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February 21, 2010

3i Infotech Enters Into JV To Start Outsourcing Center In Nigeria

3i Infotech, a global provider of financial technology solutions and services, has entered into joint venture with three Nigerian firms Soft Solutions, Skye Bank and Unity Bank, to launch Process Central, a business process outsourcing (BPO) center in Nigeria.

By CBR Staff Writer

The Process Central will be carried out in two phases in Lagos and Abuja and operations are expected to start within 4-6 months.

In phase one, the key retail processes of Skye Bank and Unity Bank would be centralized, making optimum use of resources and increasing back-office efficiencies across 500+ branches in Nigeria.

The first phase of process centralization and standardization of banks is expected to reduce operational costs, speed up turnaround times and guarantee service levels, enabling the banks to focus on increasing revenue, customer satisfaction, managing risks, compliance and operational excellence.

In phase two, Process Central would seek to extend the same benefits to new banking customers as well as to other sectors like insurance, telecom and government bodies, with centralization and processing capabilities.

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Two Central Processing Units or shared services centers are planned to be set up in Lagos and Abuja respectively, to act as business continuity centers for each other. In addition, Process Central will set up Regional Processing Centres (RPCs), providing real-time services to customers across Nigeria.

Pankaj Chawla, president and CEO of 3i Infotech MEARC, said: “Through this JV, we intend to create Process Central as a cutting-edge shared services center company that will revolutionize the Banking, Financial Services & Insurance (BFSI) industry in Nigeria and in the region.

“Nigeria, with its tremendous potential for growth in the BFSI sector, is still unable to realize its true potential due to high costs of logistics and communication, lack of processing tools and techniques. This also prohibits effective outsourcing of back-end operations to countries like India. As a global financial technology company, we have deep experience in operating a Hub & Spoke model like Process Central across developing markets and developed markets, and are confident that it will be a great success in meeting the needs of our partners and future customers.”

Segun Akintemi, general manager of operations at Skye Bank, said: “Our partnership in this joint venture, allows us to do scale branches on a lower footprint costs and reduce operations costs. Once active, Process Central will dramatically reduce our costs with centralized processes and open new vistas for equity appreciation.”

Ado Wanka, executive director of Unity Bank, said: “As the leading retail bank in the northern part of Nigeria, we see Process Central dovetailing with our retail growth strategy to deliver a truly universal and effective banking experience for customers across Nigeria, and drive our operations costs down and manage compliance and risks. We are also certain that Process Central will soon find a firm foothold with potential customers allowing a truly collaborative path of growth for our fast-growing BFSI sector.”

Bola Abolade, CEO of Soft Solutions, said: “I am fully confident of furthering the growth of this new business venture. Over the last 15 years, Soft Solutions has built strong relationships as a reliable partner to companies in the BFSI sector across Nigeria.”

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