With more than 45 years of expertise in the BFSI sector, the recent launch of Agile FT's operations from its offices at Dubai Internet City to handle its EMEA business, has all the makings of a success story. Launched at a time when the credit crunch has bitten many a Dubai conglomerates, Mr. Kalpesh Desai, CEO of Agile FT feels there has been never a more apt time for their company's launch. GoDubai gets Mr. Desai on the hotseat….
1) Launched only recently in the UAE business sector, how does Agile FT plan to find its footing in the market?
Kalpesh Desai (KD): Although Agile Financial Technologies is a new entity, the company has been formed by acquiring and merging existing businesses to become a stronger platform. These businesses have been in operation for over a decade accumulating over 45 years of experience. They have made their presence felt in these markets. Our existing clients will now be able to look forward to a regional presence with our enhanced infrastructure in Dubai Internet City, Saif Zone and also with our BPO Company, Pamac's presence in Dubai Outsourcing Zone.
We are appointing close to 37 channel partners in approximately 20 countries in Eastern Europe, Russia/CIS, Africa and M.E.
2) What is the USP of Agile FT that makes it different from its competitors?
KD: Agile FT's offering include application software, consulting, managed services and outsourcing services for Banks, Investment/Asset Management companies, Insurance firms and other financial institutions. In these trying times, where these enterprises are trying to balance growth with good governance and increasing regulatory oversight, we provide a mechanism to augment capacity, reduce operational risk and increase the ability to service their clients better through a unique and innovative delivery mechanism that allows us to offer the enter process as a service, matching our client's cash flows. This enables financial institutions who desire to, or are forced to deploy new systems to comply with increasing regulation or business need, without having to look at an increase in capital expenditure.
3) Everyone's talking about recession, what is your view on this and is it in anyway affecting the firm's business?
KD: As the recession is here, we believe that the road to recovery is 'U' shaped. With a lot of regional funds locked in investments overseas, in assets which have seen a significant attrition in value during the financial crisis, coupled with flight of speculative capital from our capital markets, have led to a situation where corporates are faced with a liquidity crunch.
Agile FT is uniquely positioned to not only weather the storm, but also capitalise on the fact that institutions and regulators will impose the use of liquidity management solutions (one of our core offerings), and stronger systems. We service wealth management firms, who in a recession period are called on by clients to preserve their wealth, if not grow the same.
We are seeing an increased demand for our insurance management solutions by insurance companies, who are seeing a demand on their products with financial institutions, large corporate houses and high net worth individuals seeking to secure their assets by increasing the insurance cover. We see innovation in areas of private equity, alternative investments, and Islamic Funds, and it's our strategic intent to stay ahead of the curve in terms of ensuring that our technology is ready to serve the new needs in these hard times.
4) Could you tell us more about iDEAL Liquidity Management and its benefits? How is it beneficial to the current economic scenario in UAE?
KD: iDeal Liquidity Management is a unique solution that can be used not only by banks and finance houses, but also by large corporates and enterprises. The application has the ability to manage long term liabilities of the enterprise, be they convertibles, Sukooks, or other debt instruments. Cash in flows are extracted from the balance sheet and extrapolated into our Asset-Liability Management system that ensures that enterprises liquidity ratios are not busted and that liabilities and commitments are covered by sufficient liquidity.
5) Please name a few organisations or countries which have implemented Agile software?
KD: Our solutions have been extensively implemented in India, UAE, Bahrain, Sri Lanka, Philippines and Indonesia. Over 30 percent of the AUM in India is serviced by our software, with one of India's largest Mutual Fund (AUM exceeding $ 20 billion) using the same.
6) Agile has also launched AGILIS Insurance Management. Could you brief us about it?
KD: AGILIS covers the core functions of General, Life and Takaful Insurance companies including customer and channel management, product development policy and claims administration, underwriting, reinsurance and accounting.
Agilis enables the deployment of the application across the insurance companies constituents. These include channel partners, brokers, agents and banks offering BancAssurance solutions
8) What are the company's plans for future development in ME?
KD: It is our intent to build onshore outsourcing capabilities in each of the key markets. We are exploring a potential joint venture in Saudi Arabia at this time to leverage the local workforce that can be inducted into outsourced processes for financial institutions.
Source: Editor, GoDubai.com