BENGALURU : India is at the heart of the growth strategy of International Business Machines Corp. (IBM), both in terms of customers and talent. IBM in India has invested in building development centers that will help innovate and grow its software portfolio. Its consulting business in India is also experiencing double-digit growth. In an interview, Sandip Patel, Managing Director of IBM India, talks about the company’s growth strategy, the technologies it is focusing on and the implications of splitting its managed infrastructure services business. Edited excerpts:
What is IBM’s roadmap for India in 2022?
IBM is a very different company today: we are more strategically focused, more technologically capable and more financially sound. We bring the power of hybrid cloud and AI (artificial intelligence) technologies to customers around the world. India is at the heart of IBM’s growth strategy, whether for our customers or for talent.
Around 70% of our revenue will now come from software and consulting, two higher value-added businesses that experienced strong growth in the third quarter with the continued acceleration of consulting and two-thirds of our software business on a recurring revenue base. This is also true for Indian business.
We are also relying more on our ecosystem and collaborating with all the major GSIs (Global Systems Integrators) across the country. While we invest in partnerships, we also invest organically and inorganically to deliver innovation. We have made 19 acquisitions since April 2020 to strengthen our hybrid cloud consulting capabilities. Likewise, we organically develop new innovations that matter to our customers.
In 2022, we will continue to accelerate the growth of our business in India with expansion and hiring in cities beyond the subways, building on our collaboration with leading educational institutions, investing in the creation of ‘a skills program for our employees and contributing to the country’s Skill India and Digital India missions.
Tell us about your plans to create more centers in Tier II and III cities in India.
We have invested this year in India, in building development centers that will contribute to the innovation and growth of our software portfolio. We recently announced the launch of IBM India Software Labs in Kochi and Ahmedabad. Likewise, as part of IBM’s consulting business, the IBM Client Innovation Center (CIC) specializing in design, software engineering and analysis has been launched in Mysuru, and we are looking to hire more than 10,000 people this quarter around the world. Recently, we also launched a new facility in Hyderabad dedicated to business process operations consulting. The expansion in these cities will boost skills building and digital innovation, providing a solid foundation for the IT / ITeS sector in the respective states. It will also help to expand opportunities for talented people beyond the subways in India for the benefit of our clients.
We are seeing double digit growth for our IBM consulting business in India and continue to hire. To drive growth, IBM Consulting has increased double-digit recruitment in its global distribution network, comprising 55,000 fully cloud-trained consultants globally, and more than 70% of professionals have deep industry expertise. This is also true for the Indian market.
What are the main technologies IBM will focus on in 2022?
We will continue to invest in technologies that help our customers generate business value and growth. Some of them include open hybrid cloud, data and AI, cybersecurity, blockchain, and quantum computing. Quantum computing is approaching a commercialization phase that will change our world. From the field of drug discovery to complex financial modeling, the potential applications of this technology are huge in a country like India.
Our commitment is to develop a quantum ready workforce and create an ecosystem to nurture the quantum community in India. We enable cloud access to our quantum systems for leading institutions such as IIT, IISc, Indian Institute of Statistics (ISI), Indian Institute of Scientific Education and Research (IISER ), etc., from India to accelerate training and research advancements in quantum computing.
What are the side effects of splitting the managed infrastructure services business from IBM?
IBM and Kyndryl are each other’s biggest customers and one of their key strategic partners. Kyndryl will continue to include IBM hardware and software among its offerings. We are confident that the joint IBM and Kyndryl business will continue to grow in India, as the customer will benefit from the added degree of focus that each company brings.
We are committed to redoubling our efforts in terms of responsiveness and listening to customers and these improvements are already being implemented by IBM and Kyndryl. For example, our collaboration with Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL) is part of a ten year partnership where IBM and Kyndryl will provide the best IT solutions to create a new ‘Airport in a Box’ platform. which will support transforming the end-to-end travel experience for passengers at BLR Airport.
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