Feb 19, 2000: AT a time when China is being looked upon as a potential
threat to the Indian IT industry, MphasiS BFL Software is eyeing
Chinese banks and insurance customers as potential customers.
represents an exciting market for us. Chinese banks and insurance
companies, with their immense software expenditure, are going to
be big potential customers," Mr Jaithirth Rao, Chairman and Managing
Director, MphasiS BFL told Business Line.
next fives years, I expect the top five Chinese banks to spend at
least a billion dollars on application development, integration
and deployment. This is a huge number and since we are interested
in the financial services sector, I think we should go and get our
fair share," he said.
now, we have one customer in China and are looking at striking some
partnerships though it's too early to disclose any details. On the
whole, you should see a good traction in the next 12 months as most
Chinese banks and financial services companies are putting together
big budgets for application software," he added.
is yet another potential market where MphasiS already has two Japanese
banks as customers. "We currently exploring a couple of partnerships
and have already signed on a small company in Japan. There are immense
growth opportunities in this market, but it will take time for us
to ramp up because we have limited Japanese language skills," Mr
Meanwhile, things are looking up the company's
call centre subsidiary, MphasiS BPO.
"We seeing a lot of interest being generated in
MphasiS BPO with a quite a few customer visits recently. In terms
of business, most of the traction is coming from finance and retail;
telecom is not doing all that well. MphasiS BPO currently has seven
customers and we would like to add about one or two customers in
a quarter," said Mr Rao.
While announcing its guidance for 2002-03, MphasiS
had projected a 200 per cent growth for MphasiS BPO.
According to Mr Rao, "In this business, soft skills
are far more important than physical infrastructure. And, the reason
we are confident about MphasiS BPO is that we think we are very
good at the soft skills: good at recruiting, training and deploying
people without deterioration in quality."
Speaking about profitability of the call centre
business vis-a-vis software development business, Mr Rao said, "We
are focused on both businesses; software remains the bigger chunk,
though it is sluggish right now compared to previous growth rates
and call centres have an exponential growth potential. However,
well run, both are equally profitable businesses (considering an
offshore model for software) and if you look at our gross margins,
MphasiS BPO is catching up quite fast with the software business."