Coming soon: IT advice from an infrastructure behemoth

Identifying the potential of IT in construction industry, Satish Pendse, the CIO of Hindustan Construction Company Ltd. along with his IT team is set to initiate a new venture under the HCC brand name. Pendse details the planning process. HCC has undertaken a new initiative in terms of reaching IT to the industry. Could you elaborate a little more on this initiative?

Satish Pendse, CIO, Hindustan Construction Company
Satish Pendse

Although HCC has been a leader in terms of leveraging IT in the construction industry, the IT industry, on its part, lacks domain knowledge of the infrastructure industry. We saw an opportunity, and decided to explore it. With 70 people in our company, we will be based out of the HCC campus in Mumbai. The new organization will extend its offerings internally within the group, as well as external clients.

Putting across the idea of a new business model needed a lot of convincing. But in the last 18 months, we have managed to gain 23 customers. Now we will formulate a full-fledged IT company, which predominantly services the infrastructure industry.

While the global infrastructure industry will be our major clientele, we might also look at other verticals. At the moment, we are operating as a division of HCC, but the new company will be a separate business entity from the financial year 2010-'11. The company's name is yet to be decided. What will be the business objectives of this new initiative?
Our aim is to be an end-to-end service provider for the infrastructure industry. These services will be provided through internal technical experts, as well as through alliances. We will be the one point contact for all IT services, and will work as a structured partner for our clients.

The services we plan to provide are SAP implementation, GPS-based tracking devices, multiple-packaged application implementations, and end-to-end services going forward. Can you tell us about the initial challenges?

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It took us some time to get across the potential of this business to our seniors. The infrastructure industry is a growing industry, and we have several expansion plans in the pipeline at HCC. With expansions happening on all sides, there was a need to enter new businesses—one in which we have no experience. SearchCIO: Where do you see this venture going in the near future?
Our plans are ambitious. We wish to go global, because I believe that IT business should not be confined to just India. As far as creating a brand name is concerned, we have already tied up with a leading branding company.

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