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Mahindra Satyam’s Chinese push

Zafar Anjum | Sept. 17, 2012
In an exclusive e-mail interview, Rohit Gandhi, senior vice-president (Asia-Pacific, India, Middle East & Africa) of Mahindra Satyam, talks about his company’s big foray into China.

In the announcement, it was also stated that the company will partner local Chinese IT companies. Is this a new strategy? What will happen to your delivery centres in China?

Chinese IT players will give us greater access to the local market, and we in turn bring in additional capabilities, global best practices, access to global markets through our wide reach across 54 countries, and provide the Chinese partner access to our global customers having their base in China.

Our Chinese delivery centres will continue to expand. We strongly believe that partnering with local companies will increase our reach in Chinese market - particularly to larger corporations and also accelerate access to more local talent that we can train and make available to Chinese customers. We and our partners complement, and do not overlap, each other's offers.

Why has your company decided to support clients in markets like Japan, South Korea and Taiwan from China? How does it make more sense, than say, supporting them from your delivery centres in Malaysia or Philippines?

Near-shoring is the preferred concept among Asian clients when we consider remote infrastructure management, and China is close to these North Asian markets, such as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. The language skills available in China also mean that we are more likely to find non-resident Korean and Japanese speaking workers here than elsewhere.  We have existing engineering and hi- tech services capability in China and hence it will be a natural extension to use our pool of resources in China to serve these markets. We also continue to grow and invest in our delivery centres in Malaysia and Philippines, to meet both the local demand and service our global customers.

Does your focus on China dilute the company's focus from other emerging markets?

Not at all. We are seeing great traction in other emerging markets such as Southeast Asia, India, Middle East & Africa. However, focus on China is only natural given that it is the second largest economy in the world. Emerging markets now contribute 24 percent of our global revenues, up from 20 percent last year.

How is the Mahindra Satyam and Tech Mahindra merger shaping up? How will it affect your company's growth in Asia? What role will Singapore play in the new setup?

The merger is in the final stages of completion. We have already received approvals from both the company boards, shareholders, and the competition commission of India. Tech Mahindra is very strong in the telecom vertical and Mahindra Satyam is focused on the enterprise vertical. Tech Mahindra has strong presence in Philippines, Indonesia, New Zealand and Taiwan markets whereas Mahindra Satyam has strong presence in Singapore, Thailand, Japan, South Korea and China markets. Also, the merger will offer significant opportunities for cross selling to each other's customer base. So this merger will be complementary in nature and will impact positively our planned growth in Asia. Singapore will continue to play a significant role, as it is the innovation hub in Asia and our regional headquarters, after the merger of the two organisations, will continue to be Singapore.


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