In your view what are Infinite’s differentiators which set it apart from the competition? What are your target markets?
Our customers are global Fortune 50, 100 and 500 companies.
Our positioning to these companies has been that we are a local US based company. To back this claim we have an entire US organization and delivery setup. We have about 4000 employees and about a fourth of these are based in the US. As a company we have always hired locally and about 98% of our employees in the US are locally hired.
Further, we have US based local delivery centers that deliver on-shore services from Chicago and from the East coast.
The advantage due to this can be understood with the following example: A Fortune 500 client works with about 30-40 companies in the US and with a handful of Indian providers. We started as a local service provider with a small part of their IT spend and have gradually grown to become the largest provider! Through this model, we ensured that we are not subject to vendor consolidation risks and are following this with almost all our clients. Each of these clients have huge IT spends and Infinite can scale to USD 500 million with its existing set of clients!
The downside to having such relationships with global giants has been the perception that there is client concentration. However, since Infinite has multi-year, multi-million dollar business with the clients, the concentration risk is not applicable.
This was adequately demonstrated in the FY 2011-12 results when our largest client changed outsourcing strategy mid-year and therefore revenues from this business halved. However, due to the resilience of this model, we were not only able to avoid impact, but grew at 19%+ during the fiscal year!
Please elaborate on the nature of work?
As with the rest of the industry, we started out as a provider of Applications Management Services which has been largely based on supply of headcount. The issue with this model is all Indian companies have the same strength and it cannot serve to be a sustainable differentiator. Competing on price is no longer a feasible option.
Over the past 4 to 5 years, we have therefore moved away from this model toward Infrastructure Management Services, Product Engineering Services and Mobility and Messaging Solutions, which now contribute about 40% of our revenues. Our aim is to take this up to about 60% by FY 2015-16. We have also moved toward Revenue-sharing Risk-Reward and Fixed bid engagement models that have, over the past few years become our trademark.
How this works can be explained with the help of an example - In 2010, we entered into an agreement to buy a share of a Messaging Platform.
This deal involved Infinite re-badging client employees that work on this product as our own, as well as taking over the support of this critical platform (for their two existing customers which are the largest carriers in the US) along with the right to re-sell the product to any company that we chose. In case either the client or Infinite sells the product, both companies get a part of the earnings.
To give some idea of the criticality of the platform and the services provided by Infinite, there are about a 100 million subscribers between the two customers with traffic of around 900 Billion messages a year!
We have been in the process of enhancing the platform and have come out with a multitude of offerings in the mobility solutions space. In this space, we compete only with US and Europe based companies as none of the Indian companies have any such offering.
What changes do you see in the Indian mid-tier IT landscape and how prepared is Infinite to take advantage?
In the near future, we see large global corporates move more toward the inclusion of mid-tier technology service providers and believe that this will work toward our advantage since we have the project experience having worked with global clients on large, complex projects.
Thanks to our focus on long-term relations with our key clients that are global leaders in their field, we have multi-year, multi-million dollar contracts that offer revenue visibility over the next few years as well as higher stability as well as larger employee tenure.
Any other major differentiator?
Our Mature Management Team ! We believe that our management has substantial skills in delivering quality services and development of dependable business relationships as required by large Global 1000 customers. As hands-on leaders, the management team is involved in day-to-day operations and works closely with our clients. Experience across diverse backgrounds, geographies and varied areas of specialization within the Telecom and IT industry has given our management team a comprehensive technology vision as well as an end-to-end understanding of the strategic business needs of customers. Our team members have previously worked with leading global and Indian Telecom and IT Services companies.
Can you please comment on the year in focus and the guidance for next year?
We had an extremely satisfying year while we beat the revenue as well as the margins guidance both operating margins as well as PAT. It is all the more credible as the same came against the backdrop of few setbacks. One of course was planned while the other two were unplanned and also as we all are aware not very conduce macroeconomic environment. Our revenue grew by about 20% in INR terms. Our operating margins grew by about 24% and as mentioned earlier, I am particularly happy to share that we achieved this growth in spite of a very steep fall as you all know in contribution from our top client and the transfer of the BOT for another one of the top 5 clients. I believe this nature of growth was possible due to the spread of our clients, the kind of clients that we have acquired in the last couple of years that had been steadily growing over the last few years and this was primarily responsible for the growth from 190 odd million to 221 million last year. This should allay some of the fears about our overall client concentration risk.