Interview| True transformation cannot be attempted by thinking in tech terms alone: Sudhir Singh, CEO & Executive Director, Coforge

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October 28, 2020 1:15 AM

NIIT Technologies has renamed itself and now operates under a new name, Coforge.

How should one look at shaping a democratic technological model of AI governance?On the growth front our story over the last three years has not just been one of exceptionally fast organic growth from being an approximately $400 million IT services firm to becoming a $600 million firm.

NIIT Technologies has renamed itself and now operates under a new name, Coforge. “Coforge stands for working together to create lasting value,” says Sudhir Singh, CEO & executive director of Coforge. “Over the last three years, we have carved out a growth path that has had three characteristics. Our growth has been robust, it has been predictable and it has been profitable. We intend to continue along that path over the next three years as well,” he tells Sudhir Chowdhary while discussing the renaming initiative, business plans and the company’s vision for the future. Excerpts:

What was the reason for going in for a new identity at this juncture?
The last three years for the firm have been a period of exceptionally strong growth driven by significant changes in the leadership, the structure, the operating culture and the capability matrix of the firm. The name change is emblematic of the transformation that the firm has undergone.

On the growth front our story over the last three years has not just been one of exceptionally fast organic growth from being an approximately $400 million IT services firm to becoming a $600 million firm. It has equally importantly been one of how that rapid growth was delivered with EBITDA margin also increasing to best-in-peer-class of ~18% while employee attrition remained one of the lowest across the industry.

On the digital capability front, we aim to eventually have 50% of our revenues coming from our digital and IP- led portfolio over the next few years. Three areas where we have etched out a distinct position and built up significant scale, partnerships and architect pools are automation, integration and product engineering.

How does Coforge intend to differentiate itself from its competitors?
We shall continue to follow the playbook which has made us one of the fastest growing IT services firms, on both the revenue and operating profit growth parameters. Our differentiation derives from our operating culture, capabilities and our approach towards execution.

On the digital capability front, we aim to eventually have 50% of our revenues coming from our digital and IP- led portfolio over the next few years: Singh

On the organisational capabilities front, we believe that true transformation cannot be attempted by thinking in technology terms alone. It can only be delivered by a team that appreciates the business process context and has the expertise to deploy the most appropriate technology solutions. We leverage automation, integration, cloud and insight driven technologies allied with our industry expertise to transform client businesses into intelligent, high growth enterprises.

Illustratively, the fact that we have scaled up a $40 million proprietary insurance platform business today reflects the fact that we have lived up to the talk of building deep industry expertise and emerging technologies to build this Insuretech platform. Almost a third of the Lloyds Insurance market volume are today powered by our underlying platform.

Our credentials in the product engineering space allied with our agile delivery model has and will continue to drive differentiation through the execution engine. We intend to continue to create accelerators, partnerships and architect pools in our cloud and data practices to replicate the scale and success that the automation, integration and product engineering service lines have experienced.

What are your plans to overcome the challenges due to Covid-19?
We’ve always believed as a firm that the final arbiter of growth is the delivery experience that clients experience in the long term. Repeat business is a function of building trust off zero-surprise delivery. The wallet share increase that we have secured during the pandemic because of zero surprise delivery led by our 11,000 engineers, architects and developers is what has continued to power growth and hence allowed us to address the immediate challenges that the pandemic has thrown at us.

We also relooked at our business strategy during this period and creating a new set of capabilities on the healthcare provider front. Healthcare is now the fourth vertical that we operate in and we have secured a material win in that space already.

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