‘IT companies need to tweak traditional model to stay in business’

Vinson Kurian Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on February 19, 2018 Published on February 19, 2018

Kanthi Chonachalam and Suri Amarnath, founders, ThoughtLine

There is value for clients in working with existing vendors: Founders of ThoughtLine

Large Indian IT firms may be faced with the daunting challenges brought in by newer technologies even while seeking to maintain growth and profitability.

But the same need not always be the case with their SME cousins, some of whom have charted their own ingenious course to stay afloat.

ThoughtLine Technologies, based in Technopark here, is a case in point. “Challenges have always stared us in the face,” say Suri Amarnath and Kanthi Chonachalam, founders of ThoughtLine.

Indian IT services companies are blessed in that they enjoy a major foothold inside many of their Fortune 500-listed client companies which in turn employ thousands.

The shift for the Indian companies is to go from ‘What do you want us to do?’ to ‘How can we help you serve your clients better?’ It calls for a cultural change and a different kind of thinking rather than a different business model, and it is not easy.

Right now, the biggest challenge is about a technology shift in the industry. Earlier, it was about India losing out to competition from the Philippines, Latam countries or Eastern Europe.

ThoughtLine has since tweaked its conventional onsite-offshore delivery model along aforementioned lines to generate continued business from its client base in the US.

“So far, we’ve been looking at ‘how do we deliver to our clients’. The focus now is shifting to ‘how do we partner with our clients to take care of their clients’,” explains Amarnath, MD and CEO, ThoughtLine India.

Retaining client base

This is also one way you can retain the original client base, because you’re taking something off their plate, agrees Chonachalam, President and COO, ThoughtLine USA.

There have been occasions when the clients’ clients are probably moving much faster than what they can handle. The new challenge is the shift in the technology landscape with the advent of blockchain, artificial intelligence, machine learning and analytics.

“Companies that figure out how to apply them to the solutions clients are looking for will have no problems weathering these storms,”Chonachalam observed.

Though past performance is no guarantee for future prospects, there is value for clients in working with their existing vendors who can move with the changing landscape, rather than going for a new relationship and start afresh.

“This is the challenge we at ThoughtLine are focussing on now,” Amarnath said.

Published on February 19, 2018
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