October - 2014 - issue > CEO View point

Sailing the tide of Digital Transformation

By Jayant Dwarkanath, CEO, Intense Technologies Limited
Monday, November 24, 2014
By Jayant Dwarkanath, CEO, Intense Technologies Limited
Founded in 1991, Intense Technologies (BSE: INTENTECH.BO) is an enterprise software products company headquartered in Hyderabad. The company has a current market cap of Rs 1,000 crore.

We started Intense Technologies during the 2nd wave of enterprise software products with a hand full of dollars and limitless dreams. During this time IT outsourcing model had already been well established. Despite services opportunities available aplenty, the challenge of creating something on our own and the model of "build once " sell many" excited us more. As first-time entrepreneurs we may have been naive in following our instinct than established practice. Nevertheless, we backed ourselves and took the leap of faith and while we work to our riches, the journey certainly has been enriching!

Digital Transformation or Digitalization is now being spoken as the next big global opportunity for software vendors. According to NASSCOM, it will add revenues of $13-14 billion to the existing $118 billion in the financial year 2014-2015 alone and further grow annually at 11.2 percent CAGR. Intense's products have always being enabling digital transformation of customer centric business processes. Our main goal was to enhance end customer experience that will improve enterprise revenue and give them a good ROI. While starting Intense we realized that an established player(s) in any domain have gone through their own evolution cycle and reached there because of the strength and value they bring to that domain. Having reached there, they will do everything possible to not vacate the podium. We chose a niche space because; here demand is created rather than fought over. There is ample opportunity for growth that is both profitable and rapid.

There are number of factors that helped us in becoming successful in this niche domain. First, we never understated the importance of domain expertise. This became even more important for an emerging company, when brand recall and customer references are limited. Second, our customers are the best (or worst) advertisement. In a young or emerging company, more resource is spent on engineering than on marketing and branding. It was important to have an (or a few) anchor customer(s), who are willing to endorse our technology and support. Finally building a superior product was half the battle won, it was important that equal (if not more) time is spent on strategizing go-to-market activities, we needed to have.

Despite having a clear vision of what and how to achieve it, we faced challenges. Our major challenge was to get customers and retain our talent. Brand recognition drives a partner and reseller eco-system that drives the revenue engine. Until that is in place, it was vital to build a network of anchor customers who will willingly testify our solution and the company. However, the bigger problem with growing companies is to find and retain talent. For the sheer breadth of their experience, talent in emerging companies is always a favourite with larger organizations. It was for us to constantly communicate the vision with all associates and celebrate successes as milestones toward that vision. Having said that, we made sure that the disparities in compensation levels from market standards is not so much that will continuously have the associates distracted.

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