Tuesday, March 15, 2016  Business Standard

Interview with Managing director, Zensar Technologies
 
Sandeep Kishore is set to take charge from Ganesh Natarajan as managing director and chief executive of Zensar Technologies, information technology arm from the RPG Group. Natarajan had taken it from a Rs 40-crore entity to a Rs 2,000-plus crore enterprise. Kishore, an old hand at HCL Technologies, tells Shivani Shinde Nadhe why he choose to join Zensar, his growth strategy and how he intends to leverage the presence of Apax Partners. Edited excerpts:
 
What made you join Zensar?
It's a perfect organisation, in the sense that it's large enough to scale and small enough to care for our customers. It’s a huge opportunity for us as a company, to take it beyond where we are now. We have built some incredible capability in client relationship, in infrastructure, application areas and, over the past three years, on digital. Our digital growth has been almost 100 per cent every year. And, we have over 70 clients in the $1- million segment.
 
The opportunity for us is to focus on fewer things, fewer services, accounts and markets but to go deeper. Our go- forward strategy will be to bring multi-services in select relationships. The other focus area is digital, where we are quite different from others. We lead from user and customer experience and also bring integration from commerce, platform, analytics, infrastructure and, in the past couple of months, from IoT (the internet of things), too. Digital is not about mobile apps; it’s a business-level transformation. A fantastic opportunity for us.
 
Ganesh Natarajan has been synonymous with Zensar. How much are you involved in the change management that will come with this shift in leadership?
I am thrilled with the inputs and the conversation level I have had with Zensarites. The first day I joined, we launched an app called Zenverse. This allows every Zensarite to write to me directly with any query they have, allowing me to connect with everyone in this company. I have been amazed with the questions I have received -- on strategy, operations and everything else.
 
More important, this has democratised the entire organisation. We are committed to make Zensar a 100 per cent digital company. Our internal ethos is—Dream, lead, own, win. This summarises where we are going. We are creating Zensar Lab. This will be the innovation hub and work with customers in their transformation journey. Hence, we are involving everyone in this process.
 
You come from a larger company. Will Zensar’s size be a challenge?
The opportunity to transform an organisation is amazing. I have spent a long time with HCL and I cherish that. But, we are here to do things differently and better, to transform the company to a different trajectory of growth. It is a do-able task, with the competency we have here.
 
Zensar's management in the past had spoken about aspiring to be a $1-billion company. Have you set that target as well?
We don’t want to give a guidance (forecast). Our focus is to be ready for the next set of growth and we are going to lead with digital, cloud and farming high-growth account relationships.

These three will be key for us. In terms of verticals, retail as an industry sector and as part of a digital proposition — I think we are among the best. Retail as a percentage of our revenue is 21 per cent.

I do not think any of the Indian IT services players have this kind of presence. Driven by the fact that the entire B2C (business to consumer) commerce market is led by digital retail…we have a vantage point.

The second area of focus is Europe, now 10-12 per cent of our revenue. We have room for growth there. A third area of focus is South Africa, where we are among the top two or three IT companies. We have 700 people in the region.

In terms of domain focus, we have full spectrum services and offering in the BFSI (banking, financial services and insurance) space. Manufacturing is half our revenue, retail is 21 per cent and FS is about 19 per cent (FY15). We also have the emerging segment, not large enough for us to call them out separately. But, we clearly have an investment strategy there, too, which are digital, analytic and cloud-led. It’s too early to say which segment but we have sectors like utility, travel, transport and health care there.

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