Cognizant expects business to grow stronger this year as there is an increasing demand for IT among Indian corporates to attain global standards in execution. Narayan Iyer, vice-president and country manager, Cognizant India, tells PP Thimmaya how Indian firms are trying hard to innovate with campaigns like Digital India, giving it the much needed impetus. Excerpts:
What factors drove Cognizant to focus on the India domestic market?
India is a high-growth market for us and is as attractive today as any other market. We are at an interesting shift point today brought about by significant and far-reaching structural changes in economies, businesses and technologies. In India, like elsewhere around the world, businesses are being buffeted by structural shifts because of globalisation, consolidation, ethical consumerism, and the like. The once-in-a-decade shift driven by digital forces – including social, mobile, analytics and cloud or SMAC technologies, sensors, IoT, and many more — as well as the instrumenting of technologies is putting industries and businesses at a crossroads. The pace of change and innovation is like nothing we have seen before. Today innovation cycles have compressed so dramatically that business leaders in India are increasingly thinking of driving innovation agility both within the corporation and outside.
There is a palpable initiative among Indian enterprises to attain global benchmarks in execution and quality. They are increasingly focusing on the imperative to ‘think fast’ and ‘think forward’ in order to strengthen their relevance for the future. The ability to innovate—both for India and by India — is also higher because the industry today has become more complex and built much broader capabilities. “Digital India” will provide further impetus to the country’s technological makeover. The new rhythm of innovation, technology adoption and entrepreneurial thinking clearly holds tremendous promise for the IT services market in India.
How different is the Indian market compared with others?
Our value proposition to the Indian market is slightly different in terms of the services we offer. While we have invested in a dedicated leadership and sales team, our approach to this market is a lot more consulting and domain led.
In India, Cognizant brings to the table a rich experience of providing solutions to Global 1000 companies and thought leadership—such as domain-intensive consulting skills, global best practices, large-scale programme management and high-end architecture skills, SMAC and digital expertise, and behavioral and change management interventions with suitable adaptation to meet local needs.
Which sectors in India are driving Cognizant’s growth?
When we started six years ago, our focus was largely on financial services and life sciences. Over the last few years, we have seen significant growth in retail, manufacturing and communications. We currently service over 50 clients in India, mostly large corporates in the private sector. We recently announced our engagement with Escorts, one of India’s leading engineering conglomerates, to modernise its technology landscape and help digitally transform its businesses to deliver innovative products, provide superior customer experience, and drive growth. This is a good example of how we leverage our global expertise to penetrate new markets, and drive new areas of growth.
What has been the growth rate of the India market for Cognizant?
We do not report our India revenue separately. India forms a part of our “Rest of the World” revenues, which also include Middle East, Asean, Greater China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. For the June quarter, this category accounted for about $563.4 million in revenue and grew 23.8% y-o-y.