Thursday, 10 September 2009

LTI making a mark in UK BFSI

(By Anthony Miller – Thursday 10th September 2009 7:30am). It’s been some five months since we heard the news that Tech Mahindra won the ‘Satyam Stakes’, leaving a bitter taste of disappointment with the other bidders. None more so than Sudip Banerjee, CEO of L&T Infotech (LTI) whom, you may recall, I first bumped into in London almost exactly a year ago (see Ex-Wipro exec resurfaces at L&T Infotech). I met him again yesterday and reminded him of our chat just before the Satyam sale was concluded (see L and T: If we don’t get Satyam we’ll buy someone else!). Are they still on the lookout for acquisitions? I certainly got the feeling he was running his slide rule over a number of players with US front-ends and Indian back-ends, but it wasn’t clear that any announcement was imminent.

I did learn a couple of other interesting bits of news, though. Of general interest in the offshore scene, it appears that Dr Keshab Panda has just left Satyam to join LTI’s parent company, Larsen & Toubro, to run its engineering services unit. I met Dr Panda a few times when he headed up Satyam’s European operations, but had since moved into vertical roles. It’s a loss for Satyam and a bonus for L&T.

And in our own market, LTI recently won its first deal with Edinburgh-based financial services firm, Standard Life. It’s significant because I understand this was Standard Life’s first ‘offshore adventure’ and LTI won it against stiff competition from the usual suspects, both from India and beyond. That’s quite a scoop for LTI given its size (global revenues around $400m). There’s a couple of other UK banking, financial services/insurance (BFSI) companies LTI works in too, and clearly Banerjee has set his sights on winning more – not just in BFSI. So, although vendor consolidation is making it really tough for mid-tier players to keep a hold on their customers – let alone find new ones – it seems that there is still space for those others with a good story to tell.

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