I-Flex History and Times

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Part of Citicorp

i-flex started as a division in CITICORP (now Citigroup), wholly owned subsidiary called Citicorp Overseas Software Ltd. (COSL) in 1991. Mr. Ravi Apte carved out a separate company Citicorp Information Technologies Industries Ltd. (CITIL) out of COSL and named Mr. Rajesh Hukku to head CITIL. While COSL's mandate was to serve Citicorp’s internal needs globally and be a cost center, CITIL's mandate was to be profitable by serving not only Citicorp but the whole global financial software market. COSL was the brain child of Mr. Ravi Apte, who convinced Citicorp, while working for Citibank, to start COSL as the offshore captive.

Many of the executive management of i-Flex, including Rajesh Hukku, R.Ravisankar and NRK Raman were at COSL and moved to CITIL when it was formed.

Coming of age for i-flex

CITIL started off with the universal banking product MicroBanker (which became hugely successful in Africa and other developing regions over the next 3-4 years) and the retail banking product Finware. In the mid-90s, CITIL developed FLEXCUBE at its Bangalore development center after a significant development effort spanning more than 18 months. After the launch of FLEXCUBE, all of CITIL's transactional banking products were brought under a common brand umbrella.

CITIL changed its name to i-flex solutions to reflect its growing independence from Citicorp and to strengthen its FLEXCUBE brand.

The first version of MicroBanker was created at COSL by S.Ravisankar who migrated to Australia before CITIL was formed. COSL started selling MicroBanker to non-Citi banks in Africa. Ravi Apte the founder CEO of COSL decided to carve out CITIL to focus on non-Citi business. Because non-Citi was the primary target for MicroBanker, MicroBanker was moved to CITIL. Rajesh Hukku was in the US managing COSL's biz dev in North American during the time CITIL was formed. It was the intuitive genius of Mr. Apte who decided to get Hukku back to India to head the...
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