‘We are building capabilities in metaverse and web3’

BENGALURU : Ashok Soota-led Happiest Minds Technologies Ltd is yet to see any demand pullback from large customers despite global and macro-economic concerns. The Bengaluru-based company is looking to increase revenue share from markets such as Europe and Australia, executive vice-chairman Joseph Anantharaju said. In an interview, Anantharaju spoke about the company’s focus areas and growth strategy. Edited excerpts:

What is the outlook for the next few quarters in terms of demand?

While we have not seen any pullback by enterprise customers, we are keeping a close eye on the geopolitical and macro-economic situation to act quickly if required. We see customers continuing their focus and investments in digital initiatives as these are necessary to optimize costs and manage inflationary trends better while also positively impacting the topline. Startups, especially those that are yet to break even, are being more mindful of their spends, but this is a very small proportion of Happiest Minds’ overall business outlook.

Any new geographies or sectors to expand your capabilities?

We would like to increase our share of the revenue from some of the newer geographies like Australia, the Middle East and Europe by having a higher growth rate in these geographies. We are making investments in increasing our domain depth and understanding to take a more consultative approach to our customers and their business problems. From a technology standpoint, we are building capabilities and solutions in some of the newly-emerging areas such as the metaverse and web3 and are in conversations with a few potential customers to help them build solutions around these technologies.

How do you plan to compete with hyperscalers in the cloud space?

We do not compete with hyperscalers. In fact, we see them as crucial partners and have forged alliances with some of them, especially Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) to build deep expertise on their cloud platforms and help our customers migrate existing applications to the cloud and build new ones leveraging the services in these platforms.

How is your deal pipeline and what kinds of deals are you focusing on?

Our pipeline continues to look healthy, reflecting the demand environment. One of the strategies that have worked very well for us is the ‘Land and Expand’ strategy, where we break into large enterprises, helping them solve thorny problems and establish our bona fides, digital expertise, and trustworthiness, following that up with larger opportunities and account growth. This strategy has been driving our brand desirability, visibility and credibility, as well as enhancing our chances of success and increasing customer lifetime value.

What’s your mergers and acquisitions (M&A) strategy for this fiscal?

M & As have been a key driver in augmenting our capabilities in the core, niche, and emerging technology areas. We continue to actively engage with various acquisitions candidates, both directly and through bankers / advisors. We are looking at solid acquisitions to help us either address strategic gaps – bulking specific geographic presence, deeper capabilities in sub-verticals or address critical mass in specific technology areas. As you know, acquisitions are binary in nature. We will continue to invest time and effort with a clear timeline talking to interesting target companies, with the larger goal of closing one acquisition in the current year.

How do you plan to tap the talent base in tier-2 and tier-3 markets in India?

In the last couple of years, we have broadened our recruitment catchment and have been sourcing candidates from tier-2 and tier-3 cities as well to widen opportunities for young talent across the country.

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