By Guy Mathew
Al Faisaliah Group of Saudi Arabia and ICICI Infotech of India have announced the formation of a joint venture to tackle the Middle East’s IT solutions market.
Al Faisaliah Group of Saudi Arabia and ICICI Infotech of India have announced the formation of a joint venture to offer IT and business solutions to the Middle East’s financial services market. Al Faisaliah is one of the biggest conglomerates in Saudi Arabia with businesses focused on several different sectors, while ICICI Infotech is the IT subsidiary of ICICI, India’s second largest bank.The new company is planned to start business by November. A statement from the two companies explained that the aim was to seize a piece of a market that still offers plenty of opportunities.“The Al Faisaliah Group’s pre-eminent position in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, its extensive track record in the IT arena, diversified business and the Group’s knowledge of the local IT market, coupled with ICICI Infotech’s domain expertise, will ensure strong positioning of the JV in the Middle East market,” asserted V Srinivasan, managing director and CEO of ICICI Infotech.“Spending on IT products and services in the Middle East is growing twice as fast as the world average and is forecast to grow from last year’s $17.8 billion to $35 billion this year," he said. "Reaching even a small fraction of this figure would offer considerable leverage to the JV.”Selman Al Fares, managing director of the IT and Communications sector of Al Faisaliah Group, said that the joint venture should appeal to a wide range of companies in the region. He pointed out that the company would also offer end-to-end business solutions and e-commerce solutions to sectors other than the financial. “The JV provides both companies with strong foundations to jointly leverage opportunities in the region, beginning with Saudi Arabia,” he added.The joint venture does not have a name as yet, but a Dubai-based spokeswoman for ICICI Infotech said the two companies were currently ‘dotting the is and crossing the ts’ and that the process will be complete in a couple of months.