Polaris looks to expand footprint via deals with banks

T.E. Raja Simhan Chennai | Updated on November 13, 2017 Published on December 22, 2011


Polaris Financial Technology, formerly Polaris Software Lab, is strengthening its foothold in India and neighbouring countries through deals with large banks. In the last 18 months, it has won ten deals in the region where a lot of state-run financial institutions are upgrading their technology systems.

India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal are growth markets with government-run financial institutions providing enormous business opportunity, said Mr K. Srinivasan, Executive Vice-President of the Chennai-based technology company. He did not reveal deal sizes on account of confidentiality clauses with clients.

Polaris' strategy is to partner local players for deal execution. For instance, in Sri Lanka, it has tied up with Millennium IT, which is part of the London Stock Exchange Group, to implement the Intellect Core Banking solution at Regional Development Bank. This is the largest development bank with a network of 253 branches.

In Nepal, Polaris along with Swift Technology, a leading technology consulting firm in Nepal, will implement Intellect at the Social Development Bank, a national level development bank.

In Bangladesh, Polaris adopted a different strategy. It has formed a joint venture with Sonali Bank Ltd, Sonali Polaris FT Ltd, in which Polaris will hold a 51 per cent stake. Polaris will implement its core banking solution at Sonali Bank, which is the largest state-owned commercial bank in Bangladesh with 1,188 branches and operations in the UK, the US, West Asia and India.

Mr Srinivasan said that in the “Co-Creation Model,” Polaris is not only a vendor for Sonali but also a partner to implement the Intellect solution in other banks. While Sonali will act as the front-end, Polaris will be the implementation partner. “We also have our own people,” he said.

The deal size is not huge in these countries as they want a “Citi Bank type of technology but not the price Citi pays. The challenge is giving the best technology at low cost,” he said.

“Annually, we plan to earn $5-10 million from next year from the region,” he said.

Out of the Rs 510-crore revenue for the quarter ended September 2011, the Americas contributed 45.43 per cent; Europe 22.40 per cent, IMEA (India, Middle East and Africa) 15.25 per cent and Asia Pacific 16.92 per cent.

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Published on December 22, 2011
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