UBM Group (UBMG) is an Azerbaijan-based company established in 1997 operating in a range of communications and marketing related markets.
Having established the desire to launch a peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform, UBMG sought a strategy consultancy with relevant experience in financial services and P2P lending to support two key phases of development in their route to peer-to-peer lending:
- A two-day strategy workshop with the management team and key personnel, formulating the strategy framework and roadmap for the P2P business. Whitecap was asked to facilitate the workshop and to subsequently document the strategy framework.
- Providing expert input through for the RFP process to select a software provider for the P2P lending platform. Whitecap helped to produce the RFP and to evaluate the responses, including taking part in the vendor demonstrations / Q&A sessions and producing a report.
In preparation for the strategy workshop, Whitecap reviewed the current financial services market structure in Azerbaijan and the greater external environment. This was supported by internal insight from interviews with key stakeholders/partners and company materials.
“We provided a combination of our core strategy development skills with an in-depth knowledge of the P2P market, to help UBMG consider and evaluate the market opportunity and put in place a plan to create the new business.” – Richard Coates, Managing Director, Whitecap Consulting.
As the business plans evolved, UBMG was then in a position to begin the process of selecting an appropriate software provider who could provide the full functionality of the P2P platform required.
Whitecap was asked to manage this process critically analysing supplier proposals, presentations and demonstrations. From here, Whitecap ran a detailed evaluation of each resources and capabilities of each provider, marking them against the key (and supplementary) criteria that UBMG required. This included looking into core functional capabilities, technology and hosting, project management resources/capabilities, and commercial proposals.
A detailed evaluation report was then produced that outlined each vendor’s strengths and weaknesses in respect of the criteria provided. This allowed UBMG to critically evaluate and identify the vendor best suited for their technical and strategic needs to move forward with their P2P venture.
“Establishing a new lending venture whilst at the same time creating a new sector the Azerbaijan financial services market meant we needed input from people with strategy development capability and specialist P2P lending experience. Whitecap was a perfect fit for our requirements and knew the key areas to prioritise and address. They have played a critical role in our progress to date.” – Söhrab Farhadov, Head of FinTech, UBM Group.