Can MindTree combine low cost services with high end consultancy?

As promised in an earlier post I thought I would write a bit more about my meeting with Indian service provider MindTree and the offshore service pioneer, Ashok Soota, who chairs the company.

MindTree is, which was involved in the development of Microsoft Azure, ten years old and about the seventh largest Indian supplier, with revenues last year a shade over $270m.

The company was formed in August 1999 as the result of a collaboration between executives of Indian service provider Wipro, US consultancy Cambridge Technology Partners and Lucent.

This diverse group of people combined the low costs of India with the high end consultancy of Cambridge Technology Partners and the technology expertise of Lucent.

Up to now it has had two broad business lines. These are IT services encompassing internet based solutions as well as business intelligence and data warehousing software. Its business intelligence software is its main business and accounts for 60% of its sales.

The other business line is product engineering where it designs and engineers components of products.

It is now entering a third stream by entering the smart phone white label market. In October last year it acquired a part of Kyocera to support this.

MindTree’s UK business accounts for 10% of its business and has 800 staff. 80 of these are in the UK, with 720 in India that are dedicated to UK customers.

It says it will only work on full scale IT outsourcing projects with mid sized companies, but will and does work with huge corporates on parts of IT outsourcing projects.

For example it built the website. It also provides services to Unilever.

UK head Tridip Saha said as a mid sized supplier it will offer its customers more attention. He added that it can give midsized companies service levels they could not afford from the tier ones.

“We are restricted by our reach and not our capability,” said Saha.