Birla eyes financial sector in Middle East - Emirates24|7

Birla eyes financial sector in Middle East


Indian conglomerate Aditya Birla Group is eyeing the Middle East to further expand its wealth management business outside of India, according to a top executive at the group.

The multinational company is looking at the region for further investment opportunities in various products and services under wealth management, its CEO of financial services Ajay Srinivasan said.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Middle East-Asia Leadership Forum being held in Dubai, Srinivasan said: “Given the large NRI (non-resident Indian) population and the general wealth in the Middle East, this is clearly something that we would be looking to do. Our first focus through a build-up is in the financial services and wealth management, before we start looking at getting outside of that,” he told Emirates Business.

Srinivasan said Dubai is on the map for the firm’s plans but added it is still in the early stages.

He did not reveal whether the company is already in talks with any specific companies in the Gulf or how much it would invest.

“We’re exploring the opportunity. Clearly there is a lot of wealth in this market.  It’s a really open market in that sense where India tends to be a fairly closed market. I see a huge opportunity for wealth management here,” he said.

Aditya Birla Group already operates in the Middle East through its joint ventures in Egypt and more than 50 per cent of its revenues come from outside of India. The company has overseas operations in 20 countries, including Indonesia, China, the United States and in Europe.

The $24-billion corporation has a market cap of $31.5bn and is in the league of Fortune 500, according to its website. It is a major player in all the industry sectors it operates in, which includes metal production, asset management and life insurance, telecoms and retail.