tcs: TCS bets on blockchain-based solutions in financial services

India’s largest IT services provider by revenue, Tata Consultancy Services (), is eyeing a significant opportunity from developing and implementing blockchain-based solutions in financial services and other sectors globally, a senior executive said.

TCS has won six large deals in the last five months for projects that are built atop blockchain technology,
including one for building a bank guarantee programme for a leading Israeli bank.

“It’s not just early adopters anymore,” said R Vivekanand, co-head of TCS Financial Solutions. “In about 2019, it was a complete hype cycle. People had some unrealistic expectations and others were doing blockchain for the sake of blockchain, but we’re now past all that.”

Vivekanand added that blockchain has become a foundational technology now, with TCS winning large-sized deals that would be commercially deployed as early as in the first half of 2022.

These projects built upon blockchain are no longer pilots, with a leading global bank already having gone live with an interbank solution built using the technology, a project that Vivekanand said TCS had executed.

“These solutions need not have been built on blockchain, but it lends itself so well, it fits right in,” he added.

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Vivekanand also heads TCS Quartz, which has been positioned as a startup within the company to offer blockchain-based solutions to customers.

The company said hiring talent to build blockchain-based solutions for customers was still a big challenge.

It has tried to solve this by creating an application called DevKit, which works on multiple blockchain technologies and only requires a Java programmer to write code to create solutions.

TCS, however, still needs to find top talent to design blockchain solutions, Vivekanand added.

He said it is unviable to just port solutions built on databases to blockchain, as it requires deeper thought to design solutions for blockchain and take advantage of the distributed nature of the system.

Apart from blockchain solutions, TCS is also seeing huge demand for products built for exchanges and trading platforms.

The company said it has had to roll forward deployment of projects due to the unprecedented trading volumes in the capital markets due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

On Thursday, TCS said it had won yet another large deal in this space, from India’s largest commodity trading platform Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX), to build a new technology platform, both for trading as well as post-trade functions.

Vivekanand said this is among the largest and most complex projects that TCS is currently undertaking in India.

“MCX calls this project Udaan, and it’s their most significant initiative in their new form. We are replacing end-to-end all their systems – trading, clearing, market players, trading workstations, front ends — for their entire commodities markets,” he said. “We are looking at the second half of next year to go live. It’s quite aggressive for a program of this complexity, but we are well on the way as we have a proven solution.”