Lokesh Gupta is the Co-founder of RM Applications Sdn. Bhd. (RMA), a MSC status boutique software company based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He is passionate about Remittance, Payments and Data Management. Being part of boutique software organization, Lokesh is honored to wear many hats based on the situation and his role, demands involvement in wide scale with greater responsibilities. He takes end to end ownership by getting involved in all aspects of the organization and sees the ideas transform from the conceptualization stage, to become a full-blown product and keep it evolving to match Industry needs and to be part of RMA’s expansion.
Significant Professional Journey
Lokesh has accumulated an experience of more than 18 years in the sector of Financial Technology in Conventional and Islamic Banking Domain as a Techno Functional. He has achieved specialization in Data Management, Remittance, Payments and Solutioning for bespoke solutions. Lokesh started his journey by being part of VISA certification team for Citibank by implementing Card Management System. Since then, he has been implementing projects for various regional banks in South East Asia ranging from Banking Merging System Integration, Bulk Payments, Core Banking, Cash Management, Payment Gateway, Stock Trading, Core Remittance, Digital Remittance, Data Marts development for Regulatory, Basel Compliance and Operational Reporting etc.
At RMA, Lokesh established a collaborative environment together with his employees, where he practices flat organization structure, also known as RMATEs, and develop his team, creating customer-centric innovative solutions.
Lokesh supervise the solutions which are developed inside RMA including OmniRemit (Core Remittance Suite with Anti Money Laundering i.e. AMLA Compliance and Treasury Functions), Vehicle Inspection Management System (VIMS), Digital Remittance (Online & Mobile Touchpoints), OmniPay (Digital Payments), and now the company is working on prototype for integrating with blockchain. Similarly, another solution is OmniData, a bespoke DataMart development platform to provide centralized meaningful data for Asset Liability Management (ALM), Basel 3 (Liquidity Reporting), Fund Transfer Pricing (FTP) Reporting etc. OmniData is now in the process of evolving from pure data transformation to reporting platform and making inroads to adapting to Big Data technology.
Lokesh has also co-authored books and published articles in Islamic Banking and Finance. In addition, he is also an active speaker. His recent publication, ‘Islamic Finance: A Practical Perspective’, is published by Palgrave.
About the Company
RMA started its journey as a delivery-oriented system integration company and later went on to be a provider of end-to-end bespoke business driven technology solutions for Conventional and Islamic Financial Institutions. The company successfully delivers leading edge technology solutions in areas such as Digital Remittance & Payments, ALM & Liquidity Reporting Data Mart, Data Management (ETL) Consulting & Development, Bespoke Data Mart, Localization and integration of Partners’ Solutions.
Ideology that Motivates
Lokesh is a firm believer of being a ‘Doer’, as he always remains ready to jump in, explore options, work hard and like to get involved in finding solutions. He has been a driver for bespoke solution. According to him, the workable strategy for it is to analyze “As Is”, which could gain insight into the manual or partly automated process and then sketch out “To Be”, how one think it ought to work.
The demand of industry is for ‘Doers’ rather than ‘Thinkers’. It is important to distinguish from the masses by adapting to fast and dynamic workflows, industry practices and technology, which is evolving at a faster pace. For him, being passionate is the key, as one should love what they do. He recommends to believe in self, to stay confident, to be a strong leader, always see problem as an opportunity to learn and always be ready to do something new or differently. He established a thumb rule of his own that teaches to ‘Unlearn’ what an individual has learned in the past and ‘Relearn’ what client wants and design the solution accordingly.
He acknowledges that Business is all about ‘relationships’ and ‘trust’ which got to be earned and we can’t just demand it. His core strategy is to collaborate with client and have their continuous feedback to design and deliver solution that meets there expectation and industry demand. Beyond tailored solution delivery, he take customer support very seriously, which is very important to address the pain points, which may arises due to operation and business as usual activities.
Obstacles to Tackle with
Lokesh along with other Cofounders has started RMA with a clean slate and tried to establish something different. Thus, he faced hurdles in making trust among his clients, maintain the growth ratio, meeting the customer’s expectation, keep them happy, and keep the company being agile as a team.
The primary challenge faced by RMA in beginning was the lack of trust from its customers. Being a small company, clients were not confident due to limited client base and track record, and prefer to work with large companies to minimize the risk. RMA overcome it by working with other financial solution providers as subcontractor to establish its capabilities and building track record.
Marketing and brand building has never been RMA’s strength as the company is delivery driven organization. It was not an easy journey, but the sincerity, passion and its commitment become a driver for its clients to gain an opportunity.
RMA is business funded, and hence, initially there were possible gaps in cash flow due to lag in invoicing and payment. Lokesh learn a lot from this experience to monitor cash flows closely and to have cash flow management practices in place to address these gaps.
Foresight towards the Future
Lokesh aims to make RMA a company, which provides advanced, innovative and value-added bespoke solution in the remittance/payments and data management landscape leveraging on Big Data technology. He wants to be the company a well-known provider of digital technology driven solutions to move away from cash based payments to digital payments using advance hybrid technology with QR Based, Blockchain and using Digital Assets as a method of processing remittance and payments. His ambition is to be expansive in terms of the broader product offerings and broader regional expansion.
According to Lokesh, his journey with RMA has taught him that, staring a venture requires firm dedication, commitment, hard work, sacrifices and open to accept criticism. There comes time when the success and growth seems unexpected and also the situations of tight cash flows, which worsen the situation further. Thus, he advices budding entrepreneurs to consider problems came across as an opportunity and one should work on it instead of giving up. However, he advice to embrace the failures, believe in self and the team, and have faith that one can pull through the rough tides with which every problem can become an adventure.