“No Indian company can directly compete with Adrenalin”

Adrenalin is a strategic HR management software offered by Adrenalin eSystems,
a Polaris group company. The software helps users across the company access
critical information, work-processes and knowledge to work more effectively.
Developed initially for in-house consumption, Adrenalin is today marketed as a
third-party solution across the globe. Roshini Bakshi, group-vice president,
speaks to Dataquest about the genesis of Adrenalin and how she plans for its
future expansion.

Polaris has traditionally been involved with financial services, how then
has it come up with an HR management software like Adrenalin?
Polaris sought an employee-centric tool to align large numbers of people and
knowledge resources real-time, empower intelligent decision making, fuel
productivity and ultimately redefine customer service. What added complexity to
the challenge was that Polaris had a wide geographic spread of operations with
varying local policies and conventions. Often, disparate project teams worked
across time zones on shared tasks. The costs involved in communication and
managing these teams was considerable.

Adrenalin was developed to solve these issues for Polaris and the company
soon realized the commercial benefits of such a product. Subsequently, it was
planned to market Adrenalin as an independent third-party HR product.

Where does Adrenalin fit into the overall picture of Polaris?
Once Polaris realized the business potential of Adrenalin, it spun off a
separate company called Empower Works, with its focus on people management
software, to market the product. Subsequently, the company changed its name from
Empower Works to Adrenalin eSystems-currently, Polaris Software Lab holds 49%
stake and Polaris Holdings holds the remaining 51%. Till date the Polaris Group
has invested $3 mn in Adrenalin systems, aimed at global expansion in the UK and
the US by establishing subsidiaries. While we did business worth about Rs 10
crore in 2004-05, the aim is to double our revenues next year and reach $100 mn
in five years time. Our strategy also involves going for an IPO in three to four
years from now.

Which solutions available in the market are competing with Adrenalin?
While no company in India has a direct competitive product to Adrenalin,
both SAP and Oracle have HR modules offering similar functionalities. Pure-play
HR players like Hewitt, strengthened with the acquisition of Exult, have
high-end white label products, while in UK, a market targeted by Adrenalin,
there are strong presence for players like Northgate or Snowdrop. However, in
terms of cost effectiveness, Adrenalin scores over most competitors-the cost
of the product is based on a license fee, implementation and customization. It
ranges between Rs 1.5 lakh (for a single module) and Rs 30 lakh (for multiple).

What is Adrenalin’s user base in India? And, globally, what has been the
penetration success?
Till date, Adrenalin has more than 45 customers in India, with particular
emphasis on the manufacturing, ITeS and FMCG industries. Even IT services
companies are open to accepting the product, though we have consciously decided
not to be involved with PSUs as of now.

Regarding overseas markets, we started in the UK in February 2004 and have
bagged eight clients till date. We now plan to enter the US aggressively, but
for that we are completely customizing the product. This is essential becomse
different HR conventions and standards are followed in different countries.
Adrenalin is also foraying into the Middle East through a tie-up with the Al-Futaim
Group, formed for distribution of the software.

Rajneesh De

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