Infogain, an IT consulting firm, has recently appointed Sunil Bhatia as Chief Executive Officer. Bhatia has held the position of CEO Designate at Infogain since the completion of Infogain’s acquisition of the IT assets of Blue Star Infotech Ltd. in January 2016. In a candid conversation with CXO Today Bhatia said companies are gearing up to face the challenges posed by digital, virtual, disruptive and mobile technologies. They are striving to leverage solutions that are innovative, user friendly and a fit their requirements.
As the new CEO of Infogain, what is your vision for the company and how you’ll see company’s future in next 5 years?
Our vision is to make Infogain a strong mid-tier company providing innovative solutions in the digital transformation space. As a client centric organization, we have initiated many steps to keep pace with innovation and to reshape our service offerings in order to deliver enhanced value to our customers. We are partnering with innovative, high-growth software companies, accelerating our investment in R&D and building our internal capacities to bring in industry-tailored solutions and frameworks. We have consolidated our strategy and streamlined our processes and in the next few months we will lay a strong foundation for a Digital ready, which is the only option for any company that wish to thrive.
What are the different verticals where Infogain is currently present and which of these verticals will see major changes this year?
We have clients across retail, insurance, healthcare, travel & hospitality and hi-tech sectors. With the advent of disruptive technologies, each of these verticals is witnessing tremendous changes and need to reinvent themselves to stay relevant and outperform the competitors. As customers become more and more digitally enabled, the challenge increases for companies to push themselves to transform, experiment and evolve. This year some of the major technologies that will change the business dynamics are IoT, Data Analytics, Predictive Analytics, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.
What was the outcome of acquiring Blue Star Infotech?
Infogain’s acquisition of Blue Star Infotech further cemented the company’s expertise in digital transformation offerings, particularly in the areas of cloud, mobility and Analytics. Blue Star Infotech’s strong presence in healthcare, travel & hospitality and product engineering, with a portfolio of solutions and frameworks, further added to Infogain’s capabilities. The combined entity positions us to gain the critical mass and traction required to deliver large-scale, high-end projects.
What are the challenges that IT industry is currently facing?
The IT industry is at an inflection point and the traditional IT services like application development, remote infrastructure management are losing sheen. Clients today look for vendors who can bring in value and knowledge, resulting in revenue increase, speed and efficiency of operations and cost savings. The traditional business model of high headcount and low cost has lost its relevance and clients are no more interested in a proposition to bring in efficiencies in a few departments by adopting low cost IT services. The requirement for IT companies is to move up the value chain from a service provider to a strategic business partner and to help the client counter their own competitive and economic pressures.
We are witnessing a sudden spurt in big IT players acquiring start-ups or small companies with niche skill sets to bring in value to their clients. The risk and reward model is gaining prominence, where the client pays you a certain percentage of cost savings or on a per transaction basis for the benefits provided from a product/service.
At the same time, with automation and cloud, the number of people required at the bottom of the pyramid reduced dramatically. According to recent NASSCOM predictions, the industry would create fewer jobs in fiscal 2016-2017 compared with the previous years. The key challenge for most IT companies these days is revenue generation from new customers and acquiring skilled and requisite manpower. There is a dire need for the right kind of skillset training at the higher education level, since the number of unemployable graduates in the country is resulting in companies needing to invest heavily on making them employable.
How does Infogain overcome these challenges?
Infogain’s digital capabilities enable us to tap the emerging market wherein clients are facing disruptions and are looking for technology partners who can help them with the constantly changing requirements of their customers. We already have strong practices in Cloud, Mobility, Analytics and Usability Engineering space and we are helping clients in rapid up-scaling of capabilities around emerging technologies. We are also strengthening our partnerships with technology players to leverage their new age platforms. We are also investing in re-skilling our employees to keep abreast with the growing need for talent in these technologies.
With the new changes brought about by the government in terms of taxation, policies and governance, will it have any impact on your company’s performance?
Some of the recent announcements like GST, will not have much of a direct impact on us as the major source of revenue for IT Services companies is in the US and Europe. However, the good news for IT sector is that the GST Bill will help streamline the tax regime for the Indian IT Sector by eliminating a few taxes and tariffs.
Which technologies do you see becoming redundant and which technologies do you will trend into the next year?
Companies are investing less and less on IT infrastructure and hardware. Instead, the trend indicates that more and more companies are migrating towards Digital solutions, enabling them to automate at lower capital investments, reduce response time and increase touch points to connect with their customers and provide them an enhanced experience. Companies are gearing up to face the challenges posed by digital, virtual, disruptive and mobile technologies. Front end technologies have taken the limelight, wherein it is critical to offer solutions that are innovative, user friendly and a fit for their requirements.
What are Infogain’s expansion plans and future roadmap?
Infogain has strong capabilities in the SMAC area, and we provide a wide range of solutions that can deliver real business outcomes to customers. We have nine delivery centers globally and a talented pool of around 4000 employees. We plan to invest aggressively in digital platforms and solutions. We expect the company to grow to half a billion dollars, through organic and inorganic growth within the next five years.