Indian IT companies sink or swim in the era of digital and automation?

Last Friday, Bengaluru-headquartered Mindtree informed stock markets about independent director VG Siddhartha stepping down from the board to focus on his business, Coffee Day Group.

Siddhartha continues to be invested in the $780-million IT services firm, but it was the end of a tenure spanning 18 years. During this period, he witnessed the abrupt departure of executive chairman and Mindtree’s first chief executive Ashok Soota in 2011 (when the company was less than half its current size).

In 2016, the Mindtree board appointed its third chief executive, Rostow Ravanan, who succeeded Krishnakumar Natarajan. However, for at least a decade, each of these top managers often faced one question — when will Mindtree cross $1 billion in revenue? It hasn’t happened in 19 years.

In its first decade, a couple of investors rued the fact that Mindtree’s annual business was what the larger IT companies did in a couple of months. The IT services providers were competing to expand repeatable outsourcing services, known within industry as ‘application development and maintenance.’ Such deals were typically multi-year contracts, which meant predictability of revenue.


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