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Persistent wants a pie of Digital India spend

Shivani Shinde Nadhe / Pune 18 Sep 16 | 01:28 AM

At a time when information technology (IT) services majors like Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro and Infosys are distancing themselves from government contracts, mid-cap IT product and solutions firm Persistent Systems is gunning for government contracts.

The Pune-based company has been working on its India strategy for the last one-and-a-half years and started reporting India revenue numbers from the first quarter of FY17. “We believe there are white spaces in the government in particular and in India general which need to be tapped. At present, it is very negligible in terms of revenue contribution but in the next three-five years we expect India should be a significant chunk. By significant we mean upwards of five per cent," said Mritunjay Singh, executive director and president - services, Persistent Systems.

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Recently, the company announced the implementation of its multilingual intelligent search and analytics solution at Vidhan Sabha Bhavan in Lucknow. India’s largest state Assembly is among the first state legislatures in the country to embark on a technology road map that digitises all the proceedings. The Multilingual Intelligent Search and Analytics solution is an integrated solution to scan, annotate and index books of proceedings — stored in a secure and tamper-proof digital vault, and available on the portal accessible from any device. The solution allows searches in English, Hindi and other official Indian languages, through a specialised search capability custom built for Indian languages.

“When we approached the UP government they were not even aware that the Vidhan Sabha had its own budget and they could use it for digitisation. We were able to complete the project within the stipulated time. The best part is that two to three states have approached us for similar implementations. Discussions are still at the initial stages," added Singh.

Singh also elaborates that the strategy for tapping into the government sector is slightly different than what other services players have done. Persistent is approaching these contracts as projects rather than services. “We realised that it is easy for the government to buy an IP or package solutions rather than services. It allows then to price it. We have invested in creating pre-built packages or platforms that are plug-and-play and address point issues or help them create platforms," added Singh.

“We are also sure that we do not want to compete with the large IT services players who eye the big-ticket contracts. Our focus is to weed out players who have not been able to give quality services to the government vertical," he added. So far, the contracts that the company has been chasing have been in the Rs 100-crore range.

The company has five state government projects and two from the Centre.

The company is also restructuring its business and it recently moved out of about 20 contracts. “We want to work with clients for whom we are strategic. For these 20-odd contracts, we were not strategic and we thought ending these would be better for us. We think Q2 and Q3 will not see any dramatic change, but Q4 onwards we see good traction," added Singh.

When asked if the recent guidance cut by larger peers and pressure in BFSI (banking, financial services and insurance) is impacting them, Singh said: “No, we do not see any pressure in the BFSI space. We are anyways targeting that segment of the IT spend which is increasing like digital, cloud, mobile and analytics."

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Persistent Systems recently announced the implementation of its multilingual intelligent search and analytics solution at Vidhan Sabha, Lucknow

  The Multilingual Intelligent Search and Analytics solution is an integrated solution to scan, annotate and index books of proceedings, stored in a secure digital vault accessible from any device

  The contracts that the firm has been chasing in the Rs 100-crore range

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