London traffic gets a helping hand from Mastek

Oct 29 2004, 00:00 IST
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Whenever Ashank Desai, chairman of Mastek Limited, drives around central London, he makes it a point to ask the driver how the traffic is being managed. When the driver expresses total satisfaction, Mr Desai tells him that his company, Mastek Limited, has worked on it. The cabbie immediately offers a waiver of the taxi fare, says Mr Desai happy at passing the true test of the solutions it helped implement to degcongest Londonís traffic.

His company, Mastek, has been involved in the implementation of the London Congestion Charging (LCC) project along with The Capita Group Plc, UK. The LCC project aims at deterring drivers from making unnecessary car journeys through central London and reduce congestion by charging drivers ú5 for entering the central London zone. This is done without barriers, tollboths or stopping the drivers but through a network of 800 fixed and mobile video cameras that captures the number plates and converts int into data. A second database of payment is built up through the day. At the end of the day, both databases are matched and non-payment is picked out and penalty charged.

Capita is the operational engine of the scheme ó managing the payment process, the imaging system, the databases and the back-office. Mastek was contracted by Capita to support the development of application and integration of key business applications including, the ecommerce website, call centre software and image management systems and integration with key external service providers.

With the company now involved in UKís National Health Service (NHS) project, Mr Desai can expect a more warm welcome. It is the successfully execution of the LCC project that led to the company getting this project in UK. Mastek bagged the ú 35 million, 10-year contract to support and develop applications for the NHS project through its partnership with BT Syntegra. The project is for creating a system that will securely hold medical records of patients across UK. Mastek is ramping up its Indian operations to meet the growing demand.

He just opened Mastekís new facility in Pune at the Marisoft IT Park. The 18,000 sq.ft. office will house about 250 people and has seen an investment of Rs 8 crore. ďWe chose this site as it will enable us to expand as we ramp up operations,Ē Mr Desai said.

It has a team of 70 in Pune and is in the process of augmenting the team strength here. Some of the work for the UK project could be done out of Pune,like building solutions.

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