What is ITCLs strategic contribution to the overall industry?

ITCL is the largest Non-Bank Trustee in India offering Trusteeship and Fiduciary services to Corporations, Financial Institutions and Public enterprises. The Company successfully administers assets over USD 90 billion under various fiduciary structures and preserves significant market share in all its businesses. ITCL caters to 18% of the listed debt market issuances and 55% of Private Equity Venture Capital and Alternate Investment Funds registered in India. Our profitability has grown at a CAGR of 47% over the 3 year period including the current year. Our value proposition is quite unique from the other industry players, who are primarily banks and bank owned trust companies. Being a premium player, 95% of our business comes from unrelated parties. Our strength is our independence and unbiased approach. We continue to deliver value in a rapidly changing environment through independent advice, innovative solutions and effective risk management

ITCL has always been ahead of the curve in product innovation. Be it the framework for Business Trusts or employee benefit schemes, ITCL has been actively involved in the development of new investment vehicles in India

90% of our business comes from Indian corporates; any Corporate that needs to access the debt markets in India, is our existing or potential client

In the last few years, how has ITCL emerged as one of the country’s largest entities in the Trusteeship space?

From an independent trust company perspective, we are the largest. Compared to the bank trust companies, we stay among the top three in the league tables.

Essentially we do not compete with banks because we believe that Trusteeship and Fiduciary is an independent, no-conflict service and requires a different focus. We are the only player in this space which has zero conflict with Investment managers or lenders

Regulators appreciate independence. In fact, a number of new products introduced by Regulators require trustees to be independent and not associates of Sponsors or investment managers

We believe that the market will further move towards independence of trustees, not only in India as also globally

How has ITCL been a strategic player in the Trusteeship industry and what propositions does it offer to its existing clients?

Strategically formed over two decades ago as a Mutual fund trustee, we have come a long way and are now well established as the Trustee of choice for clients in India and overseas. Over the last two years, we have been recognised and awarded the ‘Best Corporate Trustees’ in India by Wealth and Finance International. We were also recognised for innovation by the Skoch Group.

One of the biggest value propositions for our clients, investors and shareholders, is superior Risk management and Innovation. By doing so we are creating a platform for the future.

We continuously align our strategy to the dynamic environment where change is the only constant. India and the world is witnessing unprecedented changes in laws, taxation regimes, regulations, we strive to always stay ahead of the curve in understanding, interpreting and applying them across all our segments

What is the long term growth plan?

ITCL is well positioned in Asia. With India and China being the largest markets in the continent, a significant market share in India makes ITCL a great fit for rapid expansion. The company checks into all the boxes whether it is high profit growth, high operating margins, increasing assets under administration, long term annuity based business model, superior risk management practice or diversity at the workplace. We are growing organically at a very fast pace and intend to expand our footprint, for which we are looking for targets in India and overseas. We are also seeing wide spread investor interest in the long term growth of ITCL

Under our Monitoring practice, ITCL has established credibility and offers a unique value proposition to its clients consisting of Corporates and Government organisations. This business has shaped well over the past one year and is already contributing 5% to our overall revenues

Being a niche business, how does the pie increase?

As a trustee we can play a huge role in monitoring transactions in the economy, for the government or for the investors, for lenders, for corporate managers and even families. Every investor wants certain level of due diligence and monitoring for his investments, it is a great opportunity for ITCL to take it to next level by expanding the scope to carry out the activity as an extention of existing serviceFor example, the Monitoring and back office services business has already been well-received by Fund Managers and Corporates. We believe that over 2 years, this business will start contributing 20% to our overall pie.

As an emerging name in the international market, what global appeal does ITCL nurture?

From an international market perspective, ITCL has emerged as the first choice for any foreign investor coming to India in need of fiduciary services. As far as servicing foreign clients in their local jurisdictions, we are planning to expand our footprint. Our services will be primarily aimed at Indian clients or Indian corporates. This way, Indian corporates doing business overseas can do it seamlessly through us, without having to appoint separate parties in various jurisdictions.

Considering that India is now among the fastest growing GDP destinations, synergies with India in the international markets will be beneficial for our growth plans.

What about expansion within India?

Our market share is significant and we plan to continue to expand that. We are currently present in the four metros as well as in Chennai and Ahmedabad. As and when tier 1 or tier 2 cities develop enough potential to start accessing capital markets, we will set up in those locations to be in proximity with our clients.

What makes it the “company of choice” for clients?

This is because of our composite service delivery and the value adds that we give to our clients. We always say to our clients, all they need is two things- a business strategy and investors, the balance can be handled by ITCL. This would include corporate services right from setting up a company in India, assistance in regulatory approvals, assistance in legal and tax structuring, choosing the right location, giving back office service support and coordinating with all the service providers in the industry on behalf of the client.

Simply put, as ITCL we want to play a role in every significant transaction in the economy

What keeps ITCL ahead of its competitors?

What keeps us ahead of the game is Innovation, presenting out of the box structures to clients and superior risk management

Trusteeship is not just about when the going is good. ITCL has supported clients through every economic turn and market movement since its founding twenty years ago. We are poised to deliver consistently for the long term success of our clients. Our clients rely on our capability to handhold them throughout the life of the transaction, through all phases of a dynamic economic and regulatory landscape

What are the business goals for the next two years?

• Continue growing at above 40% YOY
• Business drivers in terms of the number of transactions and our linkage to the growing economy, grow faster than the growth of the markets
• Increase our market share in certain segments with increased focus on high margin products
• Be present in international markets with synergies to India
We want to continue to be the marquee player in the Indian market and emerge as a serious player in Asia. If we succeed in doing this, we will be the first Indian Trust company to set up overseas.

It’s a people centric business with a highly qualified and niche workforce, what is the employee value proposition to attract the best talent?

Being a people centric business, our only assets are Human Assets. Our employees look for daily challenges, new structure, new propositions, new problem statements, something that challenges their expertise.

Being at the centre of the industry, whether it is the area of Legal, Finance, Tax or Compliance, our people need to stay ahead of the curve. The complex queries that come to us and the real time decisions that are taken, act as great value propositionthat allows our people to consistently add value to clients as well as themselves. The learning curve in ITCL is very steep

A combination of in-house training and development, knowledge management and customised external interventions for our people contributes to talent development in the organisation.

During interview rounds, we get to hear from candidates that we are viewed as the gold standard in the trusteeship space and that is a matter of great satisfaction to me.

As shared with IFIN Panorama Editorial Team

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