Dr. Anand Deshpande, Chairman, Managing Director & CEO, Persistent Systems Ltd. has a B. Tech (1984) in Computer Science and Engineering from IIT Kharagpur, a Masters (1986) and a Ph.D. (1989) in Computer Science from Indiana University, Bloomington (USA). Anand worked as MTS at Hewlett-Packard Laboratories in Palo Alto, California from 1989 to 1990. He is responsible for overall leadership and management of the Company and drives the sales and technology efforts. Anand is also a member of the IEEE, IE (India), CSI and YPO. He is currently the co-convener for Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) India Council, member of the Executive Committee of NASSCOM, serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council of the School of Informatics of Indiana University and is on the Executive Committee of MCCIA. In the past, Anand was the President of SEAP from 2005-07 and Chairman of the Pune Chapter of CSI from 2003-05 and is the Chairman of CII, Pune zonal council 2008-09.
Persistent Systems Ltd. is a global company specializing in software product development services. For more than two decades, Persistent has been an innovation partner for the world’s largest technology brands, leading enterprises and pioneering start-ups. With a global team of 6,600+ employees, Persistent has 350+ customers spread across North America, Europe, and Asia. Today, Persistent focuses on developing best-in-class solutions in four key next-generation technology areas: Cloud Computing, Mobility, BI & Analytics, Collaboration across technology, telecommunications, life sciences, consumer packaged goods, banking & financial services and healthcare verticals.
Replying to Yash Ved of IIFL, Dr. Anand Deshpande says, “We think that the opportunity for product takeovers and end of life product is excellent”.
What kind of impact are you seeing from global crisis?
A lot of crisis in global and European market is not visible to us. The product companies are seeing technology changes. We are seeing good growth through technology changes. We have good position with customers in new technology areas.
What are your expansion plans for FY13?
We are looking at growth in current business model. We have a few areas where we are focusing on like cloud computing, analytics, and mobility.
What is your outlook on the IT sector?
See, what we have observed now is that the customers are definitely far more upbeat and are willing to spend in some sense. But, overall what we have observed is that the way they were doing business three years back or two years back, and what they will do in the future is quite different. So, we think this is pretty much the new normal.
People are going to make decisions where projects are going to be very different. People are going to look at shorter projects. If you look at customers looking for a pay-per-view, pay-per-use kind of SOA based models, customers are starting to do pay-per-use kind of services as well.
So, project sizes have become potentially smaller. There is higher volatility but overall there is enough activity to grow on a quarter-on-quarter basis and definitely for the year.
What are your inorganic growth plans?
We think that the opportunity for product takeovers and end of life product is excellent. We have had a very good one that we closed in the last quarter and we have a very good pipeline of more of these product takeovers.
We are also trying to see how to align these products so that we are able to get cross synergies. If we are to compare these with product company margins, then we are starting to see a morphing of the company from one part to the other.
Comment on your capex plans?
Our current capex will be used for Hardware and Software. The total spending on capex last year was Rs 1,103mn.
What is your outlook on margins?
Last year, we have done some improvement in PBT margins. Our topline increased by 28% as PBT was up by 30.9%.
What is your revenue mix?
About 85% of our revenue comes from USA, 7% of our topline comes from Europe and remaining 8% of our revenue comes from the Indian market.
What are current cash and debt levels?
Our Cash plus investments stood at Rs 3290mn, while debt level was at Rs. 6.5mn.