We hope to register $500-m turnover in 2-3 yrs

Earlier this month,Sanjay Dhawan took over as president and CEO of the $200-million outsourced software product...

Written by Goutam Das | Published: August 20, 2010 2:09:15 am

Earlier this month,Sanjay Dhawan took over as president and CEO of the $200-million outsourced software product development (OPD) firm Symphony Services. Before Symphony,Dhawan was president and COO of Aricent. In his first interview after joining Symphony,Dhawan speaks to FE’s Goutam Das about his immediate priorities.

Why did you want to join Symphony?

I know the company. The firm has been in the OPD space for sometime. It is an area that has grown very well over the past few years. Forrester numbers show the market will double from $9 billion to $18 billion. Symphony has been ranked number 1 by multiple independent analysts. When the Symphony board approached me for this role,it was exciting coming in as the CEO to grow the company beyond where it is right now to its next phase,and take it public.

So,you have a clear mandate for an IPO and inorganic growth…

The Symphony board has very aggressive growth plans for the company. They trust me to execute on that mandate. The plan is to get to about half a billion revenues in a rush,say two-three years. We have the addressable market for organic growth. However,acquisitions were an agenda for my predecessors as well and will continue to be my agenda. There is an opportunity to build a big company in this space.

The top line target implies it is time for some big ticket acquisitions…Up to this point,we were looking at what I called ‘tuck in’ acquisitions — fill in the gaps. These were smaller acquisitions in the range of $10-30 million. Part of the mandate would be to go in for a big acquisition — companies that are more than $100 million in revenues.

Where do you plan to list?

I have not had that discussion with the board yet. My guess is that since the investors are US-based,it will probably be a US listing. However,there is no rush to go IPO from our standpoint. We are profitable and growing. The only reason to go IPO is that it would help the inorganic growth strategy.

Has spending returned in the OPD industry? How much can the sector grow this year?

Last quarter,we did 10% sequential growth. When we look at the industry,20-25% growth in OPD space is possible this fiscal. Some of the growth will be because of people who are outsourcing for the first time. Lot of the growth,in our case,will come from new business models.

What are these new models?

Outsourcing 1.0 was basic labour arbitrage. However,it is no longer about giving some engineers to the customer and letting him take all the risk.

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