Headstrong To Ramp Up India Ops

New Delhi | Updated: Mar 26 2004, 05:30am hrs
The US-based $100 million Headstrong Corporation, an IT consulting and software services firm having delivery centres in India and Philippines, has decided to use its India centre to develop its domain expertise in investment banking. As a result, the company will be doubling its manpower in Bangalore centre to around 250 by the end of this year.

Headstrong has identified merchant banking as its core area of focus to create a niche in the market. Headstrong chairman and managing director Arjun Malhotra said, At our size, if we need to compete with giants like Accenture, we will have to specialise in specific areas and deliver the best-of-the-breed services.

Headstrong and Techspan - a software service firm promoted by Mr Malhotra - had announced merger plans in October last year. Mr Malhotra, who was earlier designated as chairman Headstrong, also took charge as CEO of the company in January this year. The India operations of the company are still running under the Techspan name as the company is waiting for some legal issues to be resolved. Techspan has two delivery centres each in Noida and Bangalore with a total headcount of 300.

Mr Malhotra claimed that the integration of the two companies was almost over and the management was now focusing on creating a niche by specialised domain expertise. We expect our financial service business to grow by almost 100 per cent from $23 million to $45 million this financial year (calendar 2004). The total contribution from this practice is expected to go up from 23 to 40 per cent this year, he said, adding that manufacturing is another area of focus of the company.

Mr Malhotra said that the company is also focusing on France and Japan market to expand the existing operations.

These are the markets that are considered small as compared to the US. But, they offer tremendous opportunity to become a leader in a long term perspective, he added.

Mr Malhotra, however, denied any plans to enter into Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) market. Our business is a value added model. BPO does not make sense for us as customers can get the work done at lower rates from BPO companies. However, we can provide some research-oriented or analytics-based services to our clients as value added services that need specialised skills, said Mr Malhotra.