Infotech Lead India: Geojit BNP Paribas’ Flip Me was the first mobile trading solution that offered clients the facility to place orders on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). Geojit BNP Paribas’ customers with an Android operating system in their mobiles / tablets can download the Flip Me Android application.
Geojit BNP Paribas has strong presence in the Gulf countries. It has more than 6,50,000 clients and network of over 533 offices.
A Balakrishnan, CTO of Geojit BNP Paribas, talks about technology adoption in banking and finance sector.
Banking and Finance industry has pioneered IT adoption. What are the new challenges?
BFSI, in India had crossed a major phase on automation and digitization. Major challenges are to improve efficiency, expand the reach, lowering the cost of transaction, information security, increase the channels and accessibility, agile application development, aligning IT and business. When it comes to Technology Adoption, the challenges lie in virtualization, hybrid cloud for non critical applications and services, device management systems, secured computing and mobility
Tablets usage is growing among Indian enterprises. How are you utilizing tablets?
We have released our online trading applications for tablet users. At the moment we are giving importance and priority to give applications and information in the customer’s tablets and smart phones. We have not started giving tablets to our employees. Eventually laptop users will move to tablets.
How are you using technology to increase interaction with online customers?
We have now automated most of the touch points. We now have mainly 4 channels to deliver our services – Branches, Web, Customer care Center (Telephonic & IVR) and Mobile.
Channels are integrated and customers can use any channel at any given point in time. Customers can email or SMS. We also have round the clock IVR facility through which customers can seek information. In the non – business hours, customers can leave a message to call back.
We are now in the process of implementing CRM solution. This will consolidate all channels of communications and enhance automation of touch points.
Who are your Wi-Fi providers and how do you rate their services?
At the moment we are not in using Wi-Fi in our offices.
How is BYOD and social media access impacting your company?
BYOD and social media access to our employees are in the discussion stage. There are contradictory views. However, we have established our presence in social media. Today it is customer centric. We have to watch the emergence and leverage the positive side of it. We may consider BYOD for our field staffs initially.
What will be the main contribution of 4G LTE to you?
We expect that there will be revolutionary changes in the usage of telecom and hence the way in which operations are managed. Higher bandwidth and throughput will enable us to provide more services and multi-media content. Videos will be widely used, digitization of KYC, digital signatures and document management will become much more efficient and easier. Virtual branches and self operated Kiosks will change the brick and mortar scenario.
What are the new technologies that you are planning to implement?
With the present market and economic situation, our plan is to reduce operating cost. We will have more virtualized servers and centralized self-assisted services. Power consumption will be further reduced.
As customers changing from traditional web applications to tablets and Smartphone based applications, we will increase the functionalities and efficiency of such applications. As of today, we have native applications for many devices. We will also focus on HTML5 based applications to increase compatibility and device independence.
What is the growth in your ICT budget?
There will not be any growth in ICT Budget. It will be flat.
Since you deal with customers’ sensitive data, are there concerns about security though there are private clouds are available?
We have not started using cloud. At the moment we have regulatory and compliance issues. Security of Sensitive data and SLA with Cloud providers are also to be analyzed.
What would you expect from the IT and communications industry?
We expect more meaningful updates of information; Integrated communication capabilities; Improvement in telecom efficiency; Bring solutions rather than pushing products
Who are your main vendors and what are their contributions?
We work with a number of clients.
Wipro: Services, Supply and Systems Integration
Bharti Airtel, BSNL and Reliance Communications: Telecom Provider
TATA Communications: CoLocation Services
Avaya: Telecom Integration
Microsoft: databases, CRM
Oracle: Database, Middleware
As a CTO, what are your main contributions to your company?
I actively involved in aligning IT with business. Moreover, I took a lead role in platform and product development.