Mr. Balaraman, currently the Chairman of Computer Age Management Services (CAMS), India’s premium Mutual Fund service partner, is a manager par excellence with a long and distinguished career as the Managing Director, Pond’s India Limited and thereafter as Director, Hindustan Unilever Limited. Mr. Balaraman, is a graduate in Chemical Engineering and a post graduate in Business management (PGDM) from IIM Ahmedabad. He serves as independent director on the boards of several renowned companies.
The chair is a recognition of Mr. Balaraman’s contribution as mentor and guide as he did not stop at being a successful professional but was an inspiring teacher. He has the unique ability to ‘Transform managers into leaders’. The most notable of his achievements is the large number of protégés who worked under him, absorbed his value systems, and went on to occupy positions of high leadership in India and abroad. Several corporate leaders and managers have gained and are inspired from his acumen for good governance and corporate ethics.
Mr. Balaraman in his recent interview with the Hindu BusinessLine , shared his perspective on the ongoing changes in the Indian Financial Sector and the upcoming FinTech space.
Excerpts from the interview –
What are the future plans of CAMS? Do you have plans to expand to overseas markets?
We have big growth ambitions. We are exploring all options, including internationalisation of our business. We are planning to service customers of other markets as well. We are also looking at possible acquisition though we have not identified any company as yet.
Do you have any IPO plans for the acquisition? Or have enough resources?
Right now, we do not have any such plans. We have funds right now. If and when such a situation arises, our board and shareholders will take a call on that. But I don’t think the need will arise to raise funds, in our industry.
Your take on the surging number of folios…
While it is encouraging to see the surge in folios, penetration of mutual funds is still low when compared to other asset classes.
A lot of things are happening in the fintech (financial technology) space? Is CAMS planning new products?
We have one of the group companies — Sterling Software. We are focusing on that company and we are trying to build a very powerful, updated technology base. Technology is extremely interesting today. We have real-time learning computers, artificial intelligence, big data analytics, voice recognition and lots of things are becoming reality.
With new technological advancements, companies are targeting individuals as customers. Today, one can personalise products, because you and I leave a trail on online social media. They know everything, such as what we have looked at, what we have rejected, what we bought and the languages of choice, among others. So, it is easy to target individual needs.
For example, IBM has an application named Watson for cancer patients, which is being adopted by Manipal Hospitals. The Watson Tool analyses patients’ case history data and treatment options for oncologists to provide individualised healthcare. Patients need not carry medical documents and prescriptions all the time; just the Watson app will do every thing.
We are planning to develop applications on similar lines that help individual customers by identifying their priorities and objectives. That is our dream. We have a powerful Board of Directors at Sterling Software to do that with Raghavan Putran (formerly with NSE Technologies); Veeraraghavan N (ex-Cognizant); Padma Chandrasekar (Angel Investor and formerly with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) and Suresh Kuppuswamy (ex-TCS) as the CEO. With a strong team, we are planning to focus more on this front. Watch this space.
Where do you see challenges coming from?
Identifying and fixing of the exact growth points in the world. The globe is an opportunity, especially sectors, such as financial services. But pinpointing some and latching on to them will be a challenging task. We are also now looking into the insurance BPO space. We have been focusing and strengthening in this area.
Are you planning to establish in the GIFT city, Gujarat?
At present, we have no such plans. We are constantly evaluating progress at the GIFT city.
Currently, we do not see the need. Our Board will take a call on this.
Also published on: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/todays-paper/tp-markets/penetration-of-mfs-is-still-low-compared-to-other-asset-classes/article8929920.ece
Computer Age Management Services (CAMS) is India’s premier Mutual Fund Transfer Agency serving over 62% of assets of the industry across 16 Mutual Funds. Leveraging superior technology, CAMS brings several innovative services to Mutual Fund investors and distributors. CAMS is also a service partner to leading insurance companies, banks, NBFC’s and alternate investment funds. To know more visit www.camsonline.com