Case Studies

Breaking new ground

Sajith Kumar, director and CEO of JRG International.

JRG International Brokerage DMCC ( JRG International) is a Dubai Gold & Commodities Exchange (DGCX) registered international commodity derivatives brokerage house based in Dubai that provides, through its vast global network of
financial professionals, a unique suite of alternative investment products and specialised support and services to its
global clientele.

JRG International set up its international base in Dubai in 2005 and, shortly thereafter, became the first member of the Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX) to provide full-f ledged international commodity futures trading  facilities to the investing public worldwide.

For an established, and fastgrowing brokerage organisation like JRG, information technology is a powerful weapon.  JRG’s team understands this and has already used technology to effectively innovate and provide new services for its customers. “One of the major achievements for us was introducing the Client Segregated Account System, which was
launched in 2009 along with Emirates NBD and DGCX. With this system, customers can transfer funds to their account, instead of the broker’s account. With this initiative, they can track better how their money is being used and can feel more comfortable with future investments. The increased transparency gives our customers the security they require with financial transactions,” says Sajith Kumar, director and CEO of JRG International.

JRG also found that with the financial downturn and market volatility customers were finding it hard to move investments out of the country.

“Investors can move funds using a SWIFT transfer, but that can take upto 24 hours. To address this, we launched a service along with the UAE Exchange, where customers are provided with an investor card. They can use this card to easily remit funds for near-instant transfer anywhere in the world through an UAE Exchange branch,” states Kumar.
On the home front, JRG was handling their IT needs inhouse.

“We were handling our needs via servers in our own data centre. However, we found that our service levels had to be really high to meet the requirements of trading customers. They cannot afford to have a break in their activity. Such an incident would affect confidence – something that is difficult to win back,” says Kumar.

After due consideration, JRG decided to outsource its IT needs, especially since this would mean a drastic reduction in the manpower necessary to run internal requirements. Considering market players, JRG decided to go with e-Hosting DataFort (EHDF).

“EHDF was mainly choosen because of the connectivity options they provided, their location opposite DGCX, and relevant proximity to resources whereby any issues can be resolved quickly. We were also provided with high uptime availability and the deal would also help us reduce operational costs,” says Kumar.

He adds, “In 2005, our infrastructure started off with just one server. But now four servers are hosted at EHDF. They handle all the hardware, closely monitor the servers and prevent any failures from taking place. They also manage the
operating system. Certain applications and relevant upgrades are also handled by EHDF. All this is essential since our
investors have to be constantly informed and connected during trading.”

As per the co-location management agreement that JRG currently holds with EHDF, the service provider also hosts the main trading platform on behalf of JRG. Tape storage is used to back-up critical data, and duplicate tapes are housed in  JRG headquarters.

Touching new heights EHDF has been a business-effective investment for JRG. Kumar believes though that redundancy in connectivity, especially on the lines going into the facility, is necessary in order to remove any doubts about connection failures.

However, he remains confident that the service provider will put in extra efforts to provide them with the desired connectivity and disaster recovery options as JRG’s requirements grow.
JRG is investing continuously in growth-oriented activities. It has a separate office that is focused on software  development, apart from its sales and marketing offices situated in the UAE. It is also looking to spread across the region, with an office coming up in Oman in the near future. All of these need to be backed by investments in the IT space.

“We decide on IT budgets on an annual basis in January every year. This is mostly based on the business projects that we will be undertaking during any particular year. In 2011, we will be looking into building more redundancy into our operations and also providing great connectivity between our trading servers hosted in areas outside the region,” concludes Kumar.

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