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July 16th, 2007
Interview with BVR Mohan Reddy, the Chair of Infotech

He has more than thirty years of engineering and management experience, mostly in the IT industry. He holds masters degrees in management engineering and industrial engineering.

The geospatial industry is rapidly evolving. Keeping ahead of trends and identifying new opportunities is crucial for the players. Reddy feels positive about the growth and future of the industry, and sees four trends in the market.

‘Firstly, there’s the “mainstreaming of GIS”. This is its transformation from a department level tool to being part of enterprise-wide information and decision making’, he says.

‘Then there are new technologies that improve the speed and quality of data acquisition and production. For example, Tele Atlas uses “mobile mapping” technology to detect real world changes in road information. Infotech helps to process that into intelligent, accurate navigation datasets for the end customer.

‘There is also an increasing move towards open standards and inter-operability. This is making geospatial systems more open and enhancing their application value. ‘Lastly, innovative technology like Google Earth is providing a new way for us to develop applications. These and other market trends are creating new opportunities for Infotech, and they will contribute to our growth.’

Value adding is an important element of Infotech’s business strategy. ‘It translates into more profitable work for us’, says Reddy. ‘We started out fifteen years ago providing data services. From there, we moved up the value chain into areas such as software development, consulting and implementation.’

Infotech’s core business has been built around exporting data management services, mainly in the developed world. ‘We have focused on electric utility and telecom network operators, and we have acquired several customers in these markets, he says. ‘An interesting aspect of our business is the very high percentage of onshore and onsite services we provide, as opposed to offshore work.

India’s booming IT sector has been successful partly because of the cheaper labour costs. Is this offshore cost advantage a significant factor driving spatial services outsourcing?

‘While labour arbitrage continues to be a key driver, I believe it is only one of several elements’, he says. ‘Companies such as Infotech provide value adds to customers in terms of domain knowledge and technical expertise. This enables us to competently address their business and IT issues. We have developed these skills over several years of work experience.

‘Also, we can build skilled capacity very quickly. For instance, we mobilised 500 data operators in a recent project. This is perhaps the largest single-vendor data services project being executed by any offshore company today.

‘We have established rigorous processes around quality, information security and communication, to ensure that we have in place a global delivery model that supports flawless delivery. All these factors, plus the cost advantage, are critical to successful offshore outsourcing.’