eVector/Trigyn All Bets on Mobility

Setting comes naturally to Suresh Rajpal. So does winning. "I’ve
gambled with more than what most pockets hold," he says. "So far, I’ve
pulled it off. When your focus is firmly set on the target, you have more than
an even chance of hitting bull’s eye."

Maybe it’s angelic leap of faith. Though Rajpal insists there is little
faith and lots of careful planning and foresight–factors that are shaping
Trigyn Technologies’ move into the fast-emerging m-commerce arena. For the man
who spearheaded Hewlett-Packard’s activities in India for years, evolution has
been part of a career that has spawned start-ups. Rajpal quit H-P to start his
own company, eCapital Solutions, in 1999.

eCapital was later snapped up by Leading Edge Systems for Rs 950 crore,
creating Trigyn Technologies with Rajpal as president and chief executive
officer. Trigyn is focused in the areas of telecom, ebusiness and financial
services and has notched up a turnover of $21 million in its first year of
operations.

The shift to ‘m’

"The new economy enterprise is moving from ‘e’ to ‘m’ and the
key word is mobility. Communication and information are no longer bound by the
PC or conventional laptop. Today’s business is Net-centric and mobile,"
says Rajpal. While the Internet revolution led to the rise and fall of a hoard
of dot-coms, it also created tremendous scope for development of telecom and
web-related software. Whether the Websites survived or not, start-up companies
providing back-end technology emerged stronger after the shuffle.

The shift from H-P to eCapital and the creation of Trigyn has brought a
different set of laurels Rajpal’s way. He has won the Business Excellence
Award instituted by Exim Bank and the Confederation of Indian Industry, and is
now on the jury
for this award which is presented to outstanding performers in Indian industry.
The CII-EXIM Award is considered equivalent to the US, Malcolm Baldridge award
and the EFQM Award for Total Quality in the European region.

Rajpal, who is now looking for newer avenues for expansion, does not want to
stick to the conventional ways of doing business. "The idea is to break
away from the traditional model. Today, everyone wants to get into the Internet
business. But unless these companies define their niche and focus, they will not
be successful," says Rajpal. Increasing deregulation has brought in a flood
of new entrants, each trying to snatch a share of the pie, all adding to the
pressures of competition.

"We are no longer operating in the era of controlled business
environments. Intellectual Property Rights have come of age," he says.

Big-ticket customers

The hunt for a better business model prompted Trigyn Technologies to spin off
eVector as a separate company. Spinning off high-value software as a separate
company is being increasingly sought worldwide as an alternate route to
expansion.

It not only makes the business more focused, but also helps gain in terms of
equity and valuation.

Developed with a view to tap the emerging market for wireless software,
eVector is among the successful products of Trigyn. Rajpal explains that the
reasons for spinning it off as a separate entity were obvious. The whole world
seems to be moving towards mobile devices, and this technology has tremendous
potential. According to Cahners In-Stat, the number of worldwide subscribers for
mobile data services will grow from 174 million at present to 1.3 billion by
2004. And Trigyn, with a successful product in eVector, wants to ride on this
wave.

A number of portals, wireless carriers and end-user organizations are already
among eVector’s customers. The list includes Centennial, New World PCS in Hong
Kong, Charles Stanley and Talkcast Media in the UK. The company has received
funding from Chase Capital Partners, EurIndia, Intel Capital and Reuters. It
plans to use the funds to expand its marketing and sales force and establish
offices across Asia, in Europe and the United States.

And these customers are impressed. "We were struck by the management
team and the features of the eVector platform. They have a great technology team
and already have a number of global customers," says Vinod Ganjoor,
chairman and Chief Executive Officer, EurIndia.

Avtar Saini, Intel’s director for South Asia, adds that Intel has always
invested in companies like eVector, companies that are developing the Internet
economy.

"Access via the mobile is an exciting area of the economy. Putting
powerful digital tools in people’s hands while they are on the move takes us
one step closer to fully realizing the Internet’s promise as a useful and
indispensable part of everyday life," Saini says.

Deepak Shahdadpuri, vice-president, Reuters Greenhouse Fund for Asia says
that they found eVector to be ahead of the market, with a solid global customer
base. "Trigyn has built up a global model with multiple solution centers.
eVector is the only mobile application platform with such a rich feature
set," he says. "The technology team at eVector has created a robust
platform, with a sound technology base for the future, and with a leading-edge
product roadmap."

Aggressive line-up

Trigyn has plans well beyond eVector. "Other products for customer
relationship management, billing, mediation and customer care and for the
cellular infrastructure are under development," Rajpal says. "Some
will be released in a few months. And we already have a customer for each of
these products."

These orders date back to its first quarter, when Trigyn established
relationships with 18 new clients, mostly in the area of e-com and telecom.

During the next few months, the company opened additional sales offices in
Germany, Holland and Finland in Europe, as well as in Hong Kong and Malaysia, to
cater to customers and prospects in the East Asian region. Two of Trigyn’s
clients, signed up in the first quarter, are from China. Trigyn has signed up
with Compaq to distribute eVector as a VAR, for the Asia Pacific region.

The Cayman Islands-registered eVector is the first of several
"product" spinoffs. While this startup’s 35 employees focus on
development and support for the product, the 746 employees of Trigyn work on
services–and on other products.

Rajpal talks of plans to gradually spin off other high-value "convergent
commerce products that are domain-aware." Next in line is Apollo, a billing
software product aimed at the US market, to be spun off late this year with
angel and employee funding.

Rajpal is far from modest about Trigyn’s achievement. "The HR barrier
says that software revenues are proportional to manpower," he says.
"We’ve cracked it–with a product that can command global valuation for
Indian IPR"

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