Killian Glendon (QBA Europe): Bridge over IT waters
Killian Glendon, CEO, says QBA Europe is bridging both the geographical divide between its roots in India and its European hub in Luxembourg and advising firms on how to bridge the gulf between their business and IT trajectories.
Can you describe your company in a few words?
QBA was founded as an offshore facility in India in 2005 to provide managed, end-to-end IT solutions across sectors, but particularly allowing the firm’s Luxembourg office, to serve the financial sector. The firm now employs 120 people in operations in Luxembourg, the UK and the US. We see the Grand Duchy as an important hub in Europe and this is the reason why we set up QBA here. In a world of rapidly-paced digitization, transforming and continuously improving business processes, modern technology and consultancy requires a unified approach. That is why in QBA Europe’s application of software and construction of IT infrastructure, the firm adopts a technology-agnostic approach to identifying bespoke solutions to its clients’ digital challenges.
What are the current challenges in the IT sector?
Historically business and IT tended to evolve separately. Our added value lies in our understanding of both environments and in the way we connect them. QBA not only bridges sectors but leaves a legacy. A big bank tends to contract a consultant team for a project but once the task is completed, the team leaves. QBA brings over the skill levels from India, does the mission and shares the knowledge with its clients, leaving a legacy once the project is finished. Talent attraction for the Grand Duchy is improving each year but it still needs to go further afield. Necessary immigration requirements to bring our highly skilled personnel to Luxembourg currently poses a challenge. It can take three months, which is a long time when viewed against the business cycle. However, QBA is working with the government to accelerate the application process.
What trends do you foresee in the sector and in Luxembourg in the next five years?
With Luxembourg ranked 13th in the Global Connectivity Index in 2018, we believe it could easily increase its ranking and become the market leader in digitization, especially in fintech. Providing digitization services is key to our presence in Luxembourg. We want to help the country to grow as a European pole of digital distribution. It is up to the ICT sector to rationalize cumbersome paper document processing, particularly in KYC and AML to facilitate due diligence procedures that require human capital. The Grand-Duchy’s value added lies in its location and its skilled workforce, but importantly the stability of its institutions has become more important in the light of Brexit.