BLS International Services Ltd. Crosses $1 Billion Market Cap

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The company is now a member of the exclusive club of Indian unicorns.

Bengaluru, December 17: BLS International Services Ltd. (BLS)— one of the top three global tech-enabled services provider for governments and citizens—crossed the $1 billion market cap benchmark this week to become the latest unicorn in India. At the last count in 2021, India had ranked third globally with 42 unicorns.

Since 2005, BLS International Services Ltd. (BLS) has been a go-to services provider for governments and embassies around the world in need of outsourcing visas, passport, consular, attestation, and citizen services. They work with India’s largest bank, State Bank of India (SBI), as a national business correspondent to provide financial services in India’s urban, semi-urban, and rural areas. Last-mile banking services help the Indian government to achieve its goal of direct credit of grants in farmers’ bank accounts. Being the largest Business Correspondent of SBI, the company provides various services like account opening with e-KYC, AEPS mini statements, passbook printing, savings bank deposits, fixed deposits, recurring deposits, remittances, micro pensions, and micro insurance.

The sustained robust recovery of BLS’s visa and consular business and the winning of new tenders were major contributors to the 87 per cent year-over-year growth in the operating revenue in Q2, 2022. As the travel guidelines imposed during the pandemic were eased and the company’s visa business revenues increased because of revenge travel. BLS is working with multiple Governments/ Embassies such as Brazil, Spain, Italy, Hungary, USA, Canada, Estonia, Lebanon, Portugal, Vietnam, Morocco, Belarus, France, UAE etc. The company has signed a contract with the Royal Thai embassy to provide visa services in Kenya and won the contract with Royal Thai Consulate General, Mumbai, for visa services. Recently, BLS has won the contract to process German visas in North America and Mexico. It is now looking forward to significant growth prospects as several other visa service contracts are up for re-tender in the near future. With the acquisition of ZMPL and securing new contracts, the company’s Digital Services division experienced rapid expansion in Q2 and H1 of FY22–23.

BLS forayed into e-Governance starting with the state of Punjab in 2016. The Punjab Project Delivered front-end service to the states 1.84 cr. population across 16 districts. This was followed by the Uttar Pradesh Project, in the state BLS helped the Uttar Pradesh Government roll out citizen services of all Government departments of UP through 12,000 Customer Service Centres (CSCs). In its Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs) Rajasthan Project, BLS was awarded the contract for setting up e-Mitra in five districts in the state. These kiosks provided a mix of G2C & B2C services are available.

BLS is closely working with the UAE Ministry of External Affairs in the international arena, providing customized solutions for its seven centres National Identification Card Programme, operating application centres for Identity Management for Afghan nationals in GCC nations. It also issues digital IDs to e-residents granted by the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board (PBGB). BLS has also partnered with the National Identity Management Commission in Nigeria to enroll Nigerian citizens into the national identity database.

Mr Shikhar Aggarwal Joint Managing Director, BLS International, speaking about the company becoming a unicorn, said, “This new milestone that BLS has crossed is the latest feather in our cap. But we will not rest on our laurels and will keep working harder and more efficiently, and introduce new innovations in our services. The sky is the limit for everyone at BLS.”

BLS International’s stock price has more than doubled in the past six months, shooting up 110 per cent, compared to the S&P BSE Sensex’s 14 per cent increase during the same period. The firm granted a 1:1 share bonus on December 10, 2022, as part of its commitment to a steady growth strategy. Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) raised their holdings in BLS International by 235 basis points (bps) during the quarter ending September 30. Shareholding data reveals that foreign institutional investors (FPIs) owned a 4.32 per cent position in the company as of the end of the June quarter.

Revenue increased by 70.6 per cent YoY to Rs 630 cr. in the first half of the current financial year (H1FY22–23), Consolidated profit after tax increased by 71 per cent YoY to Rs 81.69 cr. The Ebitda margin improved to 14.0 per cent from 12.56 per cent in the first half of FY22, a 144-basis point increase.

In 2005, BLS Int. started with just one contract for visa application processing for the Portuguese embassy in New Delhi (India). It was the company leaderships foresight and detailed planning that made it cross several milestones since then, and won several accolades, including Excellence in Visa Passport outsourcing and allied services, 2014; Today’s Traveler Award, 2017; CMO Asia Best CSR Practices Award, 2017; Best Visa Service Provider Award – The Middle East Travel and Tourism Leadership Awards; Most Ethical Company in Visa Outsourcing, 2017; Excellence in the Travel Sector, 2018; and many more. The most recent feather in its cap is the “Times 40Under40” award 2021, awarded to Shikhar Aggarwal.

About BLS International:

BLS International Services Limited (“BLS International”), a trusted global tech-enabled services partner for governments and citizens, has an impeccable reputation for setting benchmarks in the domain of visa, passport, consular, citizen, e-governance, attestation, biometric, e-visa, and retail services since 2005. The company is recognized as “India’s Most Valuable Companies” by Business Today Magazine, “Best under a Billion” company by Forbes Asia, and ranked amongst “Fortune India’s Next 500 companies”.

The company works with over 46 client governments including Diplomatic Missions, Embassies & Consulates and leverages technology and processes that ensure data security. The Company now has an extensive network of more than 27,000 centres globally with a robust strength of over 20,000 employees and associates that provides consular, biometrics, and citizen services. BLS has processed over 62 million applications to date globally.

BLS International is certified with CMMI DEV V2.0 & SVC V2.0 along with ISO 9001:2015 for Quality Management Systems; ISO 27001:2013 for Information Security Management Systems; ISO 14001:2015 for Environmental Management Systems; ISO/ IEC 45001:2018 for Occupational Safety and Health; ISO / IEC 20000-1:2011 for IT Service Management; ISO 26000:2010 for Social Responsibility; ISO 23026:2015 for System Engineering and Management Requirements; ISO/IEC 28000:2017 for Supply Chain Management System; ISO/IEC  27002: 2013 for Management of Information Security; ISO 31000: 2018 for Risk Management; ISO 27001:2013 for Risk Management of Information.

BLS International is the only listed company in this domain with operations in 66 countries.

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