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50 Best Workplaces of The Year 2018

An Interview with Faisal Husain, Synechron CEO: ‘We Combine Innovative Ideas with Deep Business Knowledge and Global Technology Teams to Deliver Business Solutions’


“Our digital work, paired with our Power-of-3 expertise to bring everything together, offers new and unique perspectives to our clients.”

The financial service industry is experiencing a period of tremendous change. Economic factors, specifically those that drove interest rates to record levels during the last decade, have caused the users of financial services to seek new services. In turn, innovative providers of services have responded to consumers’ new financial needs and sophistication.

Synechron provides information technology consulting and outsourcing solutions for the financial services industry. The company offers digital, business consulting, and technology solutions. It serves capital market, insurance, banking, digital media and technology, hospitality, and telecom industries.

Synechron was incorporated in 2001 and is headquartered in New York. It has additional offices in the United States, Germany, Canada, Italy, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, France, India, the Netherlands, Singapore, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Luxembourg, Japan, Serbia, Australia, the Philippines, and Hungary.

Faisal Husain, Synechron Co-founder/CEO, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.

Q. Why was the company set up? How did you select the vertical and decide to be a part of the global platform?

The idea of founding Synechron came when we saw a gap in the technology services industry that didn’t have adequate business skills. Clients were actually embracing the outsourcing model, but these firms really lacked sophisticated technology capabilities. They lacked business knowledge; they lacked an agile and iterative approach to projects. Those were the gaps we saw. I left my job at Merrill and tried to start this venture that involved very high-end technology capability combined with very deep domain knowledge, and what today we all recognize and call an agile approach. Eighteen years ago, there was no term for it. We decided on that vision and that’s what we followed – that’s what got us to where we are.

We were clear right from the outset about being specialists in the Financial Services sphere.

Q. How successful was your first project roll on? Share the experience.

The first project for Synechron was to build a Small Business Portal for a well-known financial services firm. We had to hit it out of the park as the sponsor had taken great risk to award the project to a “startup” like us and a lot of future work depended on how successful we were going to be.

Luckily this type of project was an area of strength for us and we invested time and effort even before we were awarded the project so that we could be ahead of the timelines if/when we won the contract. This paid off for us as we were able to complete the project ahead of schedule and within budget which allowed us to build a much larger business with the client.

Q. What were the grounds on which you have expanded your company and its offerings over the years?

Synechron has been a self-funded venture since the beginning and continues to be so today. Because of this, from the start, our growth has gone right back into the company. Maintaining an entrepreneurial spirit, and leading with passion and enthusiasm for innovation has brought us through the years. Unlike our competitors, Synechron embraces an innovation approach, rather than a factory approach. Because of this approach, we have invested heavily in R&D and the latest technologies by opening our Financial Innovation Labs (FinLabs) globally in the past two years to help stay on the cutting-edge of the latest technologies. Our Accelerator programs have been built in the Finlabs, including programs for Blockchain, InsurTech, AI, and RegTech.

Q. What do you feel are the reasons behind your consistence growth as an organization?

First and foremost, even as a company with over 8000 employees and over $500M in revenue, we still embrace an entrepreneurial spirit with a startup-like agility and drive for innovation, and this, along with putting clients and addressing their business needs above all (employees second, and shareholders third), has helped drive success. Today, we have 11 global financial innovation labs (FinLabs) and counting, including major markets like NYC, Charlotte, Florida, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Serbia, Dubai, Pune, Bangalore, and Hyderabad. Our R&D and innovation work is one of our key differentiators with our competitors.

Q. How well do your employees know their role in contributing to the team’s and company’s success?

We believe in leading by example, and a clear vision and strategy is set and shared to align everyone with the same spirit to keep moving forward. As part of our Employee 2020 program, Synechronites are proud to embody characteristics like being responsible to ourselves, our clients, and our communities. Furthermore, another defining characteristic is a limitless drive for excellence, and so Synechronites strive to go above and beyond to contribute to our greater success.

Q. How does your company contribute to the global IT platform at large?

We see our digital innovation work as a key differentiator. Our R&D in our FinLabs globally, and our work with emerging technologies, particularly our success with blockchain with some recent industry projects including the largest KYC consortium project last year with R3 and over 30 banks for DLT-powered KYC initiative, as well as a test of a DLT-based debt issuance with the National Bank of Canada and JPMorgan, which have been pivotal for the technology moving into production in FS in 2018. Our digital work, paired with our Power-of-3 expertise to bring everything together, offers new and unique perspectives to our clients.

Q. Do you have any new products ready to be rolled out into the market?

A large chunk of our growth comes from our Accelerator programs, which are pilots built in our FinLabs based on concepts like blockchain, AI, Regtech, and InsurTech. We recently updated one of our award-winning InsurTech accelerators based on Visual Risk. We are always working on the next big innovation in our labs. To be precise, we’re working on data science and wealth-related programs, currently.

Q. Where do you see your company a couple of years from now?

Synechron has set a goal to be a $1B company by 2020. Today, we are a $500M company with 30 percent YOY growth. Our capabilities across our core service areas and our P3 approach have shaped us into a leading IT services firm.

Faisal Husain: A Brief Background

Faisal Husain is the Co-founder of Synechron and serves as its Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Husain is responsible for providing the vision and leadership that has facilitated the successful establishment of Synechron as a Global major in the IT Solutions and Services sector. He has over 20 years of experience in both the product development and the IT services industries. Prior to founding Synechron, he was responsible for spearheading the technical development of enterprise level e-commerce applications for financial majors like Merrill Lynch and Dun & Bradstreet.

Mr. Husain holds a Bachelor of Technology degree in Aeronautical Engineering and a Masters of Science in Computer Science.

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