Some people are born to be famous. The ex-CEO, MD of Financial Technologies Group (FTIL), Jignesh Shah is one of them. One of the biggest tycoons of India, Jignesh Shah is extremely media friendly and projects an impeccable corporate image. When FTIL applied for a commodity exchange license in the year 2002, they were up against biggies like the Bombay Stock Exchange. They were least likely to get government approval. Not only they got the approval, they went live in a record nine months on November 10, 2003.
Jignesh Shah decided in his childhood only, what he had to do in his life. He was a go-getter even when he was just eight. Mr. Shah decided in class second that he will do engineering, go abroad and set up his own business. Incidentally, he also met his wife at the same age. It was a prodigious time for him. The conventional options of mechanical and electrical engineering gave way to electronic and telecommunications. The route would have been either the United States for MS or to join a branded technology company like TCS. But Jignesh Shah, as is evident, was not the one who wanted to take the road well travelled. Instead, he joined BSE on Project BOLT (Bombay Online Trading System), an ambitious RS 100 crore project to automate the exchange. In 1995, with Shah as the dreamer and Neralla as the architect, they started a financial product company that did not restrict itself to trading systems for equity, but also created products that attacked all high transaction density markets, whether commodity, equity, currency or bond.
From a starting capital of Rs 5 Lakhs, self-funded by Shah mortgaging his home, Financial Technologies grew from five work terminals to a strong workforce and powered every major Internet site during the Internet boom.
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