It is just the beginning for Indian software products: Diwakar Nigam, Newgen Software

India is often discussed and deemed as the country which has product service organizations such as Infosys, Wipro and TCS, etc. Little do we know about India's product companies in the software space. Newgen Software is one such company which started its product journey in the BPM space more than a decade ago. While the company is growing, it has earned a considerable space in the banking and insurance space. Dataquest had a candid discussion with Diwakar Nigam, Managing Director, Newgen Software to know more about the company and its roadmap. Excerpts
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How do you place Newgen Software amid the growing market trends?

Unlike most of the other companies in India who got into services business, Newgen Software decided to get into the product business. For an Indian company it was too early. Either you are too late, or too early in the product business.. I think we were probably too early. In the last 10 years, we have been doing pretty well from a product point of view. BPM and ECM have become viable. Mainly the banks and insurance companies have used us. For us, BFSI vertical is the biggest. Government is just the beginning for us. We are looking at Digital India for business prospects.

How easy or difficult is it for an Indian product company to stay competitive amid global players such as Oracle, SAP, Microsoft and IBM, etc?

The product is a much more dedicated business in terms of time. All these big companies took 20 years or so to come up to that level. But after that, it is a big business opportunity which continues for long. Establishing a product company takes quite a long. For instances if a bank buys our product they will typically use our product for 15–25 years. You can change service providers on an annual basis, but when you buy a product – you are married to the company and are evaluating the risks in a very different matter. Hence, building that kind of trust with the customer is a different kind of effort. When we tell our customers that we have these world class products which are featured in Gartner’s Magic quadrant, they all ask us if we would be there to support them in the country; Will I be safe in putting my faith in you and opening my system to you? Ideally one has to overcome all of that to overcome customers but once you win them, they are there for 15 years. When our product is working in their bank, they use it for front facing operations and the day our product stops working, there business will shut down. We are trying to build something unique and it takes a great amount of effort.

How do you differentiate from your competition? Is it a disadvantage to be an Indian company competing against all?

We are at par with the competition. Our competition sells their product for $5-10 mn and then additional budgets for an implementation company. So, if you have deep pockets, you will go with such a vendor. The top 20 banks might be able to buy the top products from SAP, Oracle, etc but there are 25,000 banks who cannot afford the big players. Our target audience is these 25,000 banks. We have the advantage of being an Indian product as well as implementation player. We implement our products that helps customers to stay with us for a long term. Implementation is one of the major USPs we offer. Today, we will be having 200+ installations where the system is critical and it controls their business. Only 30-35% customers come from India, 30-35% come from EMEA and the rest is from the US.

In the recent growth scenario of IoT and cloud, how are you adapting to the changes with prospective customers?

This product has been designed for design architecture. We have done cloud implementation of our solution for quite some time now. Genpact has been using our DMS solution for storing their customer invoices, especially insurance customer invoices in US. It is hosted on Amazon for last 5 years.

Who and where are your customers?

As discussed earlier, our focus is not on the top 20 banks. But the rest is all our customers or desired customers. Shashwat Bank is our customer, ICICI bank is our customer. We have banks across scales and they all have the same requirements. In the Middle East, we have umpteenth number of banks. In Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, all main banks are our clients.

In India, almost all insurance companies are our clients including Max Bupa, ICICI Pru, Bajaj Allianz, HDFC, etc. We have a dominant position in India and Middle East, although it is just the beginning in markets such as the US and the UK.

What is the future of product companies in India?

It is just the beginning for Indian products. There are barely any known products in India. In the eCommerce space, we are only using technology platforms. It is going to take time for Indian products to emerge and become global.

How do you summarise your future in your business domain and how do you plan to strengthen?

The government can be a big possibility in India if the government comes we can jump if it doesn’t come we will still grow 25% so government business can be a great boom but I’m still skeptical about it and due to hurdles. It might take another 2-3 years before it can really become bigger. Outside as well we are sure that there is growth and that will happen in India let’s hope that things will improve and keep making efforts.

 

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