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In 3 years, want to take FTIL where it was before NSEL crisis, says CEO

The company will partner with enterprises to tap the digital market space, and is betting big on the sector, MD-CEO Prashant Desai said

T E Narasimhan  |  Chennai 

Prashant Desai
Prashant Desai

Financial Technologies (India) Ltd (FTIL) has embarked on a new journey that will take its glory days before it was engulfed by the NSEL crisis, the company’s managing director and chief executive Prashant Desai, has claimed.

"My minimum target is in three years is to take FTIL where it was before the crisis started. Before NSEL started, FTIL stock price was Rs 1,000 atleast I wanted to reach there," he told Business Standard on the sidelines of company's AGM on Wednesday.

The company will partner with enterprises to tap the digital market space, and is betting big on the sector, Desai said. Indian digital market is around $20 billion now and is projected to touch $300 mn in the next decade.

At the AGM, resolution for dividend was passed but as per the High Court direction, FTIL will not be able to distribute it till the Court gives its nod. The Court is expected to hear the matter on October 5.

Desai was optimistic about the future due to 4G and smartphone over the next 10 years. “If India grows at 7-8 per cent, we ultimately will see a very large digital market and that is the place FTIL really want to be,” he said.

“FTIL is a technology company, in the past also it has been creating IP and will use the technology IP to partner with business or enterprises,” he said, adding that the company is comfortable with select e-commerce space, such as sports, agriculture, education, and healthcare, among others.

“Anybody has a technology, which is a way to change and have deep social impact, FTIL will partner with them,” said Desai. “Technology has to be disruptive, innovative and it should have deep social impact.”

"We will bring our expertise to the table and will also invest, which will be a small portion of the partnership," he added, pointing out that the biggest challenge for enterprises is execution and that FTIL would help address the issue.

"Legal issues (NSEL cases) will not be a challenge. We are a technology company and we are using it to partner. I am using the same business, which earlier I used to which was providing technology to stock exchanges, now I am providing technology to digital. I am technology company, my DNA or nothing has changed," said Desai.

FTIL will also set up its own ‘JS Innovation Lab’ as a centre technological innovation. The exploration of IP will be on the building blocks of Internet of Things (IOT), AI. speech recognition, behavioural dcience including predictive and real time data analytics, SMAC and 4G, said Venkat Chary, chairman, FTIL.

FTIL co-founder and erstwhile head Jignesh Shah will be chief mentor at the Lab, Chary said.

In the digital business, will not be recognised by revenue, will be looked at from value and the social impact it has created, he said. Over the next 3-5 years, FTIL want to have 108 digital partners.

Earlier in a message to shareholders, he said FTIL is open for settling the issue and it also written to the relevant authorities. The company continued to weather the toughest period it has seen since its inception.

"We feel defeated and sad at the velocity with which we are attacked. Executive orders and fiats are being used against the company for an accident that happened in a subsidiary, which has its own legal standing and identify. One day truth will be established about the loss of financial ecosystem caused by vested interests in eliminating FTIL from financial and commodity sector by unfair means," said Desai, adding that the company will not bogged down and will rise and bounce back even more strongly.

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First Published: Thu, October 01 2015. 10:37 IST