BK Modi-controlled Spice Global, a $2 billion diversified conglomerate with interests in mobility solutions and entertainment, plans to apply to the Reserve Bank of India for a banking licence. This will mark a bigger play for Singapore-headquartered Spice Global in the financial services domain.
Spice Global provides mobile banking and digital banking services through its banking applications and also offers value-added services to public and private banks & institutions through its group companies.
Commenting on the initiative, Spice Global chairman BK Modi said, “Spice Global has proven itself as an innovator in the digital service delivery models, especially in the finance domain, in addition to having a countrywide distribution channel to cater to customers. Hence the decision to enter the banking sector is a natural progression and is in tune with our philosophy of smart investing.”
The group has been offering financial services through Wall Street Finance Ltd, which has more than 6,000 sub-agents across the country, including Vijaya Bank, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, among others.
Headquartered in Singapore, the company’s business includes Si2i Mobility (holding company of Si2i Ltd and S-Mobility Ltd), Spice Studios, Wall Street Finance Ltd and Paper Plus.
The privately held group sold Spice Communications to Idea Cellular a few years ago that freed up a lot of cash to be invested in other businesses. The group has recently ventured into the healthcare space and is in the process of setting up its first multi-super speciality hospital, christened Saket City Hospital, in Delhi.
While releasing the final guidelines for new bank licences earlier this year, the RBI said that eligible promoters can apply for setting up of new banks on or before July 1, 2013. In order to ensure transparency, the names of the applicants will be placed on the RBI website after the last date of receipt of applications.
(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)