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Perot to start healthcare IT in India, eyes buyouts

Perot Systems, the US-based IT service company with a third of its 22,000 employees in India, will soon start work related to its key healthcare business unit in India.

india Updated: Apr 16, 2007 23:31 IST

Perot Systems, the US-based IT service company with sales of $2.3 billion and a third of its 22,000 employees in India, will soon start work related to its key healthcare business unit in India and is eyeing acquisitions that could help its plan, its Chief Executive Officer Peter Altabef said on Monday.

“We are looking to acquire, both in India and outside. But we are a value buyer. So we tend to be counter-cyclical,” Altabef told Hindustan Times in an interview. "We tend to look at strategic opportunity than scale.”

While it is smaller in size than Indian giants like Infosys, which has sales in excess of $3 billion, Perot has a strong specialist focus with a higher component of consulting added to software, which enables it to get higher productivity.

Perot Systems gets about more than two-thirds of Infosys’ revenues while having only a third of its staff, thanks to its old relationships with clients and a complex focus on bundling various services into more lucrative long-term contracts that account for 85 per cent of its revenues.

Information technology, software maintenance, consulting and business process outsourcing are often blended into a single deal. Being decades old, it also has proprietary tools to manage them all together.

Healthcare represents 50 per cent of Perot’s total revenues, which have grown about 14 per cent per annum for the past five years despite competition from giants such as IBM, Accenture, Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services.

Perot is a leader in IT infrastructure services, which is one of its six business units, for which India is an active centre. Padma Ravichander, the managing director who heads the $260 million consulting and applications unit, is based in Bangalore, while Anurag Jain, who runs the insurance and BPO unit, is an Indian based in the US.

“I think India will be a centerpiece of our global delivery platform along with North America and Europe but it will not be exclusive,” Altabef said.

“We are functionally driven rather than geographically driven.”

“We have just opened an office in the Philippines three weeks ago and that was planned by the Indian office.”

The Indian headcount of the company founded by former US presidential candidate Ross Perot Jr grew 22 per cent last year and now stands at around 7,000.

Perot Systems has had a strong presence in India since 1996, when it entered as a partner to Shiv Nadar’s HCL group in a 50-50 venture in which it bought out HCL in 2003.

Since then, it has grown to have operations not only in Bangalore, Chennai and Noida, but also in Pune and Coimbatore.

"We are looking at Cochin as well,” Altabef said.