Mumbai: The management of Fortis Financial Services Ltd, the financial services company founded by the promoters of the Ranbaxy group, plans to convert the firm into a dedicated information technology (IT) unit, thereby shifting its focus entirely to providing software solutions for banking and other financial service companies.
The development follows Fortis Financial’s recent acquisition of a majority stake in Asian CERC Information Technology Ltd, an information management firm.
A senior Ranbaxy executive, who didn’t want to be named, said that although Fortis Financial was originally floated as a non-banking financial company within the group to make an entry into the domestic financial services sector, it wasn’t very active. “Since the company has recently acquired a company, which is a leading player in the Indian financial services software space, we are now exploring the synergy of this acquisition under the Fortis brand,” he added.
Meanwhile, Ranbaxy is now planning to become an active player in the financial services and insurance businesses in particular through Religare Enterprises Ltd, another group company engaged in the non-banking financial business.
The new move will make Fortis an IT solution provider for Religare, along with other banking and financial services institutions. Religare’s chief operating officer Shachindra Nath said, “Religare is the group’s financial services company now.”
“Any IT services that would be taken by Religare from Fortis (if any time) would be on an arms-length basis at comparable market price,” he added.
Fortis, a separately listed entity, had acquired Asian CERC early this year to get into the growing IT business. Asian CERC provides software products and content services to financial firms.
The Ranbaxy executive said, “Fortis is most likely to announce its entry into the financial software development business in two months.” It is not clear if the company will change its name to enter the new area of business, he said.