Temasek acquires $250-million stake in Kerala’s UST Global

By: | Published: June 28, 2018 4:27 AM

Temasek Holdings has bought $250-million stake in Chanderias-led UST Global, in an unprecedented bout of investment in the digital technology sector by the Singapore-based investment behemoth.

Temasek Holdings has bought 0-million stake in Chanderias-led UST Global

Temasek Holdings has bought $250-million stake in Chanderias-led UST Global, in an unprecedented bout of investment in the digital technology sector by the Singapore-based investment behemoth. Temasek is usually reputed to invest in infrastructure, financial services, consumer business etc, with stakes in firms like Bank of Singapore and Alibaba Group.

This equity infusion brings Kerala’s first homegrown unicorn UST Global in the league of $1 billion-plus firms, UST Global CEO Sajan Pillai told mediapersons, in Thiruvananthapuram. Temasek is also the first institutional investor for UST Global in its 18-year journey from a 10-people outfit in Thiruvananthapuram’s Technopark. Currently, it employs 18,000 people in India alone. It has 35 offices worldwide and regional headquarters in California and London.

Although UST Global’s top brass prefers to call the new equity infusion “a minority share” without mentioning the exact share, Temasek’s share is reported to be about 20%. Chanderias-led Comcraft Group, run by a Kenyan business family of Indian origin, has the controlling stakes in UST global.

What is significant about the Temasek investment, according to Pillai, is that it is “not a temporary sizzle” on the digital platform, but it “a true measure of the long-term potential” of the company.
UST Global chairman Paras Chandaria says the Temasek connection will enhance the current global exposure of the company.

A part of the equity infusion is to be set apart for acquisitions. “Apart from organic expansion, we see significant avenues for growth through the acquisition of niche players with complementary offerings,” says UST Global CFO Krishna Sudheendra.

“Although we are growing at about 20-22% in our global operations, spreading across the US, Latin America, Israel, Malaysia and India, the corresponding level of hiring would be skewed across the various geographies,” said UST Global chief administrative officer Alexander Varghese.

In the coming days, the competence focus would be on artificial intelligence and Internet of Things. UST Global also sees governments as the key customers in the future and are on active e-governance associations with the Israel, Malaysia and Indian governments.

UST Global caters to technology and innovation requirements of Fortune 500 companies including digital customer engagement, data analytics, cloud consulting, product engineering, automation and cybersecurity solutions. It has a range of platform solutions across healthcare, cybersecurity, talent management and automated operations.

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