For Gilles Grapinet, Senior Executive Vice President of the 9-billion-euro IT services provider Atos, his recent visit to India has been exhaustive. Having spent two days in discussions with the recently set-up India Advisory Board, he wants Atos' footprint in Indian market to grow rapidly. In a chat with Shivani Shinde, Grapinet talks about the importance of India, the role of the Advisory board and Europe opening up for outsourcing. Edited excerpts:
What were the key take aways from the first quarterly meet of the India Advisory Board of Atos?
The advisory board will help us understand the areas that we need to focus and also frame a relevant go-to-market strategy. We are excited with the guidance that have received from the members and on how to look at the India market.
India is strategic region for Atos. We want to position Atos in a much broader way and hence want to select areas where we are strong in and can bring in difference.
And what would be the areas that the company would like to focus on?
We are not new to India. Two years back we acquired a payment services company Venture Infotek, so we would naturally want to leverage that. We are a leading player in European payment segment and also have major presence in Asian market. Add to this our acquisition of Siemens IT unit last year, that added another strong partner SAP, which gives a strong hold in the enterprise segment and the transport vertical in India.
We are also well known in supporting IT systems for the security forces, including the police, and military.
How important is India to Atos?
India contributes 10 per cent of the volume delivered by the company, which reflects our operations here. We have around 8,000-8,500 people here. India is an important hub in terms of innovation. Our India centre is already linked to all the key strategic groups in the company. One such group is the Scientific Community within Atos. As a part of this group our Indian colleagues are part of some of the most crucial innovation within Atos. This group is responsible for coming up with the next new game changers in the industry and business and how can we invest in creating solutions for these innovations
Add to this last year, we inaugurated the innovation centre in Pune. Today for every vertical we have, more than 10 proof of concepts are running at this centre. Majority of these are linked to the creation of new futuristic enterprise, Cloud, and our initiative towards zero email.
Has Atos been late in India both from an offshore centre hub to looking at this region as a market?
I do not think so. It has been the natural evolution of the company given our historical footprint and business profile. We are primarily a European company, where offshore trend is still very low. We are extremely big in France, Germany etc. Even Indian IT services players have not been able to grow in these regions except for UK.
Moreover, over half of our revenue comes from managed services, which is not ADM work and hence not easy to offshore. Though we do have people from India supporting some of the work, it is still not significant. Also almost 30 per cent of our business comes from the public sector.
So we are not late. We are here at the right time. We at Atos see much more in India than it being just a pure offshore base. And we will grow India much more than other offshore players.
With the crisis in Europe still high, is Europe opening up for offshoring?
The crisis has seen the mindset of European companies changing. Customers are much more prepared to adopt models/solutions. Even in a gloomy environment we have been able to have a good pipeline in the Infrastructure Technology Outsourcing segment.
We need to also keep in mind the parallel development and adoption of Cloud, which can again slowdown the offshore story from Europe.