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The great turnaround of the globally maligned SI

Ben Rossi | Sept. 18, 2013
With the much-delayed amalgamation of Indian systems integrators Tech Mahindra and Satyam Mahindra finally formalised, the merged entity has now set its sights on becoming a $5 billion company by 2015. To reach that goal, the head of its MEA and Turkey business is looking to double Middle East revenue.

"I'm trying to play in 10 percent of the market and trying to gain market share. First of all, I need to break through that part of the barrier. Then the playing field is much bigger than where we are sitting today. I think that time is now."

However, with the amalgamation finally formalised, Kumar believes Mahindra can now target a much bigger market.

"The advantage I have with the merger of the two companies," he says, "is there is no stigma attached to the name anymore. The size of the company justifies customers to invite us to the bigger parties."

On top of this, Kumar is keen to expand Mahindra into the large markets of Turkey and Saudi through a number of partnerships, joint ventures and acquisitions.

Match made in heaven
But new geographies and larger project sizes are not the only areas where Tech Mahindra is looking to expand. Indeed, the acquisition of Satyam was motivated by the very different markets each company played in.

Whilst Tech Mahindra made its name as a successful telecom services company, seeing growth through big customers like BT (British Telecom) and AT&T, Satyam excelled in the enterprise space.

"There was an opportunity for Tech Mahindra to really proliferate to the enterprise side, which was not its core competency," Kumar says. "That is where the Satyam acquisition came into play; Tech Mahindra comes from the telecom depth of experience, and Satyam has always been known for its expertise from the enterprise perspective."

With that in mind, Kumar sees the amalgamation as a "beautiful complement of skill sets" in terms of creating a holistic organisation which can offer solutions to customers no matter their vertical.

He adds that a further benefit which was not before realised is the evolution of the cloud, and other rising trends.

"Three years ago, we were not thinking that cloud, bring your own device, and mobility technologies would become so big," he says. "So the merger has actually given rise to a very unique differentiator with customers when they're talking these new technologies.

"That is the unique intersection synergy that we have seen, which is really helping us in terms of driving the business to the next level."

And whilst legal issues got in the way of the acquisition running smoothly, Kumar says that internally the merger was much easier because of the differing skill sets.

"Typically, a merger tends to be very painful between two large organisations when there is so much overlap that it's chaos," he says. "But here, whilst there were some overlaps relating to some administrative issues — like why would you have three admins supporting one region — when it came to technology competencies, it was very clear that they could leverage off each other."


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