‘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
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.