Wednesday, April 1, 2009

N Krishnakumar (BMD 80) in Forbes

N Krishnakumar (NKK), BMD80 & CEO of Mindtree Consulting, speaks to Forbes

A Glimmer Of An Upturn

Elizabeth Corcoran, 03.27.09, 01:50 PM EDT

Indian outsourcer predicts a pickup in business.

Indian outsourcers have an intriguing view of business: Because they play the role of helping other companies get their products to market, Indian outsourcers can be a good early signal of confidence in other businesses.

Among India's outsourcers, Mindtree is relatively small--8,000 employees worldwide and annual revenues of approximately $270 million. It debuted on the Indian stock exchange last year. It has an intriguing lineage, too: It was founded in 1999 by a group of 10 executives from India and the U.S. and counts Harvard Business School professor David Yoffie and longtime semiconductor industry leader George Scalise as board members.

Mindtree chief executive, Krishnakumar (KK) Natarajan, talked with Forbes about the business climate. "We've gone through the downturn, and some segments are starting to pick up," he says.

Most notable: He sees signs of renewed vigor in the business of developing technology infrastructure that supports the travel business and also among midsize financial institutions exploring how to reinvigorate their operations.

"In the past six to eight weeks, we've had at least three deals with midsize financial institutions that are first-time outsourcers aiming to re-engineer their businesses to be competitive," notes Natarajan. "They're moving past the shocks of five to six months ago and looking ahead at the future," he says. His expectation: Growth could once again pick up by October.

Mindtree itself is looking toward the future, too: It announced a reorganization aimed at enabling its teams to provide product engineering support to clients on everything from chips to enterprise computing.

"The distinction between hardware and software is blurring," says Natarajan. Whatever it takes to move products faster to market, Mindtree aims to provide.

Thanks Tipu (IR 96) for bringing this to attention.

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