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Mindtree to double hirings in 2011-12

Mid-tier IT company MindTree will make its biggest hiring ever, since its inception, next fiscal even as it has revamped its strategy, focusing only on two growth engines instead of seven earlier.

MindTree, plagued by a series of internal issues involving the sudden exit of its founder chairman, Mr Ashok Soota, following its closure of its smartphone venture, has also now moved its target of achieving $1-billion revenue by a year to 2015.

The company has decided to make 2,400 campus offers — its highest ever in a single year — during 2011-12, which will increase the total number of employees by about 25 per cent. This is apart from the lateral hires the company plans to make though it has not disclosed any numbers.

During the current fiscal, MindTree has hired a total of about 1,100 employees, with about 9,700 currently on its rolls.

Prunes target

The company has also decided to revamp its strategy and concentrate on two areas in lieu of the seven it focused on earlier. The MindTree managing director and the chief executive officer, Mr Krishnakumar Natarajan, told Business Line, “Earlier, we had seven growth engines. Now, we are concentrating on two major areas, IT services and product engineering. Data analytics, infrastructure management and testing are the activities that will support our product engineering and IT services initiatives.”

The company wants to focus on fewer domains and take the lead in them. It may be recalled that knowledge services and the beleaguered mobile wireless services were among the engines intended to drive growth earlier.

MindTree, which was founded in 1999 by a group of former top Wipro officials, has been seeing black days for a while: a failed plan to create a smart phone; a share price graph that has plunged from Rs 566.40 on March 19 last year to Rs 361.75 on March 17, 2011; and the exit of Mr Ashok Soota, one of its high-profile founders.

Mr Natarajan said that while the company would go ahead with its earlier plan of touching $1 billion, it might take a year or two more to achieve that target. “We hope to close this year with a turnover of $330 million.”

‘It was a quick exit'

Regretting the failure of the company's Android smartphone, Mr Natarajan said that MindTree had no other option (but to withdraw from the market). But this has not dented the image of the company, said Mr Natarajan and pointed to the fact that the campus recruits to whom MindTree had made offers could have gone to other companies, but still chose to come to MindTree. “If Sachin Tendulkar scores a few ducks, will you write him off? The question of how quickly you jump to judgment is also important.”