Interviewed By Foo Boon Ping
With an extensive background in the trade finance and transaction banking industry with institutions such as Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. and Citi, CEO Vikram Lodha shares the founding journey of 360tf and its vision for the future
360tf was born out of a mission to address the challenges within the trade finance industry. Lodha, alongside his co-founders C.A. Pankaj Mundra, Capt Sunil Saraf and Nisarg Dugad, founded the company in 2020, going live in August 2021. The goal? To enhance liquidity for exporters and importers globally, creating a seamless bridge between corporations and banks.
The platform operates in a digital, real-time space, facilitating two-way communication 24/7. With a track record of over $8 billion in transactions in just two years, 360tf has established itself as a significant player in the trade finance ecosystem. The platform has over 1,300 connected business entities from multiple geographies, empowering them with access to trade finance services in about 80 countries from more than 200 issuing financial institutions.
360tf is headquartered in Singapore, with subsidiary offices in India and Dubai, and sales offices in Bangladesh and Qatar. The company is also expanding its presence into the United Kingdom and United States. While the company is Singapore-based, its global network of customers spans 35 countries, making it an international player in the trade finance arena. Lodha emphasised the importance of its network, stating that 360tf’s global footprint signifies a profound reach into diverse markets.
One notable aspect of 360tf’s journey is its resilience in the face of global disruptions such as the Ukraine-Russia conflict and the COVID-19 pandemic. Contrary to expectations, these turbulent times saw an increase in trade inquiries. Lodha noted: “Each time globally, when we are faced with a problem, I have seen the trade volumes going up.”
These challenges prompted an influx of queries from various regions, demonstrating the platform’s ability to adapt to changing market conditions. In line with the International Chamber of Commerce’s recent report indicating a continuous increase in global trade volumes despite disruptions, 360tf is focused on international trade.
To support its rapid growth, 360tf has undergone two rounds of fundraising. Currently, the company is gearing up for another round of funding to capitalise on its lending business that it is developing in Gift City, India. The funding rounds have attracted a mix of professionals, corporate clients, banking partners and technology experts, validating the platform’s business model.
Looking ahead, Lodha envisions the platform expanding its lending business significantly, with a goal of reaching a lending book of $100 million. Additionally, the company is actively exploring a self-onboarding model that enables customers to access services seamlessly, further enhancing convenience and experience. It aims to onboard about 10,000 corporates in the next five years.
Furthermore, 360tf is focused on incorporating sustainability and environmental, social, and governance principles into its operations. It believes that education and collaboration will play a pivotal role in promoting sustainable financing within its network of clients and partners.
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