Nortal Group shareholders buy out the company

June 20, 2016

Nortal Group shareholders bought back 50% of Group shares from Enterprise Investors and LHV Pension Funds, regaining full ownership of the company. Simultaneously Nortal is expanding its shareholder base among employees.

According to Nortal CEO Priit Alamäe, it is a proud day for the company to be once again fully owned by its employees. “Six years ago we reached a point in the development of the company where we needed investments to maximise our potential for growth and expansion. We have used the additional resources to expand to new geographies and we have increased our revenue by three times. The company is increasingly profitable with a strong order back-log. We thank the investors for their trust in us, for which we have earned them a good return of investment. Nortal will continue to develop stronger than ever,” said Alamäe.

The combined transaction price is 15 million euros, based on current equity value of 30 million euros. LHV Pension funds entered as a Nortal Group shareholder in November 2012 Enterprise Investors EVF I two years earlier. Both funds received a strong return of investment from the Nortal transactions. “Nortal earned future Estonian pensioners in the LHV funds a 69% profit in 4 years. In our 16-year history, all investors have made a good profit from their investments in Nortal and we are proud of this fact,” said Alamäe.

Fund manager of LHV pension funds, Andres Viisemann expressed satisfaction over investments in Nortal. “During the period when LHV pension funds were part of the shareholder base, the company made great progress, which is also reflected in return of investment. Our role in financing the development of Nortal will not end with this transaction – LHV pension funds will remain behind the company as bond investor. I hope Nortal will receive an additional kick from the greater role of the company’s employees as shareholders,” said Viisemann.

“Nortal is the company of first choice in Estonia, Finland and Oman, where it built a strong position as the expert for government projects. Since our investment the company not only grew in terms of geography but developed expertise necessary to carry out sophisticated programmes for most demanding customers,” said Rafał Bator, partner in Enterprise Investors responsible for the transaction. “We are proud to be a part of these developments,” he added.

The transaction was financed by a combination of own funds and leverage. Nortal’s management was advised by law firm Derling in the transaction.

Nortal Group is now owned through Nortal Group Holding AS by 34 employees either directly or through personal investment vehicles. 10 of those shareholders are new additions to the shareholder base. “Nortal success has been, is and will be driven by the talent and hard work of our people. We are in this together and we are proud to have 10 of our employees become new shareholders,” said Alamäe.

In 2016, the group continues to expand to new markets and invest into Nortal Concepts, to deliver a meaningful impact in our core competence areas through an integrated approach to strategy and process re-design, change management and technology transformation. Nortal provides solutions for government and healthcare organizations and private enterprises operating in manufacturing, energy, logistics, telecom and finance sectors.

Nortal is an international business consultations and software development solutions provider. The company’s turnover in 2015 was 45 million euros. Nortal operates in nearly 20 countries and employs 530 specialists who carry out high-quality, mission-critical and high-impact social projects across Europe, Middle East and Africa. Nortal is valued employer across all home markets. In Estonia, Nortal has been awarded with the title of the most employee and family friendly company three times – in 2008, 2010 and 2014.

LHV Group is the largest domestic financial group and capital provider in Estonia. LHV Group's key subsidiaries are AS LHV Pank and AS LHV Varahaldus. LHV employs over 250 people and about 90,000 customers use LHV’s banking services. Pension funds managed by LHV have over 170,000 customers.

Enterprise Investors is one of the largest private equity firms in Central and Eastern Europe. Active since 1990, the firm has raised eight funds with total capital exceeding EUR 2 billion. These funds have invested EUR 1.7 billion in 136 companies across a range of sectors and exited 113 companies with total gross proceeds of EUR 2.4 billion.

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Nortal is a Liferay Service Partner for Liferay’s Digital Experience Platform

June 07, 2016

Nortal is a Liferay Service Partner for Liferay’s Digital Experience Platform. Since 2009 company deployed numerous Liferay projects and developed more than 20 Liferay based solutions for enterprises and organizations.

Nortal is an accredited strategic partner for Liferay DXP sales, design and implementation in the Baltics since 2009 with a new presence and growing potential in Finland and the Middle East. Currently, a large, international team of project managers, QA, visual design specialists, analytics and developers are working with the Liferay platform on a daily basis.

As a growing company, we have over 30 Liferay specialists, developers and project managers in the Baltics, Finland and Middle East who participate in Liferay trainings and do attend conferences to keep up with the product enhancements and development trends. We value the investment in keeping our sales team and specialists up to date with latest Liferay new features and enhncements – and have a proved track record of passing the acquired expertise on to our clients.

Benefits for clients who chose Liferay as their Platform for Digital Transformation:

  • Open Source Platform – flexible, supports standards, reliable, innovative and secure.
  • Modular and a standard approach to the modules – for us this means that our company can have multiple concurrent development teams releasing different business-critical features in the shortest possible time frame. All the portlets are independent yet compatible within the Liferay platform.
  • Excellent content management system (CMS) with great possibilities for workflow and hierarchy management.
  • Secure single-sign-on (SSO) option for all integrated applications.
  • Opportunity to target different personas with personalized offers based on target group, georaphic location or permission / log-in status, etc.
  • Supports interaction and communication between co-workers inside the corporation.
  • Large variety of portlets are deployable out-of-the box – lower development costs and shorter timeframes.
  • Custom portlets are easy to develop.
  • Constant improvement of the product.
  • Full range of application servers, databases and operating systems to run on, allowing to leverage infrastructure and enabling continued investment and improvement of skills.
  • Different units inside the corporation can create and manage their own content and define approval processes within their team or organization.
  • Low cost of ownership.

Our services include:

  • Consultancy and Project Management to deploy Data Driven Digital eXperiences on DXP.
  • Creating project specific custom configurations.
  • Creating new portlets specific to your business needs.
  • Administrator and user training.
  • Upgrades to the latest version.

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GER.co global rating ranks Nortal’s business oriented e-portal for Oman among world’s best

June 01, 2016

The reputable Global Enterprise Registration (GER.co) rating awarded Nortal’s business oriented e-portal “Invest Easy” for the Sultanate of Oman the highest ranking, naming it one of the five best G2B (government to business) solutions in the world.

According to Middle East region Managing Director at Nortal, Mr. Peeter Smitt, the GER.co results are a great honour to the company. „Only five countries managed to obtain the perfect rating, a maximum of 10 dots, including Estonia who is regarded as one of the leaders in the field of IT and innovation. Now Oman provides the same level of service, in some aspects even exceeding Estonia – the record speed of registering a new company via Omani “Invest Easy” portal is 1 minute 50 seconds, while the Estonian record is reportedly around 18 minutes. In any case, both countries are now in the world lead with their business oriented e-services,” said Smitt.

The “Invest Easy” portal allows local and foreign investors to register and receive a new Commercial Registration online, using a single form, a single set of documents and a single payment. Once the company is registered, its full life cycle can be managed online. The portal is an initiative led by Sultanate of Omani Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) and Information Technology Authority (ITA). The “Invest Easy” system is part of the Omani government's E-Transformation Program, explained Dr. Salim Al Ruzaiqi, C.E.O of the Information Technology Authority. 66 services, involving 14 government agencies, are already available online. “The challenge is to get government agencies, which traditionally work in isolation, to work together and offer joint services so that users feel that they are dealing with only one administration. The main obstacle is the mindset, mental barriers. Technique is not a problem", Dr. Al Ruzaiqi added.

GER.co rating is managed by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the U.S. Department of State (DOS) and the Kauffman Foundation’s Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN). "We are incredibly impressed by the progress made by the Oman authorities towards a user-centric governance", said Mr. Joakim Reiter, DSG of UNCTAD. Mr. Daniel Carl, US delegate to UNCTAD, also congratulated Oman for joining the" top five" countries rated in the Global Enterprise Registration portal.

GER.co aims to improve business registration services worldwide and to facilitate the exchange of experience and best practices among governments. A perfect rating (10 dots) means a government has implemented a web platform that allows the user to: apply for all mandatory registrations through a single online form; pay all fees through an electronic website included in the platform; receive online all the certificates documenting the business was successfully registered; and contact a competent institution with any problems that may occur during the registration process.

The “Invest Easy” system has also received further international acclaim. At the recent WSIS award ceremony, it won second place in Business & Commerce category, which evaluated ICT solutions with high social impact, supporting and optimizing business processes. During the last six months, “Invest Easy” has also received two prestigious regional awards – GCC eGovernment Award for the best eGovernment service for business sector and Al-Roya Economic Awards for the best governmental e-service.

„Invest Easy” portal has been making a significant impact on the business environment of Oman. The total number of legal persons registered in Oman increased from 19,228 in 2014 to 26,699 in 2015. And the running year is also showing impressive results, as during the first 4 months, there have already been 13,640 new Commercial Registrations. Starting a business using the Invest Easy online service is gaining popularity and in April 2016 already 30% of registrations were completed using the portal.

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Nortal introduced Estonian e-government to North Rhine-Westphalia parliament delegation

May 25, 2016

A total of 64 members of the Christian Democratic Union faction of the North Rhine-Westphalia state parliament visited software and business consultancy firm Nortal in Tallinn on 20th May with the aim to learn more about Estonia’s e-government solutions.

The purpose of the visit was to exchange experience and best practices, introduce globally recognized e-government solutions and operating principles as well as provide an overview of the background of Estonian e-government’s success and future prospects.

In a press release issued after the visit, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) faction of the North Rhine-Westphalia state parliament noted that the young Republic of Estonia with its digitization strategy has become the model country for digitalisation in the European Union. Following the strategy and leadership of Estonia in the field of digitization the CDU parliamentary group under leadership of Armin Laschet will introduce proposals for better environment in matter of digitalisation in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

At the meeting with the delegation, Nortal’s founder and CEO Priit Alamäe emphasized that the success of Estonian e-government does not lie only in technological capacity and the ability to create great IT solutions, but rather in influential and impactful decisions that have enabled changes in existing practices, systems and legislation. “Estonian e-government’s transformation has been significant and we have come a long way, but it is an ongoing process that must continue – there is always room for improvement,” Alamäe added. As an example of an important step from the past, Alamäe referred to the decision that states that authorities cannot ask citizens again for the data that has already been submitted once and exists in the state’s information systems.

“The visit of the North Rhine-Westphalia parliament’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) faction is notable and confirms the interest in closer cooperation, hopefully opening possibilities for it,” said Alamäe. GDP of North Rhine-Westphalia in 2014 was more than 600 billion euros, a fifth of total GDP of Germany, and the state is often considered the IT hub of Germany.

According to Fortune Magazine, the headquarters of four of the world’s top 100 companies are in North Rhine-Westphalia. Major corporations are located in the state, including energy producers E.ON and RWE, retailers Metro, Aldi Nord, Aldi Süd, Rewe, pharmaceutical company Bayer, telecommunications group Deutsche Telekom, post and logistics firm Deutsche Post, as well as industrial machinery group ThyssenKrupp and others.

Nortal is an international business consultations and software development solutions provider focusing on eGovernment, eHealth, telecommunications, manufacturing and logistics sectors. The company’s turnover in 2015 was 45 million euros. Nortal operates in nearly 20 countries and employs 550 specialists who carry out high-quality, mission-critical and high-impact social projects across Europe, Middle East and Africa. Nortal is valued employer across all home markets. In Estonia, Nortal has been awarded with the title of the most employer and family friendly company three times – in 2008, 2010 and 2014. www.nortal.com
IMAGES of the visit: https://www.wetransfer.com/downloads/8f43f5c3c8ed09dc1fa4f884f56317df20160520151335/c9f11f7d0a8d830e... (Oleg Hartšenko)

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Oman’s Invest Easy portal by Nortal enables to register a company in 110 seconds

May 16, 2016

Invest Easy portal, created by international business consultations and software development solutions provider Nortal, has substantial impact on local business environment, giving entrepreneurs access to government e-services in Oman and making different processes, such as starting a company, easier, more effective and faster. Record time for registering a company using Invest Easy portal is 1 minute and 50 seconds.

Most likely this is a world record time for registering a company, according to Peeter Smitt, Middle East region Managing Director at Nortal. „In Estonia it takes about one day to register a company and as far as I know, the record is 18 minutes. However, in most countries it is not unusual that this process takes weeks or months,“ added Smitt. 

According to Smitt, Invest Easy portal gives entrepreneurs an access to a wide variety of necessary e-services that in Estonia, for instance, are considered already a standard that most entrepreneurs can’t imagine operating without. „Before, one needed to apply for a licence to start a business or engage in any type of commercial activity in Oman. This was time consuming and relatively complex process that included visiting different government authorities. Today, already 210 economic activities in Oman are unlicensed, meaning one can start with business activities right after the registration is completed. Invest Easy project does not only focus on digitalisation of paper based services, but makes the business environment as a whole easier, more effective and has a strong impact on local entrepreneurs and business climate,“ he added.

The portal gives Omani entrepreneurs access to government e-services such as: starting a business, updating company info in commercial register, finding information for licensing terms and submitting digital licence application, preparing financial report, closing business and various other important services for the entrepreneurs. Today, Invest Easy brings together 66 different services to one easy portal. 

„The total number of legal persons registered in Oman increased from 19 228 in 2014 to 26 699 in 2015,“ said Smitt. Starting a business using Invest Easy portal is gaining popularity and in April 2016 already 30% of registrations were completed using the portal. 

The Invest Easy portal is an initiative led by Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) and Information Technology Authority (ITA). The backbone of the portal is Oman’s National Business Register. Standardisation and re-organisation of the register has been a substantial part of the project. Today 14 governmental authorities have joined the business register, further complementing it and using the data available via portal. 

For identification, electronic ID-cards are used, a solution relatively new to Oman, but widely used for all eGov services and digital signatures in Estonia, for instance. First PKI-activated (public key infrastructure) ID-cards were issued in Oman in 2013.

Invest Easy portal development started in the beginning of 2014, work has been completed in stages and project is due to be finalised Summer 2016. 

Nortal is an international business consultations and software development solutions provider focusing on eGovernment, eHealth, telecommunications, manufacturing and logistics sectors. The company’s turnover in 2015 was 45 million euros. Nortal operates in nearly 20 countries and employs 550 specialists who carry out high-quality, mission-critical and high-impact social projects across Europe, Middle East and Africa. Nortal is valued employer across all home markets. In Estonia, Nortal has been awarded with the title of the most employer and family friendly company three times – in 2008, 2010 and 2014. 

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Nortal invests in further development of the X-Road component

April 21, 2016

As a new version of X-Road is being implemented, international software developer and business consultancy company Nortal has decided to invest in the further development of the open source library J-road, facilitating the creation and use of additional X-Road services and ensuring its consistent operation. Nortal's development will be completed in May.
 
According to Priit Liivak, Nortal’s Head of Engineering, J-road is an additional X-Road component for developers, created by Nortal years ago, to facilitate the provision and use of X-Road services. “J-road supports communication with more than 35 registries and is used in the majority of Estonia’s e-government solutions. As the J-road library requires an upgrade for the transition to a new version of the X-Road security server, we have decided to cover the cost of this development so that X-Road communication with J-road may continue after the version update,” said Liivak.

“J-road is an X-Road component that can be used in all solutions communicating with X-Road that considerably aid in facilitating the use of Estonian databases. It is similar to a standard contract – you could always start from scratch, but using a proven and tested template is much more efficient. J-road provides all of the common elements for using and providing various services and a developer can then fill in the blanks. This increases the speed and quality of development. In addition, J-road resolves various bottlenecks and helps prevent typical mistakes,” added Liivak. 

An upgrade is required as the new version of the X-Road security server introduces new message structures and new methods for information exchanges between security servers. “After we update the code, users must only update the version on their systems and test the relevant services,” said Liivak.

X-Road is a data exchange layer of information systems that enable secure communication between databases and registries. The transition to X-Road version 6 began in late 2015 and should be completed by mid-2017. X-Road is designed to ensure the integrity of information exchanged between organisations. The version update will change the existing X-Road security scheme, further ensuring the integrity of information exchanged on X-Road and maintain its security by eliminating legacy software. Further information: https://www.ria.ee/en/transition-to-x-road-v6.html.

Nortal is an international business consultations and software development solutions provider focusing on eGovernment, eHealth, telecommunications, manufacturing and logistics sectors. The company’s turnover in 2015 was 45 million euros. Nortal operates in nearly 20 countries and employs 550 specialists who carry out high-quality, mission-critical and high-impact social projects across Europe, Middle East and Africa. Nortal is valued employer across all home markets. In Estonia, Nortal was has been awarded with the title of the most employer and family friendly company three times – in 2008, 2010 and 2014. 
 

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Nortal doubled operating profit in 2015

April 11, 2016

International business consultations and software development solutions provider Nortal Group AS’ EBITDA more than doubled in 2015 reaching 3.7 million euros. Total consolidated revenue of the company increased 6.4 percent to 45 million euros. 

According to Nortal CEO and founder Priit Alamäe the company has managed to grow business with high-quality, mission-critical and high-impact projects across most of Nortal home markets, regardless of the economic slowdown.

Among most outstanding projects of 2015 and major impact delivered, Alamäe names reducing time needed for company registration in Oman to 3 minutes; improving speed of information flow and increasing accuracy of the information logistics operations for Neste in Finland, distributing 2.7 million tons of products each year; and delivering national health record project and hospital management systems to 32 hospitals in Lithuania to create seamless information exchange between patients, hospitals, pharmacies and central system.

„In 2015 Nortal continued successful co-operation with Estonian ministries and payment agencies, considered to be most efficient in the world in distributing subsidies and grants as well as checking compliance. Company also boosted the efficiency of customers in public and private sector through implementations of FlairPoint document management, MS CRM, ASPROVA lean management and StaffLogic resource planning solutions,“ said Alamäe.

According to company CEO Prit Alamäe, 2015 can also be considered a year of change. „Nortal has built roughly a third of Estonian e-government solutions and implemented high-impact, mission-critical projects across Europe, Middle East and Africa. Through the years, business consultations have naturally become a vital and much needed service we provide for our clients in addition to software development. Since last year we have been strategically developing business consultations as a significant part of our offering for transformation projects. We consider this very important, because creating high-impact changes through technology need more than good software development. These are complex processes, that require changes in the regulatory environment and also strategic change management,“ added Alamäe.

In 2016, the group continues to invest into Nortal Concepts, which apply holistic approach to strategy and process re-design, change management and technology transformation. Nortal provides services for government and healthcare organizations and private enterprises operating in manufacturing, energy, logistics and telecom sectors.

Nortal is an international business consultations and software development solutions provider focusing on eGovernment, eHealth, telecommunications, manufacturing and logistics sectors. The company’s turnover in 2015 was 45 million euros. Nortal operates in nearly 20 countries and employs 550 specialists who carry out high-quality, mission-critical and high-impact social projects across Europe, Middle East and Africa. Nortal is valued employer across all home markets. In Estonia, Nortal was has been awarded with the title of the most employer and family friendly company three times – in 2008, 2010 and 2014. 
 
More information: 
Priit Alamäe 
Nortal, CEO / founder
+3725270330  
Priit.Alamae@nortal.com

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Do more with your data - Connected with Kepware®

March 16, 2016

Heterogeneous industrial connectivity is one of the big challenges for creating a truly connected and digital industry. By enabling customers to combine and leverage real-time industrial machine data with any business and analytics data is a cornerstone of any IoT, Industrial Internet and Industry 4.0 solution.
 
To improve Nortal offerings, we have signed an agreement of becoming a System Integrator partner to Kepware Technologies. Kepware products will strengthen Nortals ability to execute our Seamless Society strategy by delivering Meaningful Impact for industrial communications challenges.
 
ABOUT KEPWARE 
Kepware Technologies, established in 1995, is a software development company headquartered in Portland, Maine. Kepware develops software solutions for the Industrial Automation Industry that help bridge the communication gap between diverse hardware and software applications. Kepware products enable informed decision-making from the shop floor to the top floor by providing consistent, reliable data across the enterprise. Kepware is distinguished by a reputation for premium product quality, support, and customer satisfaction. More information on Kepware products: www.kepware.com.
CONNECTED WITH KEPWARE® PROGRAM - Connected with Kepware® program recognizes and Kepware’s strategic distribution, integration, and technology partners. Because Kepware does not offer system integration services, we rely on our Connected System Integrators to implement and optimize our communications software so we can remain focused on developing the highest quality products for our customers. Integrators have firsthand knowledge and experience in a variety of industries, including Manufacturing, Oil & Gas, and Water & Wastewater. Each Connected System Integrator has been carefully selected and vetted for participation.

SOLVING COMMUNICATION CHALLENGES
Kepware connects Operations Technology (OT) with Information Technology (IT), enabling visibility across the enterprise. The Kepware flagship product, KEPServerEX is the industry’s leading communications platform. KEPServerEX communicates with industrial devices and applications using a library of more than 150 protocols, and provides enterprise applications with reliable real-time and historical data through a single communications platform. It can seamlessly stream real-time industrial control data directly into Big Data and analytic software applications for Business Intelligence and Operational Excellence. The platform design allows users to connect, manage, monitor, and control diverse automation devices and software applications through one intuitive user experience. KEPServerEX manages critical production, facility, and infrastructure data.
 
KEPWARE USERS AND REFERENCES GLOBALLY 

Kepware serves customers in more than 120 countries through both direct sales and relationships with distributors located in more than 100 countries. Industries served by Kepware products are typically Manufacturing, Oil&Gas, Building Automation and Infrastructure.

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Apply for Nortal Summer University, a training programme for IT-students in Estonia and Lithuania!

March 14, 2016

Apply for Nortal Summer University, a training programme for IT-students in Estonia and Lithuania!

Nortal Summer University is a training programme for IT-students in Estonia and Lithuania. We offer an intense  programme with a prospect of full-time job in Estonia (Tartu or Tallinn) or Lithuania (Vilnius) for programmers and analysts.

You will have an opportunity to train alongside with the top IT-specialists in the Baltics. 

Apply NOW or until April 1, 2016 via http://www.nortal.com/summeruniversity

More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/955179081264711/

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Oman government’s Invest Easy portal gaining popularity

November 16, 2015

Muscat: More and more companies are starting to use the fast and easy e-services provided by Invest Easy online portal (investeasy.gov.om). The new secure portal enables investors to complete their company registration process online in less than three minutes, said a press release.

In addition to starting a new company, the portal also enables existing businesses to manage their interactions with the government.

The Invest Easy project is an inter-governmental initiative led by Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) and Information Technology Authority (ITA). The portal has been built by Nortal, the leading software developer for mission critical e-solutions in the fields of governance, healthcare and industry.

“Our goal is to create services that provide a meaningful impact on the communities in which we operate,” said Peter Smitt, business area director, Nortal. “The new commercial registration service in the Invest Easy portal is a prime example of this in action. We are not merely programming the software and translating a paper service to digital. We are making the whole registration process less bureaucratic, faster and more transparent than ever before,” he added.

“In the first six months of the new commercial registration service, over 12,000 new companies were registered. Out of these, over 1,000 registrations were completed online and the service is gaining more popularity each month. In September, alone there were nearly 400 online registrations, which amounted to 16.7 per cent of the total registrations,” Smitt added.

In many countries, government e-services have already proven to be an effective way of saving time for the people and reducing public costs. Nortal is using the world’s best practices for developing it e-solutions. For the Invest Easy portal, the experiences from building the Estonian Business Register and Company Registration Portal were used as the foundation. Estonian e-services are world famous and have earned several awards. When building Invest Easy, Nortal not only localized these processes, to suit the needs of Omani business environment, but also significantly upgraded them.

Invest Easy is leading the way in building an easy, transparent and sustainable business environment where companies can last for generations and bring prosperity to the Sultanate and its people. Estonia used to hold the world record for registering a new company that was done in 18 minutes. Now that record has long been beaten by Oman, where the fastest new company registration was done in under 3 minutes. This was possible because of Nortal’s experience in designing e-government processes when they were building the Invest Easy portal. They did not merely make an online portal to house the registration service, but also changed the whole process itself, making it as seamless and effortless as possible for the user, at the same time making no compromises on security and transparency.

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