‘We need to change faster than our cus­tomers’

To take a sneak peak into Team Com­put­ers chal­lenges in to­day’s tough busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment, we chat­ted with Ran­jan Cho­pra, MD of Team Com­put­ers. An Iitian, Cho­pra set up the com­pany in 1987 and boasts of a good num­ber of loyal cus­tomers

DQ Channels - - CEO Speak - ONKAR SHARMA onkars@cy­ber­me­dia.co.in

Where do you see Team Com­put­ers to­day, given its jour­ney since 1987 when it was set up?

Our job is to un­der­stand cus­tomer needs, and then iden­tify and in­te­grate the op­ti­mum so­lu­tions. This is what we’ve en­deav­ored to do over these years.

Es­sen­tially to­day we are where we are. All these years have been a mix of good and bad de­ci­sions that helped us grow and evolve as a sig­nif­i­cant player. In­deed, hind­sight makes us all wiser. There is a hu­man side to grudges like ‘we-should-have-done-more’ and ‘we-should-have-built-more com­pe­tence’, etc. But these are part of the healthy jour­ney we at Team Com­put­ers have tra­versed. We have been tough with peo­ple and with their per­for­mance. But this has paid us in the form of a set of loyal and sta­ble cus­tomers. Not only this, as a re­sult of this we’ve earned quite a good team mem­bers.

Most mem­bers do love their work and own it, in this re­spect team as a plat­form for self ex­pres­sion has de­liv­ered.

What are the big­gest chal­lenges to­day in front of you?

In a grow­ing en­vi­ron­ment like ours, hir­ing com­pe­tent peo­ple and earn­ing their com­mit­ment is a chal­lenge. An­other chal­lenge is to en­hance our cus­tomer-base, es­pe­cially in the big league range of cus­tomers. Though our good work in ar­eas like an­a­lyt­ics, Sharepoint and field-force au­to­ma­tion is well ac­knowl­edged amongst our cus­tomers, it re­mains a chal­lenge to en­ter the seg­ments where cus­tomers are ob­sessed with tier-1. We feel that we are right-sized for de­liv­er­ing many of these so­lu­tions.

We un­der­stand that the ba­sic chal­lenges are in ex­e­cu­tion and not in strat­egy.

What’s the roadmap to counter the eco­nomic chal­lenges which have cropped up in the global mar­kets?

We want to keep the fo­cus on the ba­sics. Laws of fi­nance don’t change. It’s sim­ple: look for right fit cus­tomers and part­ners.

In ad­di­tion, our con­tin­u­ous ap­proach is to cre­ate value for cus­tomers and de­liver bet­ter qual­ity at lower prices. The search is al­ways on to find good so­lu­tions for the In­dian mar­ket.

Do you find any change in the cus­tomer be­hav­ior? What is it like? How does it im­pact you and the in­dus­try?

Cus­tomers will al­ways look for bet­ter so­lu­tions which help them run their busi­nesses ef­fi­ciently. It is ob­vi­ous when we see cus­tomers that don’t want to build an army of IT per­son­als. And the best part­ner is he who helps the cus­tomers re­duce the com­plex­i­ties in a best pos­si­ble way. Sim­i­larly we are keen to re­place CAPEX with OPEX sen­si­bly.

The drive is def­i­nitely to­wards IT-as-a-Ser­vice and it’s only a mat­ter of time. We need to change faster than our cus­tomers which starts with a mind­set change at the se­nior man­age­ment level. We need to im­prove our own pro­duc­tiv­ity dra­mat­i­cally which means do-more­with-less and pass on the ben­e­fits to our cus­tomers.

Any plans to take the com­pany over­seas?

We will go with the flow, though we are al­ready do­ing an­a­lyt­ics busi­ness in the US.

In FY12, many IT com­pa­nies had their top lines bulged up but the bottomline was a cause of great con­cern. What was the case with Team Com­put­ers?

The topline does have a cor­re­la­tion with the GDP growth. Our fo­cus has never been on build­ing a large bal­ance sheet, there is a fi­nite mar­ket of good cus­tomers that we want to own. As long as we con­trol our sys­tems and costs, and de­liver bet­ter value we will have a de­cent bottomline. The re­turns on cap­i­tal at our end are fairly good and I am happy with that. More­over, I love this in­dus­try and our work.

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