India’s big players will embrace digitisation as they become major exporters

India’s big players will embrace digitisation as they become major exporters

Ian Kerr

CEO at Bolero International

Ian Kerr was appointed CEO of Bolero in May 2014. He has over 25 years’ experience in financial technology in a range of organisations including NCR and IBM and has been based in the US and Singapore during his career. More recently Ian was the CEO of Level Four Software who were acquired by Clear2Pay in 2011 with Ian leading the integration with two other companies to form a specialist payments testing business unit. Ian joined Bolero from Creditcall, a growing PSP gateway and payment technology company, where he was COO. Ian has the responsibility to lead Bolero through the next phases of global growth through the development of the company’s digitised trade solutions. Ian holds a BSc from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

Views 519

India’s big players will embrace digitisation as they become major exporters

09.03.2017 12:45 pm

India is on the move towards digitisation in trade. Our attendance at this year’s GTR India Trade and Treasury Conference in Mumbai certainly confirmed that. With delegates from more than 120 companies and the key banks in the region all energetically networking, we had an excellent opportunity to establish new contacts, strengthen existing relationships and take the pulse of the Indian market. 

From our perspective, India looks very positive, advancing towards the national government’s target of increasing digitisation in all spheres of life, whether through a massive rollout of internet access, electronic payments and digital ID systems, or more importantly for us, through increasing readiness to convert to electronic presentation in trade documentation.

A strong sense of the upbeat approach to digitisation came in a panel I moderated looking at “Trade digitisation and its application for India: successfully implementing fintech into your company model”. This involved a discussion between Rugved Dhumale, Deputy Treasurer, Petrochemicals at Reliance Industries, and Rakesh Patwari Head of Business Development, Global Trade and Receivables Finance at HSBC India. 

The pair reflected on the first digital transaction between Reliance and a customer in Italy, supported by HSBC and which was completed using the Bolero platform. Since it was also the first document exchange of its kind in India, they also discussed the potential benefits and challenges of wider trade digitisation for the country as a whole.

Rugved explained that the transaction had been two years in the planning, but it was the first step in the growing acceptance of digital trade documentation. Although there were various technologies available, the advent of Bolero meant the time for digitisation had arrived, given its ability to accommodate complexity and the differing nature of each transaction for the benefit of all of the counterparties. 

Rakesh said digitisation was part of a “generational shift” in international trade and part of HSBC India’s role as a facilitator. “Our purpose is to make the process simpler and smoother, and this (Bolero) brings visibility to every single stakeholder,” he explained.

Having the backing of such huge and respected Indian companies and institutions such as Reliance Industries and HSBC India is very significant step to help to increase digitisation in trade documentation. At Bolero we already have important Indian banks as members of our community and after speaking to many of the corporate representatives at the event, it became clear that our digital innovation is now resonating very well among the country’s exporters.  

There clearly is a groundswell of interest, encouraged by the recent report from Maersk and the Confederation of Indian Industry. Entitled Stimulating India’s EXIM by reducing costs of trade this report showed how Indian exports could be boosted by between five and eight per cent if greater priority were given to infrastructure improvements, digitisation and the reduction of regulatory burdens and delays. It demonstrated that inefficiencies can account for anything between 38 and 47 per cent of the total logistics cost. A reduction of 10 per cent in these costs could yield more than $5 billion cost savings each year, a figure that should catch the eye of Indian regulators as well as the country’s corporates.

Although India is not currently as advanced as China in trade digitisation, the potential is huge, given that export growth projections for the country are considerably more than seven per cent for 2017-2018. In China, where Bolero already has many important customers, the realisation that exports will be required to sustain stellar growth rates has prompted the government to push the pace with a series of steps including the establishment of export credit facilities.

Nonetheless, in India, there is now a real desire to embrace digitisation, led by companies with the vision and enthusiasm such as Reliance. There was no doubt that there is an upbeat mood in this fast-developing economy and trade digitisation should be very much at the centre of this remarkable country’s rapid emergence as one of the world’s great exporting economies.

Latest blogs

Simon Black Awaken Intelligence

Boom or Bust: How the Financial Services Sector is Coping

Covid-19 has had an impact across all industries and businesses are feeling the sting. However, is it equally devastating within every sector? As industry and individual concerns grow during the inevitable economic crisis, financial services are Read more »

n/a n/a

Tips on How to Successfully Trade CFDs

A CFD or contract for difference is a financial product that allows a trader to speculate on asset classed without owning a portion of the underlying asset. A CFD trade is not an investment but high-risk speculation that carries the risk of losing Read more »

Patrick McKinney and Joe Fuchs Wolters Kluwer Finance, Risk & Regulatory Reporting

Building an Integrated Data Management System: A Guide for Digital Banks

Digital banks and other FinTechs are emerging as more nimble competitors to established legacy banks. The digital banks that are on their way to becoming fully chartered have the opportunity to setup fully automated processes and systems without Read more »

n/a n/a

How COVID-19 Is Ushering In a New Era of Cashless Technology

  Image source:   Cashless technology isn't a completely fresh concept. People have been using credit cards for decades, and the market for fintech services has been Read more »

Jean Shin tyntec

Using WhatsApp for 2FA is the Future of Banking

From user authentication and password resets to transaction verification, two-factor authentication (2FA) offers basic but useful protection for consumers. The 2FA process typically sends an SMS sent to the customer with a one-time password (OTP). Read more »

Free Newsletter Sign-up
+44 (0) 208 819 32 53 +44 (0) 173 261 71 47
Download Our Mobile App
Financial It Youtube channel