AFTER THE PARTY… The Rich and Famous Remain Bold and Beautiful

DQI Bureau
New Update

The party is still on, though the wine isn’t as dark and free flowing. And

while the music is loud as ever, the revelry has been cut short–it is tomorrow’s

hangover that everyone is worried about. But this year’s Top 20 companies have

justified their rankings–they recognized the warning signs, took quick

decisions and changed market dependencies to survive the crash, with most of

their paintwork still intact.


Top 20 Snapshot

  • Revenues grew from quarter

    to quarter, and it was Q4 that showed the highest growth of 27.8%

  • However, Q4 showed a

    negative revenue growth of 3% in fiscal 2000-01, against last year

  • With a lower share of

    12.5%, manufacturing lost its ‘best customer’ status. The banking

    and finance sectors, whose share increased from 8.8% to 14%, were the

    top spenders

  • Unlike the industry trend,

    it was the domestic market (57%) that grabbed the greater share

  • Infosys was among the

    fastest-growing, with its 115% growth rate propelling it into the Top


  • Celetron, promoted by the

    Tandons, was the fastest of them all, growing at 140% to enter the DQ

    Top 20 for the first time, grabbing the No 15 slot

  • Defying the global trend,

    Infosys and TCS stepped up recruitment

And the moves that saw this year’s DQ Top 20 companies post an increase of

over 56% in revenues (overall industry grew just over 50%) compared to the

previous year, displayed quick planning and quicker execution. There was

spirited offshore development, new business opportunities were tapped into,

Europe, APAC and other markets emerged as hot new destinations. Consolidation

and overhaul of business models became the rule–there was much to sing about.

The US remained King, but there were others knocking at the palace gates.

The Top

20 Club
Rank Company

Revenue (Rs Crore)

2000-01 1999-00 %
1 Tata Consultancy

3,142 2,034 55
2 Wipro 2,947 2,036 45
3 Infosys

1,901 882 115
4 Compaq India 1,761 1,085 62
5 Tech Pacific 1,727 1,171 47
6 IBM 1,662 1,182 41
7 Hewlett-Packard

1,540 1,138 35
8 NIIT 1,375 1,096 25
9 Redington

1,345 749 80
10 HCL Technologies 1,322 926 43
11 HCL

1,276 1,079 18
12 Satyam

Computer Services
1,220 673 81
13 Ingram Micro India* 930 486 91
14 Samsung Electronics

881 501 76
15 Celtron


(Tancom Electronics + advanced )
836 348 140
16 Aptech 766 511 50
17 CISCO 765 360 113
18 Cognizant Technology

704 414 70
19 Microsoft * 660 466 42
20 Pentasoft Technologies 583 404 44

Some companies have changed their figures for the previous year


DQ Estimates


An indicator of the staying power of the country’s top IT companies was

that there were few newcomers on the list–only CMC and Tata Infotech slipped

out of the rankings, tantalizingly close to the list, however, at No 23 and No

24, respectively. Moving up fast to fill the slots were Celetron and Cisco


The Rs 10,000-cr booster shot

Year 1999-2000 had witnessed a dramatic drop in the contribution of the government sector to Top 20 revenues. This year, however, IT spend by the government and PSUs increased by nearly 2%And

proving their drawing power, the Top 20 companies notched up an increase of

nearly Rs 10,000 crore over the previous year’s figures, touching Rs 27,479

crore. And there were some newcomers in the coveted Top 5 club as well, as

Compaq and Infosys moved in to dislodge IBM and HP, which slipped to No 6 and No

7. Infosys went a step ahead, as it joined TCS and embarked on a recruitment



The Tandon-owned Celetron Electronics emerged as the most nimble-footed this

year, as it pegged a year-on-year growth of 140%. This unmatched performance

stemmed directly from the merger of the two group entities–Advanced Technology

Devices and flagship Tancom Electronics, giving birth to a new entity christened


Infosys chairman NR Narayana Murthy did sound the alarm bells while

announcing the company’s Q4 results, issuing a profit warning and forecasting

a meager growth of 30% for 2001-2002, but this will reflect in the balance sheet

only next year. In 2000-2001, Infosys had a spectacular party as it zoomed to

the No 3 slot with a growth of 115%. Even in these troubling times, Infy nearly

doubled its workforce from 5,389 to 9,831. It also topped various APAC surveys

on human resources and business practices (including Dataquest’s ‘Best

Software Employers’ survey, published in the May 31 issue).

The industry marched ahead with a growth of 50.3% in fiscal 2000-01, overall revenues touching Rs 49,677 crore. Of this, the Top 20 accounted for 55.3%, or Rs 27,479 crore. And the Top 20 marched much faster than the industry, registering a growth of 56.1%. This was in keeping with the trend exhibited last year–while the industry had grown at 38% in fiscal 1999-00, the Top 20 had notched up a 45.8% increase


The secret behind Infosys’ success was in ensuring that a smaller

proportion of revenues comes from its top ten customers. An unhappy experience

with GE–its largest customer at one point of time–ensured that the company

would never again depend so heavily on any single client.

Another success story was that of Compaq, the PC vendor that entered India

only in the mid-1990s. It acquired an established systems and solutions company

in 1998-99, while entering the DQ Top 20 at No 5 in 1998-99. It soon set the PC

marketing benchmarks for established players like HP and IBM. And it’s now

made it to the Top 5 infotech groups of India–growing the fastest among

systems vendors. Sure, Compaq took a global hit in its PC leadership and its

earnings, went through a $1-billion restructuring and 8,000 layoffs. But Compaq

India outperformed its global and Asia growth in almost every category,

displacing HCL Infosystems from the top PCs slot.

Systems remained the hottest segment, though its share fell this year. And for the first time, domestic revenues outshone exportsFirst,

it was the driven by the ISP boom, then emerging contact centers and the

enterprise segment. Cisco smartly realigned itself with changing market

conditions to remain the undisputed leader in the networking segment. The

slowdown did not ruffle the giant as it marched ahead with yet another year of

three-digit growth. The company doubled its reseller base this year from 600 to

1,200 in its bid to reach out across the country.


Slipping from the first to second slot, Wipro showed a growth 5% below the

industry average of 50.3%. While Wipro Technologies outpaced industry growth

rates with a 70% jump in revenues, it was Wipro Infotech that pulled the final

tally back, growing at a more sedate 37%. Wipro Technologies contributed 80% of

the group’s net profit. The internal restructuring included the ushering in of

Suresh Vaswani as president of Wipro Infotech. The year also saw Wipro’s

listing on the New York Stock Exchange.

For NIIT, this was a year of consolidation and restructuring, the third such

exercise for the training major. The restructuring is aimed at achieving NIIT’s

next big target–Rs 10,000 crore by 2006. The pinch of the slowdown and the

resultant lay-off in IT companies, with fresh registration and inquiries

falling, saw NIIT switching into a massive campaign mode that would definitely

impact its topline. While NIIT slipped by two rungs to No 8, arch rival Aptech

was down three notches to finish at Number 16.

Mumbai-based ‘technology distributor’ Tech Pacific India kept all its

customers happy. With Shailendra Gupta deftly handling the helm and working on a

distinct business model, not very product-specific, Tech Pacific grew by 47% in

2000-01, from Rs 1,171 crore to Rs 1,727 crore. Tech Pacific distributes a

spectrum of products from all top vendors–Microsoft, IBM, Acer, Sun and HP,

among others.


TCS: The tallest of them all

Regional distribution showed that south India was creeping upwards, though west India retained the top slot with 18.5%. The eastern region remained the lowest, with its share falling further Despite

a growth rate that was just 5% above the industry average, sheer size ensured

that TCS nudged out Wipro to emerge as 2000-01’s No 1 IT company. Of the Tata

Group’s overall revenues of Rs 4032 crore, IT flagship TCS alone brought in Rs

3,142 crore.

The Tatas grew TCS into Asia’s largest software exporter after creating it

as a logical alternative to the lapsed management agency system in the sixties.

There were doubts whether sheer base size would make gaining newer customers

difficult in a fast-moving economy. But numbers posted in 2000-2001 and other

developments scoff at all negativism. The TCS success story includes a growth of

54.5% in 2000-01, up from 23% in 1999-00. Revenues shot up from Rs 2,034 crore

to Rs 3,142 crore.


IT’s latest romance: Finance

Given that banking and finance are sectors relatively unaffected by the

slowdown, the IT industry benefited from projects in these verticals. The year

saw a marked increase in IT spending in the banking and finance sector. Spending

on IT projects increased from 8.8% in 99-2000 to 14%, while the contribution of

the manufacturing sector slipped by nearly 2%. For the first time, 18.8% of

Infosys’ revenues came from Europe (compared to 15% last year), while the US’

share came down from 78% to 73.5%. With it’s sixth reorganization in five

years, Wipro too ventured into Germany and France, apart from opening it’s

first European Development Center at Reading, UK, with 50 application

specialists. Year 1999-2000 had witnessed a dramatic drop in the contribution of

the government sector. This year, IT spending by the government and the public

sector increased by nearly 2%.

With a lower share of 12.5%, the manufacturing sector lost its ‘best customer’ status to banking and finance, which increased their share from 8.8% to 14%. The IT and telecom sectors showed little change, remaining strong buyers

Western region: The coolest one

Revenues grew from quarter to quarter, with Q4 showing the highest growth of 27.8%. Despite this, Q4 revenue growth was 3% lower than registered in the previous yearThere

were no surprises in the regional distribution of revenues, with a contribution

of nearly 19% from Western India and the South close at it’s heels. This trend

did have exceptions like the Mumbai based PC vendor-Minicomp, which reported

over 40% of revenues from the east.

The number of offshore outsourcing deals coming India’s way increased

sharply–that India is a relatively cheaper market with a sound knowledge base

was only ground home more vehemently. The result: IT exports jumped by a massive

64%. And while a major chunk of the exports still went to the US, over a tenth

went to other countries. But surprise, surprise, surprise–defying overall

industry trends, the new Top 20 reported greater domestic market sales (57%)

than exports (43%).