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ITC Infotech strengthens leadership
Business Standard - 10 Sep 2014

With an ambition to join the $1-billion revenue club in the next three to five years, mid-size information technology (IT) services company ITC Infotech has strengthened its senior management team by bringing  at least six leaders from larger peers over the past six to nine months.

Among others, the wholly-owned subsidiary of ITC, the tobacco to hospitality major, has hired senior executives from competitors such as Infosys, iGate and Mindtree.

"We have set some very ambitious targets," said Anand Talwar, senior vice-president (SVP) for talent management at Bangalore-based ITC Infotech. "There are some quantitative goals and some qualitative ones. We want to be the best in our chosen domains. I think in certain areas we are meeting those targets, and in certain others, we need to build more domain expertise. This is why we have brought in some leaders from outside."

Senior sources said the company had devised a 'Plan 2020', under which it is targeting $1 billion in annual revenue over the next three to five years. It is hoping for $300 million for the current financial year (FY15), 50 per cent more than the $200 million in FY14.

It has, among other things, created a position of a chief operating officer for the first time and appointed Sushma Rajagopalan, with three decades of experience in technology and management consulting. Additionally, it brought on board Babuji Abraham, earlier an SVP at mid-size competitor Mindtree, as chief technology officer.

Mohua Sengupta, formerly at iGate, is now heading its largest business unit -- banking, financial services and insurance.

These appointments are all important for the company's ambitious plans. It has also tried to strengthen the presence in America and Britain, its key markets. The company has appointed one SVP each in the US and UK, to head its business development functions. For the US, it brought over Arun Banerjee from iGate; for the UK, it hired Rajesh Ravindranath, earlier with Infosys.

Additionally, to improve focus in the treasury and capital markets space, Ravishankar Iyer from Chennai-based Polaris Financial Technologies.

"A lot of internal people have also taken over leadership roles. But as an organisation, when you want to create a stronger image, you want people who are seen as leaders in the industry to work for you," said Talwar. "Also, the number of people who have come from outside is still a small percentage of those who have moved up within the organisation."

He said they'd be open to bringing more leaders from outside, if needed. "It is a happy mix, not an either-or situation, and we don't believe all leaders must come from within. It is sometimes good to bring people from outside because it gives you a fresh approach," he said.

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