asia, Middle East & Africa.
In alignment with its vision of acquiring technology and services capabilities to service institutions that are in the business of conservation or growth of capital, Agile FT had acquired and merged the insurance software business division of India-based Access Information Systems, a niche player in the core insurance space for over 2 decades with an enviable client list in the Middle East, South Asia and South East Asia. This has enabled Agile FT to position its core insurance and bancassurance software products in the domestic sector, where the company sees significant growth opportunities.
Kalpesh Desai, CEO at Agile FT said, “There are tremendous opportunities in the current context for holistic technology firms within the BFSI sector in India. The sector is facing challenges due to the economic impact of the liquidity crisis which will require the industry to relook at its IT strategy and current usage of software and technology. We have a strong go-to-market strategy with offerings that are flexible and will help the sector realise its full potential, from pure software solutions to full-fledged on-shore management services.”
With the insurance sector opening up and the investment management sectors reaching a high degree of maturity, Desai anticipates that industry players such as insurance companies, bancassurance divisions and asset management firms will relook at their IT strategy and technology deployment to significantly align the same with current business drivers.
“Although bancassurance as an insurance channel is a relatively new concept in Asia and the Middle East, it is undoubtedly becoming the fastest growing channel,” continued Desai. “The outlook for the channel is positive, as it has strong growth drivers. Banks have large networks with a significant depository base and the potential to tap into the emerging affluent, mass affluent, emerging wealthy and high net worth (HNW) segments leveraging technology such as ours.”
Banks would be able to build a cross-selling platform that can synergise traditional banking products and financial services. Traditionally, fund managers have focused on aggressively selling various investment management products, such as mutual funds, rather than managing a client’s portfolio based upon risk-based and investment goal-based profiling. The over-arching theme for asset management will be a marked movement towards an all-encompassing wealth management platform, even for the emerging affluent.