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Focusing on ‘potential’ customers has paid off: Mindtree MD

Chennai, August 20: In the last four years ago, Mindtree, a Bengaluru-based mid-tier IT consulting company, decided to drop certain business segments and let go over 130 customers. It decided to specialise in four key sectors where it has good capability to target ‘must win’ customers and beat competition. The gamble paid off, said Krishnakumar Natarajan, Managing Director and CEO.

“If the four-year CAGR is taken as a metric, we are No.1 across all IT listed companies. In four years, the company’s stock delivered 400 per cent returns,” he said.

As Mindtree turned 16 on August 18, Natarajan celebrated the birthday at the Ramanujam City facility and spoke to BusinessLine on the changes the company brought in and its effect. Excerpts:

What was the trigger for the rejig in January 2011?

We were then at the lowest level and had to take a call by saying how to come up from the lowest point because we can’t go down any further. We felt there was a good chance of becoming multi-segment specialist in areas where we have the right capability. From focussing on eight or nine segments, we reduced it to four – retail and consumer products, travel and hospitality, hi-tech (work with cloud) and BFSI with primary focus on insurance. We dropped medical electronics, public sector, healthcare, oil and gas. We looked at what our capabilities and felt we had a better chance of success because it was driven by the fundamental premise that we need to be specialist in the focus areas to beat competition.