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Ramadorai says Tata, not bye

autos Updated: Aug 28, 2009 22:29 IST
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As he sees the world and India come out of an economic downturn, he wants the toddler that turned a giant in his hands grow further to double its revenue from India to $1 billion (Rs 5,000 crore) over the next three years.

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) may have gone global, but it is only now coming home to its backyard market.

As a humble man set to retire in October, the Grand Old Man of Indian software, Subramaniam Ramadorai, has come a long way from the days he wrote code for what was once dismissed as a “body shopping” company that supplied cut-rate programmers to the Silicon Valley.

Having let TCS in 13 of its most exciting growth years, including its public listing and acquisitions in places like Chile and Australia, he is all set to pass on the baton to chief operating officer N Chandrasekaran.

Is it a worry for youngsters entering software amid a slowdown and a hurting recession in the lucrative US market? What is the future of Indian IT?

“So long you deliver you need not worry,” Ramadorai told reporters. “Newer areas are emerging and one should look at specialising in analytics, simulation and modulation.”

Ramadorai retires in October on turning 65 but would stay on the board of TCS and a few other Tata group firms.

“I would want to make the brand as visible as needed, guide on strategic directions and be involved

in talent building and nurturing,” he said.

When Ramadorai took over as the chief executive of TCS in 1996, he got a company that had a turnover of $100 million (Rs 334 crore). What he is passing to Chandrasekaran is a TCS with revenues of more than $5 billion – with a presence in 50 countries through 170 offices.

TCS alone turned in a profit of Rs. 4,700 crore in 2008-09.

Important acquisitions in the growth process of TCS include the privatized state-owned firm

CMC Ltd and Phoenix Global Solutions.

“The slowdown is a good time to reflect on the acquisitions we have made. We are not proactively looking for acquisitions but that does not mean we will not consider one if something good comes our way,” said Ramadorai.

“Mr Ramadorai is a pioneer, a manager par excellence and a trend setter. He helped create India's largest IT company by his work and vision and leaves behind a

rich legacy to his successors,” Mohandas Pai, Infosys board member told Hindustan Times.

“He is recognised for his exemplary contribution to the IT industry.”