CSS Corp, which is majority-owned by private equity company Partners Group, said it had its biggest ever third-quarter revenue growth of 13% as it focuses on newer technologies and newer offerings and is building its business for stronger growth in 2018.
The Bengaluru-headquartered company, which has over $150 million in revenue, was targeting 15% growth this year. Manish Tandon, former Infosys executive vice-president, has been at the helm for over a year and says the company has been successful in the past year, but still has some way to go.
“If you are just focusing on the CIO buying centre, then it is a small opportunity,” Tandon, CSS CEO, told ET. “You need to focus on the business side, but then, you need a different set of capabilities. That is what we are trying to build and we have been reasonably successful for the past four quarters. We just finished quarter three. It was the single-biggest quarter in the history of CSS Corp. The sequential growth number is something people will die for, 13%, though there were some one-time impacts.”
The company is also expecting a better operating environment in 2018 and is building out its business to capitalise on the improvements.
“We are on a good growth momentum and I am very bullish about what we are doing. We have put a great team in place. We are also adding to the team in HR, sales and solutions. Going into next year, I am very bullish,” Tandon said.
Over the past year-and-a-half, since Tandon took over, CSS has been investing in growing its offering. In addition to Tandon, the company hired other high-ranking Infosys executives and has beefed up its sales and solutions teams.CSS has over 5,500 employees globally and Tandon has previously said the company is open to an initial public offering or a sale to strategic buyers as a way to provide and exit to its PE investors.
Tandon said CSS had spent the last year learning, refining strategy and paring its offerings to focus on the few that showed the most potential.
Unlike the CEOs of his larger rivals, Tandon does not believe that a generic push to automation will help the industry deal with the disruption that has begun to hit the companies.
“If you think that someone can build a product that can bring AI and automation to everything out there, then you are missing the point and that is what some of the legacy companies are trying to do,” he said.
“I don’t even talk about automation, AI and all those terms. I tell my customers that today, you are running this cost centre and paying me $2 million. Here is a way in which you can earn $3 million. CEOs don’t care if you are using artificial intelligence (AI), automation or nails and hammer. It doesn’t matter.”