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November - 2014 - issue > Entrepreneur of the Month
RS Software:Revamping the Electronic Payment Landscape
Raj Kumar
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Raj Jain was exposed to an entrepreneurial environment right from his childhood. "Having the seeds of entrepreneurship planted early on is undoubtedly a catalyst to help surface the latent desire," states Raj Jain, Chairman and Managing Director, RS Software. This zeal saw the dawn of RS Software"a company that has distinguished itself globally by pursuing the twin strategy of IT outsourcing and a domain focus to bring high value add to its clientele. The success of this strategy is validated by the leadership position the company has earned in the area of electronic payments industry, when dominant revenues of the Indian IT industry continue to come from companies engaged in vanilla outsourcing. Jain's clarity of vision shaped RS Software into a world-class organization that responds well to the changing needs of the marketplace and the customers. "Our decision to leverage a professional entrepreneurial model during early days laid strong foundation for the company's success,: reveals Jain. "To build a process architecture with global benchmark in early 1990's in India was like expecting world class highways in an environment where road infrastructure was archaic," says Jain, referring to the challenges RS Software faced as a startup. The company emerged as one of the first IT companies to bring the IBM S/390 mainframe technology to India shortly after its release in the U.S.'ahead of other larger Indian IT firms. Within three years of its inception, the company became one amongst the first five companies in India to be accredited for ISO 9001 standard by KPMG. Not long after, the company was certified for CMM level 4 and a PCMM level 3 accreditation. All of this was crucial to win the confidence of the global clientele, and required significant investment in technology, process architecture, scalability and management bandwidth.

"Winning our first client was an extremely exhilarating feeling," recalls Jain, alluding to the days when their entire team was involved in every aspect of their first customer engagement"a Tokyo based company, Ashisuto. In spite of the cultural and language differences, RS Software was quick to learn and adopt the high standards of discipline and quality that the Japanese maintain. This helped significantly in early days to win business at several Wall Street Banks, and Fortune 500 companies like American Express, Lexmark, IBM, and payment leadership companies like Visa. During its first decade, RS Software grew at a CAGR of 43 percent. "Building RS Software while participating actively in the industry association Nasscom that was shaping the evolution of the IT industry in India demanded every ounce of the energy I had within me," recalls Raj Jain. However, the rewards were significant"In helping to build the India brand which has enabled Indian IT industry to grow from $100 million in 1991 to $100 billion in 2014. 'Still feels like a privilege to be elected chairman of Nasscom in 1999, and to win the coveted award from Ernst and Young, and be amongst the top twenty entrepreneurs in India."

Raj Jain believes that combining a sense of commitment, discipline and belief in oneself is critical in achieving entrepreneurial success. Ted Roosevelt said "There has never yet been a man in our history who lead a life of ease whose name is worth remembering". Between 2001 and 2004 RS Software faced it's most adverse period. The tragic incident in United States of 9/11 and the dot com bubble burst had brought the technology industry and global economy to a screeching halt. It was just as challenging to come out of a near bankruptcy scenario, as it was to take an extremely bold decision to focus the future of the company in one single domain of electronic payments industry. In the five immediately following the financial crisis of 2008, this strategic choice became instrumental in helping RS Software to grow 100%, with an exceptional achievement in its profit after tax, and giving the company a leadership position in high value adding domain offering. Building on this success, "we reinforced our specialization by establishing the RS Payments Lab, which allows us to deliver innovative solutions that provide a competitive advantage to our clients," comments Raj Jain. In the RS Payments Lab, "we have created frameworks around each of our e-payment solutions. Each framework contains the organizational knowledge we have accumulated that is relevant to the functional area," explains Jain. The accessibility and repeatability of each framework reduces time to market and mitigates risk for their clients. More importantly, the company follows a customer-centric business model. "We formalized this "Think of yourself as the customer" philosophy within our delivery methodology with a process called the RS Customer View," adds Raj Jain. This provides the team at RS Software with a comprehensive understanding of client's business, allowing them to ensure that their solutions precisely deliver value where it will have the most impact.
The company is focused on providing technology solutions to all the major stakeholders in the electronic payments industry " Issuers, Acquirers, payment networks, consumers and the merchants. Mckinsey has estimated this industry to have revenues in the range of $ 1 trillion annually, and growing at cagr of 8%. Specializing in credit, debit, prepaid and loyalty card processing, and management, RS Software offers custom application development for platform, cloud, ecommerce, and mobile environments using a comprehensive spectrum of development tools and methodologies including SSAD/OOAD, classic/relaxed waterfall, and agile. "Our expertise with this broad spectrum of tools and methodologies allows us to match our skill sets with the unique needs of the customer," remarks Jain. The company's knowledge transfer disciplines ensure that their solutions to global clients deliver maximum value from start to finish of each project.

On one occasion, when a leading payment company with more than three decades of experience wanted to protect its customers from transaction fraud, RS Software was the answer. The customer needed to integrate its new fraud detection solution into its transaction-processing engine quickly and flawlessly. To help the company with its integration, RS Software used their proven Global Execution Methodology to determine the optimal approach right from development to testing. Subsequently, RS Software team completed the integration without disrupting the existing transaction processing performance. "Business logic was implemented to ensure routing of every transaction from different merchant categories to every destination and endpoint with minimum latency." Furthermore, RS Software enhanced the client"s existing merchant boarding process and reporting application"maximizing the value delivered by the real time fraud detection solution.

The company's next phase of vision is, "to be a global leader in providing technology solutions to the electronic payments industry," emphasizes Raj Jain. The extended vision is "an employer of choice, a partner of choice for its customers, and an investment of choice for its investors." The performance of the company has been well recognized globally when RS Software was featured in the Forbes "Asia's 200 Best Under A Billion", and recently recognized by the Business World publications in India for achieving outstanding financial performance. The investor community has gained immensely, with the stock price growing by 400%+ during the last fifteen months.

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