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Exclusive interview of Rahul Kanodia with India Infoline

Jun 28, 2018 | Mumbai (India) | India Infoline

In an interaction with Shweta Papriwal, Editor, IIFL, Rahul Kanodia, Vice-Chairman & CEO, Datamatics Global Services Ltd, said, “We are looking for strategic acquisitions particularly in the digital technology space which includes SMAC, AI and Robotics.”
 
Tell us more about Datamatics and your business.
Datamatics builds intelligent solutions for data-driven-businesses to improve their productivity and enhance customer experience. Our portfolio spans across Information Technology Services, Business Process Management, Engineering Services and Big Data & Analytics all powered by Artificial Intelligence. We also have established products in Robotics Process Automation, Advanced Analytics, Business Intelligence and Automated Fare Collection.

Headquartered in Mumbai, the company has strong presence in the USA, Australia, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East with an employee base of 10,000 across the locations. Datamatics services over 450 clients globally.
 
Datamatics is publicly traded on the NSE/BSE India with revenue of INR 9103 Mn for FY2017-18.
 
We are talking a lot about Digital today, particularly automation and intelligence. Please share your views. Do we have enough awareness about the new technologies in India and globally?
Digital technologies are the way forward and enterprises across the globe as well as in India are adopting new-age technologies to improve revenue, increase efficiency and more importantly stay relevant to their customers. Digital technologies earlier defined as Social, Mobile, Analytics & Cloud, now includes Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. AI when integrated with RPA, Cloud, Mobility, IoT, Analytics or the traditional IT and BPM Services makes the systems, processes or devices smarter by allowing them to interact, learn and respond without human intervention.
 
I would say that there is good awareness about Social, Mobile, Cloud and Analytics. Robotics is a very hot sector. And there is a lot of buzz around Artificial Intelligence which is very fast moving and may just take a few years to see some concrete results.
 
Please tell us about Datamatics focus areas in terms of services and solutions?
Datamatics caters to multiple verticals including Banking & Financial Services, Insurance, Healthcare, Manufacturing, and Media & Publishing.
 
Our portfolio of offerings can be categorised as BPM, IT Services, Engineering Services and Big Data & Analytics. In each of these areas we provide a gamut of customized services with a unique combination of Enterprise and Digital offerings. We have also developed our own products to strengthen our offerings in each of these spaces, for e.g we have TruBot in RPA space, Workflow & TruBI in Big Data & Analytics, iMobile in Mobility space. Our workflow solutions and Smart Systems help clients to improve efficiency and increase employee productivity.
 
Datamatics has a strong R&D centre - DataLabs focusing on the new age technology areas like AI & Cognitive Science, Robotic Process Automation, and Augmented & Virtual Reality.
 
Geographically and industry wise – what is your focus? Where do you have the maximum client concentration?
Geographically, US contributes majority of our revenue, over 60% followed by India which contributes 17%, Europe 16% and 5% of our revenue comes from other parts of the world.
 
In terms of business verticals, BFSI contributes 28% of our revenue. We have pioneered the e-publishing business in India and Publishing contributes 23% followed by Manufacturing at 10%. Datamatics works very closely with International Organizations and 6% revenue comes from that segment.  Hospitality contributes 5% and 28% revenue comes from multiple segments including Retail & E-Commerce, Market Research, Transport and others.  
 
You did an acquisition last year in the mobility space, TechJini; you also have a product iMobile. Please tell us more about the acquisition and your focus in the mobility space.
Digital technologies and enterprise mobility has gained significant momentum with companies adopting ‘mobile first’ as a core strategy. Datamatics has a robust mobile technology practice and a product – iMobile, an enterprise mobility platform.
 
Last year we acquired TechJini (now called Datamatics Digital) to further strengthen our play in the mobility space. We have built applications for leading online brands the world over. We are also a Google-Certified Developers Agency for the third consecutive year, making it a part of the exclusive club of global companies who have been constantly focusing on innovation. We are doing some cutting edge work in Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality.
 
Automated Fare Collection is gaining a lot of momentum with Government’s Focus on Smart Cities.  Tell us about the kind of projects you are doing in this space.
Automated Fare Collection (AFC) is a growing market particularly in emerging economies where the demand for improved transportation infrastructure is on the rise.
 
Datamatics has a strong presence in the AFC space and in the last 15 years, the company has executed over 25 marquee projects across the globe including New York, London, Hong Kong and Dubai. In India, for Lucknow Metro, Datamatics is the prime bidder providing design, supply, installation and end-to-end testing of the AFC system. The first phase of this project has already gone live with 8 stations, which has been the fastest roll-out so far. We are the only company in India to have highly evolved AFC, Smart Gates and Contactless Gates service offerings through our proprietary solution TruFare.
 
Datamatics has been a technology partner to several global transit systems worldwide for two decades, and we are very proud to contribute to our country’s vision of creating smart cities and superior transport facilities.
 
Are you looking for any acquisitions?
Yes, we are looking for strategic acquisitions particularly in the digital technology space which includes SMAC, AI and Robotics. We look for companies whose revenue size are smaller than us, have a strong team with the required skill sets and the right cultural fit for us. Recently we acquired RJGlobus Solutions, a voice based BPO provider in Philippines to enhance our capabilities in the BPM business and also increase our market presence through an expanded global delivery centre.