Inside outsourcing interview: ITC Infotech is "small enough to care but big enough to dare."

I met up with Hardeep Garewal, who is the head of Europe at tier-two Indian IT services firm ITC Infotech. It is always interesting to speak to some of the lesser known Indian suppliers.

ITC Infotech have interesting plans about making their mark in Europe.

The company has an interesting history. It was previously the internal IT department at Indian conglomerate ITC Ltd. With revenues of $7bn it is focused on fast moving consumer goods, hotels, paperboards, paper & packaging and agri-business.

ITC Ltd still owns ITC Infotech and is a major customer but spun it out in 2000 to serve other clients. This is similar to TCS, which is part of Tata and Wipro Technologies which is part of the Wipro conglomerate. It also rings of EDS, which was once the internal IT department of General Motors.

It has some really big customers. It is only currently a $300m a year company, with 6000 employees, but has been able to win big customers because they feel safe with it because of its huge parent company.

Garewal told me that ITC Infotech has been getting its European foundations laid and putting its strategy together and is now ready to grow.

The company knows it can’t compete on end to end enterprise outsourcing contracts but specializes in certain areas where it can compete. With CIOs disaggregating IT outsourcing contracts and looking at the individual pieces to see where they can improve, there is an opportunity for specialists.

“We have found large organisations are increasingly disaggregating their large Services contracts, and choosing us for the special experience and expertise we bring in this space,’ said Garewal.

So where does it specialize?

1- Infrastructure services. End user computing- Windows 7 migrations. ITC Infotech is busy migrating some big customers from XP to Windows 7. It is also developing co-existence between Windows 7 and 8.1 should customers want to upgrade to Microsoft’s latest system

2 – CRM and customer experience. It has a strong focus on CRM and has developed expertise in creating loyalty programmes for customers including airlines and retailers. It is also using its expertise to expand into areas such as providing customer insights through trade and consumer Analytics. It is co-developing software with Oracle.

3. Product Lifecycle Management. It currently provides services to large fashion outlets where its develops software that manages products from the initial design sketches right through to the customer.

4. Testing.  ITC Infotech’s Testing Centre of Excellence has developed expertise in the latest tools and methodologies, using TMMi to sharpen our testing effectiveness.

Another interesting point is that the CIO at parent ITC also helps the ITC Infotech business by meeting up with potential customers. So the CIO of a huge conglomerate shares his experiences with customers and potential customers. I imagine he is also very useful when it comes to helping ITC Infotech develop strategy.

ITC Ltd is the company behind e-Choupal. This initiative enables rural farmers in India to link to markets to sell via the internet. In the past middlemen would sell the products and make most the profits.

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