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HCL owes strength to business transformation

IT service provider HCL Technologies reported an increase in sales and profits, saying a plan implemented five years ago had allowed it to weather the recession.

The Indian service provider reported revenues of $685m for the past three months - a 5.1% increase on the previous quarter and 21.4% more than the same period last year. Profit for the quarter increased 78% to $77m compared with the same period last year.

HCL European president Rajeev Sawhney said a decision made five years ago has paid off. "I would attribute our success to the transformation strategy we set up five years ago."

He said when the recession hit, the plan was already well underway. "As we had built momentum, we were able to contain and deal with the crisis."

Sawhney said through the transformation programme HCL had broadened its portfolio and introduced a strategy to empower employees, which helped it during the downturn.

For example, it acquired UK company Axon in 2008 to add SAP capabilities.

He added that part of the transformation strategy included a programme known as "employee first", which gives more autonomy to HCL staff when dealing with customers, helping them make appropriate decisions quickly.

HCL puts the employee first, who will in turn put the customer first. "The business we are in is dependent on people. We do not have factories and machines, we have people who deliver services."

HCL said the Harvard Business School teaches about its "employee first" strategy.


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