ITC Infotech, the IT subsidiary of diversified conglomerate ITC Ltd, witnessed a revenue growth of 9 per cent and EBITDA margin of 25 per cent in FY21. The company’s net profit doubled year-on-year to ₹451.30 crore (₹209.47 crore in FY20). According to Sudip Singh, MD and CEO, ITC Infotech, this was the second straight year where the Bengaluru-based company delivered an “industry leading performance” posting a “double digit revenue growth, YoY” and a “doubling of bottomline” despite a challenging environment on the IT front. In an interview to BusinessLine , he spoke about the outlook, order pipeline and how the company is tapping new markets as it plans to enter the big boys’ league in a post-pandemic world where client requirements are fast changing. Excerpts:
What is the outlook for FY22?
The consistent financial transformation has been powered by our strategy to focus on chosen domains backed up by structural changes that are now in effect for over two years. The strategy, driven by our Chairman Sanjiv Puri’s vision, allows us to drive digital transformation by investing in and partnering with a finite set of clients.
Although we do not provide guidance, we are confident of continued growth ahead of industry.
Strategic investments in sharpening domain-led solutions, strengthening partnerships and continuously investing in employees are cornerstones of our profitable growth trajectory.
What is the geographical break-up of revenues for ITC Infotech? And how will they play out in a post-pandemic new world?
We focus on three regions – Americas, Europe and AMEA (Asia, Middle East and Africa that include India). All the three regions are on an even keel when it comes to revenues. So this allows a natural mitigation against geography-specific risks that may come up.
Has the pandemic impacted geographical expansion of the company's operations?
We have stayed productive in distributed work from home mode having moved to over 95 per cent remote work. Over the last 15-18 months, clients have also embraced the reality of distributed delivery. Given this increasing preference for a distributed delivery model, near-shore centres as well as off-shore centres will become an integral part of our delivery framework.
Accordingly, we established centres in Eastern Europe & Africa to enable more options; and continue to explore ways for further expanding our global delivery footprint.
Being a ‘younger player’ what are the advantages ITC Infotech brings in during a post-pandemic new normal?
Our market positioning as a technology partner delivering business-friendly solutions through strong domain understanding has been our key differentiator. We continue to invest in developing industry-specific offerings and solutions, across identified areas that lean heavily on digital technologies. For instance, our automation offering has been featured in the top quartile by leading global experts including Forrester, Avasant and Zinnov.
To take these offerings effectively to clients, we are strengthening our strategic partnerships and offer “outcome based/risk-sharing” and “as-a-service” engagement models. Our customer satisfaction score (CSAT), at the highest end of the spectrum, was secured in an independently conducted survey in FY21.
Which are the verticals driving growth?
In FY21, our growth was driven by strong performances in the Banking, Financial Services, Healthcare and CPG industries. Also, despite the adverse impact of Covid-19 in the hospitality sector, we were able to work with our clients and construct deals to enable sharper business outcomes.
The post pandemic environment is opening multiple opportunities for tech- organisations. The bets on solutions in digital factory, intelligent planning, digital banking, automation driven property management for hospitality, digital workplace and smart loyalty among others are yielding rich dividends.
As overseas markets — Europe and America — start opening up post pandemic-induced lockdowns, what is the impact on businesses and new contracts?
Demand picked up towards the second quarter of the last fiscal (July-September FY21 onwards). ITC Infotech capitalised on this as it noticed an active interest from clients to invest in technology for both business continuity and towards digital transformation.
This led to a 3X increase in the number of significant deals we have in the pipeline, compared to the previous year.
What are the hiring plans for this fiscal?
Given our robust deal pipeline, we will ramp up our headcount. We have already expanded our hiring capacity on the back of a healthy demand pipeline across technologies.
We have also redefined our talent strategy to maximise hiring potential by accessing technology talent from Tier 2/3 cities in India and emerging locations across the globe.