Ramco Systems: ‘Our immediate goal is a $100-mn order book this fiscal’

TE Raja Simhan | | Updated on: Jun 14, 2022
Sandesh Bilagi, COO, Ramco Systems

Sandesh Bilagi, COO, Ramco Systems | Photo Credit: BIJOY GHOSH

Ramco Systems COO Sandesh Bilagi terms Covid-induced decline an aberration

As clients stopped spending during the Covid pandemic, Ramco Systems, like other IT companies, was hit, with its order book slipping to around $65 million in the fiscal ending March 31, 2022, from $100 million before the pandemic. Now the Chennai-based company wants to bounce back quickly.

“The $65-million order book was just an aberration... due to the pandemic and market pressure. We are now seeing activity similar to the level of pre-Covid. It depends upon how the closures happen during the quarter. The lull in the market is across geographies, including the US and Europe, and in sectors such as human resources (HR) and payroll, aviation, logistics, and ERP [enterprise resource planning] offering,” Ramco Systems’ Chief Operating Officer Sandesh Bilagi told BusinessLine.

“To immediately reach $100 million is the attempt we are making for the current year ,” he emphasised.

Focused approach

In its 25th year of operations, Ramco Systems has chalked out a three-year go-to-market strategy with focus on aviation (contributes to one-third of business), including MRO (maintenance, repair and operations) and defence and government; HR and payroll (one-third of business, generating 2.5 million pay slips a month); logistics service providers (transport, warehouse management); and ERP — digital transformation of large companies, cement units and maintenance service providers.

“The strategy is to narrow down the focus to a particular segment and dominate the market. Whatever journey we took in the last 25 years, we want to shorten that and accelerate it in the next three years,” he said.

For example, in ERP the focus will be on cement or process industry and maintenance service providers. “We will identify niche areas to focus and dominate. In cement, while the company provides services to Ramco Cement, we are implementing our service in other markets like the Philippines, with ERP for cement,” he said.

Madurai centre

Due to Covid, a number of employees from southern districts of Tamil Nadu are working from home. Ramco Systems has decided to open a centre in Madurai and hire around 250 people over the next two years, Bilagi said. The Madurai centre will work on product development aligned with the Chennai centre, he added.

Ramco Systems has 1,700 employees at its Chennai office; 80 in Noida (business process outsourcing); 60 in Bengaluru (customer servicing and other work on niche areas); and a sales office in Mumbai, he said.

Unlike in many service companies where only 5-10 per cent of employees are back in office after Covid-induced work-from-home arrangements, Ramco has seen nearly 60 per cent return to office. “We did not force them. The type of work we do requires a lot of collaboration. Being together really helps,” he said. “We have been given the flexibility to work from the office or home,” he added.

Employees could see the value in returning to work. What would take eight hours otherwise can be accomplished in two hours by being together, he said.

Published on June 14, 2022
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