Form being a startup company in 1995 to a mature mid-sized leading offshore software services company, Pune based Cybage Software has come a long way and is poised to grow even further with its aggressive expansion and investment plans. Arun Nathani, CEO and MD of the company discusses Cybage's differentiating factors, key strengths and growth and expansion plans in the near term. Excerpts from his interview with Pradeep Akkunoor for The Economic Times....
You started off in 1995 - what has changed from 1995 to 2006?
The mid-nineties were the time for start-ups. There were a lot of companies that setup base suring this time, and some of them have survived and thrived. However, today's business climate is more suited to mature players. This is and era where proven business models and delivery capabilities are more critical and startups will find it very difficult to compete with established service providers. Today, the software development model has almost become a commodity, so unless you are able to differentiate yourself in the market, it is very difficult to survive and succeed.
So how does Cybage differentiate itself in this market?
Much like the city of Pune, which has the infrastructure and facilities comparable to a big city, at the same time, a culture and tradition of a small city, Cybage is the best of big and small company. We have the best processes and execution capabilities of a big company, at the same time, personalized focus and touch of a smaller firm. Also, we have a very focused business model in the growing Outsourced Product Development space catering primarily to the Independent Software Vendors (ISVs). This is a niche market and we are one of the leading players in this segment.
You count among your clients such big firms as Microsoft, Electronic Arts and Double Click. Why do such companies prefer to work with Cybage instead of giving all work to or setting us their own Offshore Development Centers?
This is a very important question, not just for Cybage but for the entire IT industry. The "operational efficiency" justifies the choice of such work coming to Cybage - it is a much more efficient, scalable and economical proposition for these companies to work with a partner like us who specializes in running a quality driven offshore house.
Does it mean you have dedicated resources for each partner?
Yes. Ours is not a typical contract-vendor relationship; we play more the role of partners to them. We sit with the client to understand their requirements and help in forming a team. Once that has been done, the dedicated resources for these clients will work just as an extension of the client company's own employment setup. This gives the partner total flexibility and control over the projects.
Being an IT services company, the Quality and Information Security processes may be very critical to you - can you tell us about how you manage them at Cybage?
We are an SEI-CMMI Level 5 company - and it is a testimony to the highest level of maturity of processes that we have at Cybage. We also recently kicked off ISO 27001 initiative that will help is establish an effective information security management system and business continuity plan using a continual improvement approach.
Tell us about your growth and expansion plans.
We believe in a planned and managed growth and thinking ahead of the time. We have opened a new development centre in Hyderabad. This facility is located at landmark 'Cyber Towers' that hosts development facilities of some global IT giants like Microsoft, Oracle and GE Capital. We have plans of further expansion in Ahmedabad and other cities in India. In Pune too, we recently acquired an additional facility to accommodate 300 engineers. Meanwhile, our own campus is also being setup in Pune with a capacity to accommodate around 4000 engineers.
In the coming years where is the maximum growth going to come from - geographically?
The global markets are more interconnected than ever. A company may be headquartered in the US, but we may work with its offices in other countries, so I wouldn't outline any geography as such; growth will come from all locations.