Avanse was a part of DHFL Group, and its 80% stake was acquired by US private equity major Warburg Pincus in early 2019. It wanted to separate its IT, network and security infrastructure from DHFL without any business disruption and establish a new-age IT environment that could be easily scaled up according to the needs of its growing business.
IBM helped Avanse embrace cloud by building a secure and resilient hybrid cloud infrastructure. As part of the solution, IBM moved production workloads from the traditional data centers to IBM Cloud and delivered a robust, secure and resilient framework with security infrastructure and managed services.
Less than 10 minsfor loan disbursal, which previously used to take 30 days
99.5% uptimefor the enterprise platform along with 24x7 support
Transformed IT operationsto scale for growth, control costs and focus valuable resources on a new product development
Business challenge story
Building a new-age IT environment
Education loan has been one of the toughest loan categories in India. There was a time when banks used to compete to grow their student loan portfolio and would often run campaigns for it. In the last few years, things have changed with slow economy putting a dent to the growth of this segment, which is often marred by default rate that is highest in the retail segment.
Established in 2013, Avanse is a new-age, education-focused, non-banking financial company (NBFC). It provides education financing solutions for higher education, e-learning, school fee and skill development courses, as well as offers loans for working and growth capital needs of educational institutions. It’s on a journey to make education lending accessible and affordable for every deserving Indian student. With their customized solutions, Avanse intends to continue with their efforts to disrupt the market by sticking to the fundamental strategy of being highly customer-centric and digitally agile.
Initially, it was a part of DHFL Group. However, its 80% stake was acquired by US private equity major Warburg Pincus in early 2019, and the rest 20% stake was held by International Finance Corporation. To create a customer-centric digitally agile NBFC, Avanse wanted to separate its IT, network and security infrastructure from DHFL without any business disruption and establish a new-age IT environment. It was looking for a partner that could lead this transformation, allowing Avanse to focus on profitable growth, delivering superior returns to all stakeholders. Vinod Tharanee, Client Partner Executive, IBM explains “Avanse Financial Services was embarking on a journey to strengthen its leadership position in education lending and was exploring moving its IT Infrastructure to the Cloud so that it could scale up easily with business requirements. At the same time, it wanted to protect its earlier investments in IT Infrastructure and have a comprehensive IT Security Solution that would meet compliance and enterprise security requirements.”
With their own IT team being lean, Avanse wanted the on-going IT & security operations to be managed by the strategic IT Partner.
Using a hybrid cloud model
Avanse is focused to become more relevant in the education ecosystem by widening its distribution, partnership and product portfolio. In the medium to long term, it expects to grow by 15% - 20% yearly.
With this growth trajectory, Avanse was planning to move to the cloud as that would enable it to have an infrastructure that could be scaled up easily with business requirements. Additionally, with the evolving threat landscape in the financial services industry, it wanted a smarter and more responsive security solution.
Avanse evaluated multiple players and eventually chose IBM for its proven credentials and the compelling integrated value of IBM Cloud®, IBM Security™ and IBM Services®. IBM’s superior understanding of Avanse's IT & business requirements and the comfort that Avanse had about IBM being the best-placed partner to ensure a smooth, trouble-free transition from DHFL's shared infrastructure, were two key factors that helped IBM overcome strong competition.
Jatin Meswani, Client Unit Leader (West), IBM comments “IBM is delighted that Avanse chose IBM as its Strategic Services Integration (SSI) Partner to help design, supply, deploy and manage its hybrid cloud environment along with DR and Security Services.”
As part of the solution, IBM performed the following activities:
- Moved production workloads from the traditional data center to IBM Cloud
- Delivered a robust, secure and resilient framework with security infrastructure and managed services
- Implemented a disaster recovery (DR) solution with IBM Resiliency Orchestration and Automation
- Provided managed services with Multicloud Managed Services
“IBM helped Avanse meet its IT transformation objectives by providing a built-for-purpose Hybrid Cloud Solution along with Managed Services for IT & Security. Working closely with Avanse, IBM migrated the production set-up to IBM Cloud without any business disruption. IBM has also provided its Cloud Resiliency Orchestration (CRO) Solution for DR automation” explains Vinod Tharanee.
The production workload was moved to IBM Cloud in Chennai. The existing investment was protected by moving the data center (DC) hardware to the disaster recovery (DR) site to augment the DR infrastructure, which included the UAT environment.
IBM Cloud Resiliency Orchestration was implemented that provides monitoring, reporting, testing and workflow automation capabilities of complex hybrid environments in a scalable, easier-to-use solution built on industry standards. The service combines automation and analytics for faster and more cost-effective disaster recovery (DR). This helps keep daily business operations running and proactively avoid disruptions that lead to lost revenue, brand damage and dissatisfied customers.
Ongoing Managed Services for the entire DC/ DR infrastructure include Hardware & Software maintenance services with committed solution service levels of 99.5% and robust IBM Program Governance. The Managed Services solution is built on the back of the some of the key growth initiatives like Integrated Managed Infrastructure (IMI) and Security Service’s Security Operations Center (SOC).
Driving business growth
IBM hybrid cloud model has delivered great benefits to the client on both scalability and security. It provides Avanse with a highly resilient and an always available environment with 24x7 support and 99.5% uptime for the enterprise platform. “This Solution, along with IBM’s Security Operations Centre (SOC) Services, has helped Avanse achieve a robust resiliency and security posture. IBM is delighted to have Avanse as an esteemed Customer and partner Avanse on its journey to business leadership.” comments Vinod Tharanee. Also, as Avanse expands its education financing program and strengthens its lending space, its business growth and speed are augmented with the scalable cloud solution.
Amit Gainda, CEO, Avanse Financial Services, recollects, “ Three years ago I used to take 30 days to approve one educational loan but today in my digital investments that I have made that for my digital business, I have already gone live on platform where I am able do a customer loan from my bureau, send it across the country in less than 10 minutes from prospect to disbursement. It could have never happened if I would have invested in my core lending platform and my IT infra”
IBM security solution has not only helped meet compliance requirements but also helped secure the enterprise from potential threats. Amit Gainda summarizes, "We have made all the necessary investments in global security. Whether its prevention in data leakages and business loses or necessary audits around that, we have created processors and institutionalized them, and we also make tools to ensure that they run well."
Avanse is now looking to further strengthen its position in the education financing industry with focus on responsible lending and sustained profitability. It continues to become more relevant in the education ecosystem by widening its distribution, partnerships, and product portfolio and is poised to grow in double digits in the medium to long term. Jatin Meswani concludes “Our partnership has resulted in a highly scalable, secure and future proof solution ready to support Avanse rapid business growth.”
Avanse Financial Services Ltd
Avanse Financial Services Limited is a new-age, education-focused NBFC on a mission to provide seamless and affordable education financing to every deserving Indian student. Established in 2013, Avanse is on a journey to strengthen its leadership position in education lending by creating solutions for individuals (education loans) and Indian institutions (educational institution financing). It caters to every segment in the education sector and contributes to building the education infrastructure in the country. Warburg Pincus, a leading global private equity firm holds an 80% stake in Avanse.