Stocks

I-Sec looking to take WFH beyond the lockdown period

Bloomberg May 11 | Updated on May 11, 2020 Published on May 11, 2020

ICICI Securities, India’s largest listed brokerage, is looking at jobs that could be completely moved to a work-from-home model as the pandemic forces businesses to re-imagine workplaces.

“We have just about 20 per cent of people coming to the office now, so it is possible,” said the company’s CEO Vijay Chandok in a phone interview. “We are thinking very seriously of examining the types of roles and jobs that can become long-term work-from-home,” he added. Other financial companies around the world have started to look at longer-term telecommuting solutions. JPMorgan Chase & Co could see a portion of its staff work from home on a rotational basis more permanently. The Investment Management Association of Singapore recently said it expects flexible work arrangements to become more commonplace. India’s strict stay-at-home curbs have posed a number of hurdles for brokerages. Those with mostly an offline presence have struggled to service customers, while restrictions on movement of people have made it difficult for companies to verify client information.

ICICI Securities has been able to expand in this difficult environment, adding over 1,00,000 new clients in January-March to boost its total operational accounts to 4.8 million. It posted a 28 per cent jump in net income to 150 crore ($19.9 million) for the same period, despite it being the worst quarter ever for the main S&P BSE Sensex index. “New client acquisition is not lumped up in any month, but we did see a rise in number of active clients,” Chandok said. “A steep correction in such a short period of time provided many with an opportunity to enter the market at multi-year low prices.”

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Published on May 11, 2020
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