A leader with vision has a clear, vivid picture of where to go, as well as a firm grasp on what success looks like and how to achieve it. Arvind Thakur is one such leader. As the chief executive officer and joint managing director of NIIT Technologies, he has played a key role in positioning NIIT Technologies as a leading software solution provider in select industry segments. The BFSI vertical, which is one of the mainstay of the Indian IT industry, has seen softness due to overall economic uncertainties. Under its IIT bred CEO, NIIT Technologies has been securing fresh orders at a steady rate in the travel & transport, manufacturing/distribution and government segments, in addition to the BFSI segment. Arvind joined NIIT in 1985 as a member of the core team handling key organisational roles. He was the president of the software business before it was demerged to form NIIT Technologies. He is also director of Hole-in-the Wall Education, an innovative venture, which enables technology to be deployed to educate masses. In a recent interaction, he tells Sudhir Chowdhary & Monalisa Sen that customers earlier used to look for a tech partner who could help reduce cost, but now are looking for a partner who could provide business enhancement. Excerpts:
The macro-economic challenges notwithstanding, the Indian IT industry demonstrated resilience and sustained growth in recent quarters. What were the factors that contributed to this?
Last year was slightly challenging primarily because of the macro economic situation. But we have seen recovery in the US, seen the euro zone issues upgrading their growth by the European stability programme being put in place. While the environment is turbulent, we have seen signs of positive improvement.
Different industry segments have had different impact from what happened in the environment. The segment that got affected the most is the financial services segment and the BFSI segment where the large financial institutions were most affected.
However, we have been seeing a strong traction in other segments like travel. If we look at our profile vertical-wise 33% revenue came from travel and 40% came from BFSI until a