Indian Multinational Behemoth Mahindra and IBM to Develop Blockchain Solution for Supply Chain Finance

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The Mahindra Group, one of the largest diversified multinational group of companies based in India, and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced the development of a Blockchain solution that has the potential to reinvent supply chain finance across India by enhancing security, transparency and operational processes. 

“The Mahindra Group is pioneering the use of Blockchain to disrupt its traditional businesses and drive future growth. We are actively looking at other applications across the Group in financial services, auto, mobility and agritech,” said Anish Shah, Group President (Strategy), Mahindra Group. “This proof of concept represents a significant step forward in making Blockchain, still a new technology, a more compelling and efficient supply chain solution for Mahindra Finance’s small and mid-sized enterprises loans business. Working with IBM, we will work to build, test, scale and refine this solution over time.”

This cloud-based application, one of the first projects of its kind in India outside of traditional banking, is designed to transform supplier-to-manufacturer trade finance transactions through a permissioned distributed ledger. The Blockchain-based supply chain finance solution will enable all parties involved in the transaction to act on the same shared ledger, with each party updating only their part of the process, ensuring efficiency, consistency, trust and transparency, while safeguarding sensitive information. 

Invoice discounting, the process of bundling and selling invoices at a discount, is a major source of working capital finance for many suppliers. This new solution aims to enable more suppliers to access credit, with the goal of driving more financial inclusion throughout the supply chain. Supplier-to-manufacturer invoice discounting processes have historically been said to be difficult, slow and risky, requiring each party to maintain and manually update separate ledgers. Human errors during this process have been known to create inconsistent records, ultimately resulting in delayed payments and capital that cannot be accessed. 

Blockchain technology can help enable Mahindra Finance access transactions recorded on a shared ledger in near real-time, enabling it to develop and offer new products to small and mid-sized enterprises. This is a radical process and technology shift which has the potential to drive business growth into the future. 

“Blockchain is poised to revolutionize business like the Internet did, and IBM is at the forefront of the revolution. We offer a comprehensive enterprise-class Blockchain solution that is secure, scalable and reliable. The work with Mahindra has the potential to fundamentally transform the way businesses interact with one another and their customers and suppliers, and we’re confident that this engagement can be replicated not just in the finance industry but across other sectors as well,” said Lula Mohanty, Managing Partner of IBM Global Business Services, IBM ISA.

IBM is rapidly expanding its Blockchain consulting services and capabilities and actively working with clients to understand what it takes to make Blockchain ready for business. Through its open source contributions to the Hyperledger Fabric and its Blockchain services on IBM Bluemix cloud, developers can easily and quickly develop applications while testing security, availability and performance of a permissioned Blockchain network. IBM is committed to advancing the science of Blockchain, helping to remove complexity, and making it more accessible and open. Financial services, supply chains, trade finance and logistics, IoT, risk management, digital rights management and healthcare are some of the areas that are poised for dramatic change using Blockchain networks.

The Mahindra Group focuses on enabling people to rise through solutions that power mobility, drive rural prosperity, enhance urban lifestyles and increase business efficiency.

A USD 17.8 billion multinational group based in Mumbai, India, Mahindra provides employment opportunities to over 200,000 people in over 100 countries. Mahindra operates in the key industries that drive economic growth, enjoying a leadership position in tractors, utility vehicles, information technology, financial services and vacation ownership. In addition, Mahindra enjoys a strong presence in the agribusiness, aerospace, components, consulting services, defence, energy, industrial equipment, logistics, real estate, retail, steel, commercial vehicles and two wheeler industries.

In 2015, Mahindra & Mahindra was recognized as the Best Company for CSR in India in a study by the Economic Times. In 2014, Mahindra featured on the Forbes Global 2000, a comprehensive listing of the world’s largest, most powerful public companies, as measured by revenue, profit, assets and market value. The Mahindra Group also received the Financial Times ‘Boldness in Business’ Award in the ‘Emerging Markets’ category in 2013. Visit us at www.mahindra.com.

About Richard Kastelein

Founder, Publisher and Editor in Chief of industry leading online publication, Blockchain News and co-founder and director at Blockchain Partners in London/Amsterdam/NYC. Kastelein is also an advisor with a number Blockchain startups doing ICOs including Humaniq.co where hs is interim CMO, DECENT.ch, Inchain, Chronobank, eGaas and others. He is regarded as one of the top journalists by the Blockchain and fintech communities – as is evident by his entry in the Top 150 Fintech journalists online and in the top 10 of the Blockchain Top 100 List.

As a prominent keynote presenter, he has spoken on Blockchain at events in Gdansk, Amsterdam, Minsk, Dubai, Antwerp, Eindhoven, Bucharest, Nairobi, Tel Aviv, Manchester, Brussels, Barcelona etc, where he helped spread the cause for Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency and, consequently, has built a notable network in the scene.

He’s also a director of a Dutch foundation called The Hackitarians and has run innovation events in London, San Francisco, Berlin, Amsterdam and other cities around the world on topics such Blockchain, Health, Energy, Internet of Things, AI etc.

In 2013, the European Commission appointed him as an expert for overseeing financing for emerging startups as a part of the European Commission’s 90 billion euro Horizon 2020 project, created in Brussels to promote innovation as a driving force of job creation and business ventures across Europe. He has also worked as an external expert for Innovate UK since 2012, judging startups for the UK government.

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