Steria to expand domestic business in India; eyes more government projects

Steria delivers IT enabled business services to private and public sector organizations. Nearly 40 percent of the company’s revenues in India come from the public sector segment, said Sachdev Ramakrishna, director- Marketing, Steria India, in an interaction with InfotechLead.

Steria is expanding in India. The company is mainly supporting its European customers with infrastructure support, application management, and high-end BPO. Their Chennai center, for example, does financial accounting for large global media client.

Recently Steria also started reaching out to the domestic market in India. Steria earns 40 percent of its global revenue from governments, and this gives them the opportunity to tap into burgeoning government projects in the country, Ramakrishna said. The authorities here are trying to get closer to the citizens with better governance and prioritizing program transparency.

Sachdev Ramakrishna, director- Marketing, Steria India

“We see huge prospects in India’s homeland security, and see ourselves well equipped to serve the sector with our strong background of deploying software applications for protecting the European border,” Ramakrishna said.  “In addition to homeland security, we believe that we can make a difference in how highway traffic is managed in India.”

Steria recently won a project from UP Police to respond quickly and effectively to emergency calls in Kanpur. The implemented technologies have set new standards in policing — Advanced Call Centre that can identify the caller, locate the caller location and capture the incident in real time, with 30 digital lines open 24 hours a day.

The police force is now empowered with a comprehensive real-time view of events across the city of Kanpur with this crucial insight. Emergency response teams are able to better assess needs, prioritize and coordinate actions and proactively deploy assets to address and possibly prevent multiple, complex incidents within the city, he added.

Now the company is planning to expand to Punjab, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Orissa, and Karnataka.

Steria is serving several government organizations globally. In 2005 the company launched a shared business service (NHS Shared Business Services) joint venture with the UK Department of Health that is delivering sustained savings.

Steria is also delivering the Schengen Information System II and the VISA Information System to the European Commission and played a vital role in the revision of the French national tax refund system as a key partner in the Chorus SAP Finance programme.

Steria’s implementation of a completely new municipal financial management system in Hamburg, Germany, is providing more transparent, comprehensible and traceable information, leading to much better utilization of state assets. Also, Steria has developed innovative approaches to control room services, and through a shared service 10-year partnership with Cleveland Police in the UK delivering over £50 million in cashable savings.

On the private sector front, the company is with many of the biggest organisations in Europe, including EDF Energy, BBC, BT and Deutsche Telekom, Ramakrishna added.

Commenting on the global slowdown, Ramakrishna said the ongoing global recession is having a fairly big impact on business sentiments and customer confidence, particularly in the markets of US and Europe.

“Europe despite the economic crisis though has demonstrated higher acceptance of global sourcing. Markets such as Germany and France have been increasing outsourcing as a way to keep their costs under control and gain greater flexibility in the increasingly volatile markets of the euro zone and beyond.

“Europe is growing faster than the US, and will only gain momentum. There is a lot of latent demand in the region, which will drive growth for the sector. The market is now more open to outsourcing and in the coming year, we will see a lot of new projects coming up,” Ramakrishna said.

In addition, challenging labor market conditions, taxation norms and governments increasingly resorting to protectionism to stimulate their economies are impacting the ITES industry globally.

The industry is also facing challenges in developing the right skill sets to deliver newer technologies that are disrupting the traditional services and traditional forms of delivery, and earning confidence of customer enterprises in transitioning to these platforms.

The Indian IT industry will have to leverage the changing technology phenomenon like SMAC (social media, mobility, analytics and cloud) to offer differentiated products and services to customers and intensify its effort to change the perception of it being only a low cost destination, he said.

In the recent years, India’s undisputed position as the foremost outsourcing destination is being threatened by wage inflation and emergence of other outsourcing locations. Philippines and China are now seen as alternative sourcing destinations, especially with customers’ growing want to de-risk geographic concentration.

Another challenge for India would be to keep a strong talent pool and industry-ready graduates to meet growing human resources needs of the industry.

In the coming years, the industry will continue to see more active spending by the European public and private sector with large number of organisations using outsourcing to meet austerity targets and respond to fast-changing consumer market with disruptive technologies, Ramakrishna noted.

Asian markets will pick up pace as well. In India, the public sector will be an exciting space to watch out. IT spends will rise in the sector as state governments continue to invest in better governance and modern infrastructure.

In terms of technology adoption, the emergence of Internet of Things (or M2M) and interplay of social media, mobility, cloud and analytics will impact the SMAC phenomenon further and make Big Data more pervasive among enterprises.

Steria with over 40 years of track record has partnered with key technology players like Oracle, SAP, IBM, Microsoft, Informatica, QlikTech, SAS Institute and EMC². The company’s global strength with the local touch, and leadership in the European markets of U.K., France and Germany as well as in Belux, Switzerland and Scandinavia set them apart.

The strength of Steria also lies in the power of their people, said Ramakrishna. “People say we’re the human face of IT – which says a lot about our style and values. Our people also have a real stake in our business, with employees owning 22.7 pecent of our market capital and a chief executive that reports to both a supervisory board and an elected group of employee shareholders – unique in our sector.”

Rajani Baburajan

[email protected]

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