CM Grover, MD & CEO, IBSFINtech is not just breaking new grounds in the area of cash & liquidity, risk, treasury and trade finance management; he is also changing the entrepreneur stereotype.
Unlike the young crop of today, CM Grover and his co-founders, TM Manjunath, and S Sethuraman were all in their 50s when they thought of starting out on their own.
Fortified with vast retail banking experience as well as in forex and treasury management, the three joined hands to form IBSFINtech, which is now the pioneer in offering a Comprehensive Risk Mitigation Solution.
Charting an unconventional route
According to McKinsey, global annual treasury operations are estimated at USD 135 trillion. While the market is big, surprisingly there are several companies that are still managing forex with Excel.
The realisation to start IBSFINtech came in 2008, when the global economy was grappling with a financial meltdown, and most companies had to deal with the challenge of having their treasury operations abroad.
“This idea was supported by a couple of our friends who were then either Head of Treasuries or advising corporates on forex.
We found the gap in the market and decided to develop the product catering to this niche segment since there was nothing except Excel to help CXOs mitigate their risk emanating from the volatility in the forex market. So that was the starting point,” says Grover.
Filling the gap
The founders dedicated their initial years with the company to build the entire concept of an integrated treasury management system that tracked everything from trading bonds to forex to commodity pricing.
Being a highly domain-centric area, cash & liquidity, risk, treasury and trade finance is not a space that startups normally delve in. “Treasury is a scarce community. In a country of 1.3 billion, you will find only a few treasurers. This is the kind of space we are in,” informs Grover.
In its early days, the company was established to strengthen corporate treasury with the focus on filling gaps in the Forex Treasury Management space for the corporates.
Having entered into this space and owing to the huge gap in the market for a comprehensive Risk Mitigation Tool, the founders strategically focused and developed products to cater to Cash & Liquidity, Risk, Treasury, and Trade Finance.
“Technically, we always believed in the vision for the company. We believe, we have been always ahead of the time, even the name carries the word FinTech, which is the flavour of today.”
Striking a chord with different clients
In 2013, IBSFINtech formally rolled out the product in the market with Beta launch of their Fx Management Module and acquired India’s leading media house, Bennett & Coleman, as their client.
Today, their clientele includes India’s marquee names such as Maruti Suzuki, JSW, Mahindra, Future Group.
Initially, they had a hard time convincing clients to move away from Excel and invest money in an intelligent decision support system.
“When we would approach CFOs to sell our software, they were a little resistant. If they agreed, the next challenge was to convince them not to use global solution providers but look at our product.”
Dealing with overseas clients was much simpler.
In 2018, the company added their first international client, IMR Metallurgical Resources AG (Switzerland), followed by JSW International (Singapore) in 2019. With huge interest from APAC, Europe, Middle East and other regions of the globe, IBSFINtech is observing substantial traction from the global market.
“As per our experience from interacting with international clients and future prospects, the corporate treasuries there are more mature and appreciate the value add of leveraging technology for driving the digitization and automation of treasury & trade finance operations.
The Indian corporates are also changing with the change in the current economic scenarios and welcoming digitization and automation with open arms.”
“Credibility in the home country makes a huge difference. And another thing is overseas companies know the importance of automation and digitization. We are maturing towards that in our country,” CM Grover shares.
Covering the entire business landscape
IBSFINtech is an on-premise solution, as of now. They load the solution on the server or on the private cloud, which is what has helped them gain the trust of large corporates. However, they plan to come out with a SaaS model for emerging corporates as well as the SME segment.
“In the process, we will cover an entire landscape of enterprises,” he adds.
With businesses facing severe losses and grappling with other challenges during the Covid pandemic, CM Grover feels IBSFINtech’s solution is even more relevant.
“For corporates, it is very important that they have a reliable real time information system where they can have control and visibility on their complete liquidity and cash flow. As far as we’re concerned, in this scenario, our software will be of greater help to all CXOs to efficiently manage and mitigate their risk,” he adds.
While the impact of Covid-19 is felt across companies of all sizes, Grover feels that things will bounce back eventually.
“Leading the way in transforming the comprehensive risk management for corporates, IBSFINtech is trusted by organizations across verticals for being the Intelligent Decision Support System, which every corporate needs to be prepared for times like today. Considering the corporates across the globe will be moving towards digitization and automation of their critical operations, the future looks promising for IBSFINtech.”
The secret of success
CM Grover believes that the success of IBSFINtech lies in its product and people.
“Our product is world class, and industry or geography agnostic . But I feel it is the people who are responsible for this solution – execution teams, support teams, our clients have played a major role in its success.”
- SaaS in the Spotlight: Leading Companies to Watch Out For
- How this Ex-Zoho Director is Transforming Real Estate Automation
- Ashok Maheshwary-Founder & Partner, AKM & Associates, on India’s Growth Prospects
- Women Leaders Promoting Diversity in the Workplace
- Dinesh Gupta – Co-Founder & CEO – Busy Infotech: Taking Accounting to greater Heights