QuantArt: Creating Value through Markets

CIO Vendor Samir Lodha, an MBA graduate from IIM Calcutta has over 14 years experience in senior positions with Foreign exchange treasuries of JP Morgan (Executive Director), HSBC (Associate Director) and ICICI Bank. He has a sound understanding of global markets, market economics, hedging strategies, hedge algorithms, price calculation and risk-return optimization. During the course of his work, he dealt with large and mid-sized corporates on Forex, Interest Rate and Commodities Risk Management.

The gap between the corporate treasuries and the banks in terms of performance, knowledge, and understanding was so huge that he felt that significant value can be added to the corporates by introducing best practices and bringing knowledge. Seizing this opportunity he set up QuantArt, a niche treasury consulting firm specialized in value-added forex & interest rate risk management services, commodity hedging, and capital market advisory offerings to corporates and institutions.

Witnessing a slow but steady growth over the last five years, QuantArt’s team of focused and experienced professionals has helped corporates in achieving forex/interest cost savings while avoiding forex risk/loss. The company has also advised corporates to raise debt through bank finance and capital markets from local as well as international sources.

The company’s offering on forex advisory spans the entire value spectrum, from risk management policy/strategy to hedge deal execution. “Time and again Indian companies face forex loss and show helplessness. But in reality, the forex loss is the result of improper management. If the risk is managed well then companies can save significant cost. For example, as of now, exporters are feeling helpless with the strength of INR. We are trying to help them by achieving 68. By managing risk well, companies can reduce effective hedge cost by 3.0 percent p.a. on imports and ECB, says Samir.

Known for providing cost savings & risk reduction to companies and institutions by implementing appropriate strategies, QuantArt offers advisory on export budget rate improvement, improving import hedge cost reduction, hedge cost reduction on USD loans. Besides, they offer valuation services, hedge policy, strategy, risk management and all other aspects related to hedging. The company’s approach is to optimize performance through accurate risk identification, measurement, extensive and focused research on markets, disciplined hedging within an overarching framework customized to risk philosophy of client organizations.
On capital market advisory, apart from advising corporates on their debt management on a retainer basis, QuantArt specializes in raising financing for its clients from local as well as international banks and capital markets across senior and subordinated debt.

“QuantArt has clients spread across India and has helped them achieve significant cost reduction, cash flow improvement, and risk reduction”

QuantArt has clients spread across India and has helped them achieve significant cost reduction, cash flow improvement, and risk reduction. “Once we were adding up all the value addition which we have done to our clients, we could see the number was well over 200 Cr. Foreign exchange is an area where Rs. 1 movement on USD 10 Mn exposure is INR 1 Cr in value terms. The pricings are opaque and right decision at the right time saves huge cost. He further adds, “One of our large clients has significant USD loans. While the standard hedge cost has been 5.00 percent p.a., we appropriately designed their policy to help them achieve a hedge cost of 1.50 percent p.a., now on a 1000 Cr portfolio that is a saving of 35 Cr per annum. Almost all of our clients are sticking with us over the years and that is a testimony of continued value addition,” he explains.

Samir says, “Our sole focus is to do good quality work and build the brand through our growing reputation, even if that means growth is a little slow. Slow growth is something which has been pinching us but we choose to not raise any private equity at this point. The best part is that two of my friends Vinod Garg & Srinivas Puni, who excel in this expertise, have joined the platform. Their joining has helped us to become more confident and given traction to the good quality of work we have been doing.”

Vinod, an MBA graduate from IIM Lucknow has 17 years experience in treasuries in India & Hong Kong, has advised large companies and banks on risk management, markets, and hedging. Prior to joining QuantArt, he held the positions of Executive Director in Goldman Sachs and BNP Paribas. Also, Srinivas, an MBA from IIM Bangalore has 13 years of experience in structuring forex and interest rates derivatives. Has worked with banks like JP Morgan, Standard Chartered, Yes Bank and Axis Bank in the past.

With a 12-member team, QuantArt has trained the leading banks and corporate treasuries. They have an illustrious client list spread across 10 cities in India. The company has trained over 300 executives from banks and large companies in the area of Forex and rates risk management. Going forward, QuantArt has plans to grow exponentially on the strong base they have created so far. However, they are clear that no growth should come at the cost of quality.