IBS grabs Lufthansa Cargos R700-cr deal

Written by M Sarita Varma | Thiruvananthapuram | Updated: Nov 23 2012, 07:01am hrs
Kerala-based IBS Software has bagged what is being viewed as one of the largest software product deals this year. European cargo airline Lufthansa Cargo has picked IBS to implement its iCargo suite in a deal totaling about Rs 700 crore.

Roland Schutz, vice-president and CIO, Lufthansa Cargo, said that the Technopark-based IBS was cherrypicked from a pile of 410 competing firms. We went past the fairy tales of sales figures of various companies to look closely into the processes and systems that went into the making of the air cargo management solutions for about 18 months, painstakingly shortlisted five companies and, this month, finalised on IBS iCargo. This will replace the legacy Unisys-based MOSAIK application which Lufthansa used for the past 30 years, Schutz said. Lufthansa Cargo is a subsidiary of Deutsche Lufthansa.

iCargo solution is designed to help airlines improve cargo revenues, volumes, profitability and customer service, while cutting down operational costs, IBS officials said.

Hans-Guenther Loeffler said this new deal is a fine example of the scope of Indo-German partnership. German firms were active with trade delegations at the recent Emerging Kerala Global Connect business meet and Lufthansa Cargos interest in IBS was an index to more positive tidings, Loeffler said.

Lufthansa officials also said that they would serve as a reference client to peers in airline industry so that the revenue-optimisation efficiency from iCargo can be utilised by other aviation players too. IBS executive chairman VK Mathews said that this accomplishment made IBS ambitious enough to become the worlds biggest software product company in the air logistics space. Currently, we are placed fourth or fifth in the list of IT product firms serving the airline industry, he said.

IBS has a clientele covering 20 global airlines, including All Nippon Airways, British Airways, Qantas, South African Airways and Nippon Airways. The company had attracted $60 million (R330 crore) investment from General Atlantic, a US-based private equity and venture capital firm, in 2007. In the last decade, IBS acquired five companies in the US and the UK.

IBS is planning an IPO in 2013, Mathews confirmed. This has been in our plan for a while. For this, we have been showing consistency in our business plans to ensure credibility. But, the market climate has not been right for IPOs for the past three years, he said.