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Last Updated : Nov 27, 2018 08:00 PM IST | Source:

Indian market too big and lucrative to miss out on: Tech Mahindra

The company is focused on enterprise, government, telecom, and utilities opportunities in India.

Neha Alawadhi @alnehaa

On November 27,  Tech Mahindra said it has bagged a Rs 270 crore project from Coal India to deploy modern technologies in the state-owned company, as well as a five year engagement to modernise six Indian ports in September.

The company has set up a strategic business unit that has led to significant growth in the last two quarters for the firm.

Moneycontrol caught up with Sujit Baksi, India business head and Puneet Gupta, sales head, at Tech Mahindra, to talk about the company's domestic market focus and why they see India as a huge opportunity.

Edited excerpts:

Q: What is driving your India focus as a company?

Puneet: The market in India is extremely strong and there has never been a dull moment. Everybody is investing in India, including global companies. It is growing at 8-9 per cent (according to Nasscom estimates).

There are sectors that are doing well- banking, enterprise, government, telecom. The nature of work has changed in the last few years for IT companies and we are doing pretty well.

Sujit: The India focus was more tactical earlier. We started this India business because we saw a lot of business coming from India and are also seeing a lot of transparency here. Utilities are a big focus area and we saw a large opportunity in enterprise side where they have to rehash their IT systems,

We also saw a huge opportunity in the customer experience digital journey. Most of the e-commerce business is born digital. If you look at the large e-commerce companies (in India), we work with all of them.

In telecom, we saw the big merger that happened, and the disruptive new player. We already have significant share in customer experience in one and IT transformation work with the other. We see huge opportunities in these areas.

Q: What about payments with India government business? Late and deferred payments have always been a concern with IT players.

Sujit: We work with the party while the request for proposal is being made. We ensure that payment terms are favorable to us or any other vendors.

Puneet: The whole payments story is how well you keep communication going between both sides.

Q: On the telecom side, you have been very vocal on 5G technology. What is the scenario for 5G like in the India market? Are you talking to customers?

Sujit: We are far ahead from competition in terms of readiness for 5G. It is huge transformation and investment is huge. It is not a quarter based thing.

Puneet: We are having a lot of conversations with clients. From a firm story perspective it is a little early. Every person associated with the sector has a lot of interest, including the government.

Pilots are being spoken about, solutions around 5G are being spoken about. In my view the whole ecosystem is coming together. We are a services company, not a product company. We are looking at getting like minded people together and address that opportunity.

Q: Are you looking at partnerships with academic institutions like Bharti's telecom school in IIT Delhi?

Puneet: We have a full college inside our campus in Hyderabad and that's on similar lines. There is also an academy that Tech Mahindra has for training on 5G at a global level.

Q: What are the challenges in the Indian market?

Puneet: Whenever there is a business unit, the focus is on how you scale. That's what we have done in the last 20 months. As we win more and more (contracts), there is need for scaling. It is also about building the right partnerships. We are also working with startups and getting like-minded people to come together.
First Published on Nov 27, 2018 08:00 pm
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