20 February 2003
Chennai: The financial services sector is witnessing a flurry of activity with the entry of traditionally non-finance players like General Motors, Toyota and Microsoft, which are redefining various paradigms in the segment.
With Gartner estimating the likely global IT spend by financial services players at $381 billion this year, domestic banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) software players are vying to grab a juicy piece of that pie.
Says i-flex Solutions CEO (international operations and technology) R Ravisankar: “Thanks to the Internet, the method of service delivery to end users is undergoing a major transformation. The percentage of credit initiated on the Net is going up.
“Today there are loan-aggregators on the web like US-based Lending Tree, which has forced traditional lenders like banks to bid for loan sanctions, while the potential borrowers can chose their lender sitting before their computer.“
A graduate of Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, and a post-graduate in business administration from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, Ravisankar moved to software industry in 1986 after starting his career in management consulting. He worked with Citicorp Overseas Software before he joined i-flex in 1993.
Based in the US, overseeing the company's global markets, Ravisankar recently visited Chennai. In a brief interaction, he talks about the emerging trends in the financial services industry and its implications for the software companies. Excerpts: