RAYMOND LIN, CEO OF CLPS INC. - INTERVIEW WITH WBM TOP 100 INNOVATION CEO
RAYMOND LIN, CEO OF CLPS INC. HAS BEEN SELECTED BY THE JUDGES OF WORLD BIZ MAGAZINE'S ANNUAL AWARDS TO BE A RECIPIENT OF THE TOP 100 CEOS IN INNOVATION AWARD 2021. THIS SELECTION FOLLOWS A STRINGENT PROCESS THAT EVALUATED OVER 40,000 NOMINEES TO SELECT THE EXCLUSIVE LIST OF 100 WINNERS.
"CLPS leverages its expertise in the financial industry with globally competitive IT services to achieve and exceed exceptional client satisfaction."
Mr. Raymond Ming Hui Lin is the CEO and Director of CLPS. Mr. Lin joined CLPS in February 2009 as CEO. From January 2008 to January 2009, Mr. Lin was business consultant of VanceInfo, a Beijing-based IT solutions and software development company. Prior to VanceInfo's acquisition of A-IT Software (Shanghai) Co. Ltd., Mr. Lin acted as general manager from April 2002 to December 2007.
Mr. Lin is an IT outsourcing service veteran with a deep understanding of IT talent acquisition, training, development and service delivery. He has developed and pioneered the first training programs for mainframe and VisionPLUS (a credit card processing solution) in China, which has made CLPS one of the largest mainframe resource powerhouses and the VisionPLUS project team in Greater China. In 2015, Mr. Lin became the MSE senior advisor in Fudan University, Shanghai.
Share with us the performance of CLPS over the last year.
In 2020, we celebrated the 15th anniversary of CLPS. In 15 years, CLPS has continuously provided globally competitive IT services, and rose from a start-up into becoming a well-known company in the industry highlighted by its successful listing on the NASDAQ market in the US. CLPS entered into a securities purchase agreement on February 28, 2021 with accredited investors to purchase approximately $16.0 million worth of its common stock and warrants in a registered direct offering priced at-the-market under Nasdaq rules.
In the first half of fiscal 2021 (ended December 31, 2020), revenues of CLPS increased by $15.7 million, or 37.0%, to $58.3 million from $42.6 million in the prior year period. Our net income increased by $2.6 million, or 114.9%, to $4.9 million in the first half of fiscal 2021 from $2.3 million in the prior year period. For the year ended June 30, 2020, CLPS's revenues increased by $24.5 million, or 37.7%, to $89.4 million from $64.9 million in the prior year period. The net income increased by $6.5 million to $3.1 million from a net loss of $3.4 million in the prior year period.
What about client partnerships?
The IT services industry, particularly CLPS has not been greatly affected by the pandemic. In fact, CLPS even gained more IT services demands from its existing and new clients in the financial and IT sectors during this period.
We extended partnership with Yonyou, a leading cloud services provider in China, to promote enterprise cloud-based products and services to the overseas market.
We signed a strategic cooperation framework agreement with Tongdun International to jointly promote commercial financial software and solutions in the Southeast Asian market.
We signed a strategic cooperation with Minshang Creative Technology Holdings Limited to jointly develop a next generation loan trading software and to explore the global financial technology services market.
We launched an Internet of Things (“IoT”) project, in cooperation with a domestic partner in Japan. The project scope includes the design of the schematics and the construction of IoT architecture of an intelligent monitoring system for vehicles.
We signed a vendor agreement with a well-known U.S. digital payment platform to provide IT services, including data analysis and payment risk management for their international business.
We signed a Master Services Agreement with a large U.S. e-commerce platform. CLPS will provide IT services, including big data management for the Client's cross-border e-commerce system.
We undertook the big data project for a leading Chinese state-owned automotive company. The project aims to integrate big data technology on the Client's vehicle intelligent manufacturing and R&D systems.
CLPS won the IT services provider bid for a well-known bank card processing services company in China. CLPS, through our Shanghai subsidiary, and the Client have signed the Procurement of IT Services Provider Agreement. Both parties have agreed to cooperate in the development, operation, maintenance, and testing of the bank card issuance core system and peripheral value-added products, as well as in providing consulting and data analysis services.
Share some insights into recent M&A activity.
CLPS has formed a joint venture with Columbus Century Development Co., Pte. Ltd. ("Columbus"), a blockchain technology solutions provider. CLPS also acquired the remaining 20% ownership stake in Ridik Pte. Ltd. ("Ridik"), a Singapore-based IT services company in which CLPS initially acquired 80% equity in September 2019. As a result, Ridik is now a wholly owned subsidiary of CLPS. We entered into strategic investment, through our wholly owned subsidiary, ChinaLink Professional Services Co. Ltd., in Shanghai Shier Information Technology Co., Ltd. (SSIT), an e-commerce services provider. CLPS has indirectly taken 35% ownership stake in SSIT as part of the Company’s growth strategy to diversify its business model. And lastly, CLPS has entered into strategic investment in Guangdong Huaqin Zhichuang Software Technology Co., Ltd. (“HQZC”), an IT services and solutions provider. CLPS invested RMB 1 million and has taken 10% ownership stake in HQZC through its wholly owned subsidiary, ChinaLink Professional Services Co., Ltd.
What are some of the recent R&D highlights?
CLPS has updated a more reliable, and highly competitive robotic process automation (RPA) solutions successfully delivered to clients. We also recently announced an upgraded digital marketing solution with technology-powered and data-driven features.
Talk to us about CLPS's global presence and expansion.
The Company maintains 19 delivery and/or research & development centers to serve different customers in various geographic locations. Mainland China centers are located in Shanghai, Beijing, Dalian, Tianjin, Baoding, Xi'an, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, and Hainan. The remaining eight global centers are located in Hong Kong SAR, USA, UK, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, and India.
CLPS is also further implementing its global expansion strategy, particularly in the Asia Pacific region. Its expansion pipeline includes the establishment of a subsidiary in the Philippines, boosting the business in Southeast Asia, and pursuing overseas acquisitions.
Talk to us about talent creation and development at CLPS.
We constantly give priority to the development and cultivation of IT talents to meet the needs for financial IT services and solutions of our global clients.
We established the Cooperative Education on Information Technology Program in partnership with Hong Kong Multimedia Design Association, a non-profit organization in Hong Kong. The Coop Program aims to develop the next generation of young talents to be fully equipped in their future career in the financial technology industry.
We signed a memorandum of understanding with the Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong ("THEi") to boost its degree program in information technology.
We have kicked off the second year of our Global Fintech Internship Program (GFIP) a customized training program that aims to address the uneven talent supply distribution which puts emphasis on employing seasoned talent. But through GFIP, CLPS has balanced the talent supply chain by introducing fresh talents with up-to-date knowledge and skills in the fintech industry.
CLPS was officially selected as one of the strategic partners of the Young Talent for Innovation of Shanghai Zhangjiang Institute for Innovation (SZII) during the 2nd Yangtze River Delta Region “Young Talent Innovation” forum and “Science and Innovation Momentum” summit. CLPS will jointly cooperate with SZII in developing young talents and in promoting fintech innovation in the Yangtze River Delta region.
CLPS has also kicked off its internship training program for the class of 2021 across China. As China has largely controlled the spread of COVID-19, the internship training program of CLPS has officially begun as scheduled last August 2020 across China including in Shanghai, Dalian, and Guangzhou. The interns will be deployed in various industry client bases such as in banking and financial institutions, giving them the opportunity to work in actual project development and implementation.
"CLPS is committed to providing transformative services to more potential clients through continuous upgrade and optimization of its products and solutions."
Tell us about the innovation culture at CLPS.
Due to the growing demand for digital and intelligent transformation across industries, CLPS proactively invests in technological innovation to further enrich its industry expertise so as to build a network of client base and partnerships. CLPS is committed to providing transformative services to more potential clients through continuous upgrade and optimization of its products and solutions.
CLPS Innovation Lab has been dedicated to the research and application of innovative technologies, including distributed application systems, cloud computing, micro services, open API, robotic process automation, and big data, among other technologies. It focuses on continuous scientific and technological innovation to provide clients with more comprehensive and efficient IT services.
We implemented new and advanced technologies such as RPA and big data into our internal human resources, financial, and operational management systems, which significantly improved the Company’s overall operation. We delivered RPA and big data solutions to clients to improve operational efficiency with more accurate transaction results and reduced labor costs and support their digital transformation.
We keep advancing our digital transformation and innovation initiatives. Recently, we formed a blockchain JV to develop and upgrade blockchain-based digital asset solutions for financial institutions.
"We have an excellent and large pool of IT talents (3,300 employees) with multi-lingual capabilities, professional skills in global banks, wealth- management, e-commerce, automotive industry service areas, with better international project delivery compared with our competitors."
What advantages ensures CLPS stands out in the market?
We created and developed a particular market niche by providing turn-key financial solutions. CLPS leverages its expertise in the financial industry with globally competitive IT services to achieve and exceed client satisfaction. We have an excellent and large pool of IT talents (3,300 employees) with multi-lingual capabilities, professional skills in global banks, wealth management, e-commerce, automotive industry service areas, outstanding with better international project delivery compared with our competitors.
We also have a highly experienced management team that maintains operational progress and innovation. In addition, we established an ecosystem of enduring client relationship and employee loyalty through the core engines of our Talent Creation Program (TCP) and Talent Development Program (TDP) that are integral parts of our supply chain which supports our service lines. CLPS has been receiving positive feedback and commendation from its clients with the quality services we offer. Finally, CLPS has been aggressive in its efforts in advancing its business presence in the overseas markets. It is extending its presence and client base internationally, including blue chip financial institutions to meet the strong demand for IT services.
Talk to us about the importance of good citizenship and sustainability at CLPS.
Here are a few examples of CSR practices at CLPS:
CLPS earned the ISO 14001 for the effective environmental management system, awarded by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
CLPS does not use any form of gender or ethnic quotas to hire its employees. CLPS has been working actively to create an even distribution of both men and women and an increasing diversity in the workplace. 40% of our human capital is comprised of women.
CLPS’s adherence to “respect for talent” as the foothold of sustainable growth and education system enables active development of strategic cooperation with hundreds of domestic colleges and universities.
CLPS adheres with the principles of responsibility and gratitude. Charity works and public welfare activities have always been in the culture of CLPS.
CLPS guarantees to continue helping the vulnerable groups as an act of giving back to society, ensure that children with special needs and the elderly in the nursing homes can get help as much as possible.
During the COVID-19 outbreak, CLPS demonstrated its social responsibility and enhanced its level of support for services provided to its clients in the healthcare industry. Some of CLPS staff were relentlessly working at the height of the outbreak due to the nature of their work.
What improvements do you desire to see in the Fintech industry and how are you contributing to realising them?
Technology is changing our lives. Some new trends in the financial industry such as digital risk control, digital currency and intelligent investment are all inevitable stages in the process of financial digitalization. Various industries are being changed by more new technologies and are beginning to show more digital character. Our goal is to integrate our existing capability and project implementation experience with cutting-edge technology to innovate products, services and solutions. We hope to produce and contribute more innovations in the fintech industry, develop products and solutions suited for our client needs, and create a stable competitive landscape for CLPS.
In your opinion, what makes a good leader?
Perseverance: A leader should possess firm confidence and patience to achieve his/her goals, have a long-term vision and never change direction easily just because of temporary setbacks or obstacles. Only in this way can he/she accumulate and open up vast opportunities.
Adapt to change: Have a keen sense of industry trends and future development, know how to take advantage of the situation and adapt flexibly to the situation on the way to the goal. There may be some conflicts between adapting to change and perseverance, but as a leader, he/she should maintain a balance between the two.
Lifelong learner: A person's power is limited, but a leader should have the ability to surpass himself. This requires a leader to be a learner, constantly recognize and improve on his/her own shortcomings, gather the strength of all to build a perfect team, and achieve success together.
Kindness: Treating employees, customers and everyone around you with kindness.
For more information, please visit: www.clpsglobal.com