NEWS-INDIA: IFC investment to establish Internet marketplace in India

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  • Subject: NEWS-INDIA: IFC investment to establish Internet marketplace in India
  • From: Frederick Noronha <fred at bytesforall dot org>
  • Date: Wed, 6 Dec 2000 16:43:49 +0530
  • Organization: Freelance Journalist
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    • IFC investment to establish Internet marketplace in India
      by Aziz Haniffa, India Abroad News Service
      
      Washington, Dec 6 - The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is making an
      investment of $2 million in spryance.com Inc. to establish a remote services
      Internet marketplace based in India.
      
      Spryance is a business-to-business (B2B) enterprise that allows companies in
      industrialized countries to outsource transaction services to companies in
      emerging markets.
      
      IFC's investment is envisaged to help Spryance launch its technology
      platform and build its operational headquarters in Chennai, where software
      development and outsourcing operations for personalized and skilled
      transactions will be based.
      
      IFC, an affiliate of the World Bank, promotes private sector activity in
      developing countries. It finances private sector investments in the
      developing world, mobilizes capital in international financial markets and
      provides technical assistance and advice.
      
      According to IFC, Spryance, an early mover in the remote services industry,
      plans to initially target a particular industry segment and then scale out
      the business more broadly. Its first target is the medical transcription
      market in the United States.
      
      Spryance will begin by offering medical transcription services through a
      Web-based process that allows trained staff in India to transcribe into
      written documents the voice recordings that doctors and other medical staff
      dictate to report on non-acute medical situations.
      
      IFC said the company was developing a technology platform and business model
      that could be scaled up to allow Spryance roll out similar services across
      vertical markets, such as medical billing, insurance claims, software
      design, legal services and call centers.
      
      These services are envisaged to be natural candidates for processing remote
      services through a Web-based model where there are fragmented groups of
      buyers and sellers in service industries that require a high degree of
      personalization.
      
      Mohsen Khalil, the World Bank's director of global information and
      communications technologies department, said the initiative could contribute
      to creating high-skilled jobs in India, directly with Spryance as well as by
      enhancing India's position as a leading provider of high-tech-based
      services.
      
      Spryance chief executive officer Raj Malhotra, who was here to sign the
      contract with IFC, predicted that the company's electronic platform would
      help revolutionize the remote services business, and declared that his
      company's vision was to be the one resource for specialized services
      professionals around the world.
      
      The department that Khalil heads is a new unit set up by the World Bank to
      promote transfer of information technology to the developing world and
      focuses on communication networks and Internet infrastructure projects, as
      these are expected to have a multiplier effect in expanding the use of
      Internet in developing countries.
      
      Spryance was founded in March 1999 as a neutral Web site serving the
      emerging remote services industry. Spryance.com plans to formally launch its
      Web site later this month in Boston.