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Virender Aggarwal’s next mission: ERP on steroids

Zafar Anjum | Oct. 19, 2012
After taking Satyam and HCL technologies to great heights in the Asia Pacific region, Indian IT industry veteran Virender Aggarwal is on a new mission: to globalise a breakout Indian company, Ramco Systems.

Aggarwal's answer was without any drama. "I have been in the outsourcing business for a long time and it had become a 'routine business' for me," he said.

OK, that makes sense. But give me more, I thought.

Aggarwal felt that new, disruptive technologies were changing the IT landscape. "I thought, let me be a part of this change," he said. "Going forward, companies will consume IT, not produce it."

On his appointment, Ramco System had announced that Aggarwal, with his vast experience in the IT field, would help position Ramco as a strong player for enterprise solutions on the cloud.

So Aggarwal had been hired for a clear-cut mission, but more on this a little later.

As he worked through his chapali kebab and dal, Aggarwal quickly dived into providing me his new company's details: that it started as an R & D division of Ramco Industries Limited in 1992, and that later it branched off as an independent company in 1999.

Headquartered in Chennai, the company has 15 offices spread across India, Asia Pacific, US, Canada, Europe, Middle East and Africa. It is a public listed company in India and has more than 1,800 employees. According to the company's website, Ramco has over 140,000 users from 950+ customer organisations, globally since its inception. The company provides solutions to multiple verticals including banking, insurance, manufacturing, supply chain, aviation, transportation and logistics, healthcare, governance, and retail.

The company's strength, Aggarwal told me, lies in its enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. It runs payroll for several Fortune 500 companies in 48 countries worldwide. Its software is hugely popular in aviation sector-35 percent of the world's helicopters use Ramco's software for maintenance. The company boasts of clients like GoAir (a budget airline company) and GMR Aviation (private jet services provider) in India and Malaysian Airlines in Malaysia.

According to Aggarwal, research is the heart and soul of Ramco Systems. "The company is very R&D focused," he said. "We have been working closely with IIT Madras. Out of 1700 employees, we have about 1,000 people in R&D." The company has 12 approved patents.

ERP on cloud

So far, Ramco systems had been selling their ERP product directly to customers, said Aggarwal. Now he wants to put this piece of software on steroids-by going global via the cloud. And soon they will stop selling on-premise version of the software.

For this, the company is making available its enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution on Amazon Web Services (AWS). "By pushing the software into the Amazon cloud, Ramco's ERP solution will be available globally," Aggarwal said.

Ramco's ERP on cloud provides functionalities such as supply chain management, customer resource management, financial management and built-in analytics.


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