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Order book to help HCL Tech tide over third wave, says MD


While the anticipated third wave may have some impact on business, HCL Technologies is confident of registering double-digit growth in the current financial year on the back of a strong deal pipeline and hiring momentum, a senior company official said.

“I know wave three [of the pandemic] could have some implications, but for the deals which are already booked, they are under execution, I do think we should be fine,” C. Vijayakumar, CEO and managing director, HCL Technologies, said, replying to a query on impact on business due to the anticipated third wave across markets such as Europe, the U.S. as well as India.

Previously president and CEO of the IT service firm, Mr. Vijayakumar was earlier this week named CEO and MD for five years, after Shiv Nadar resigned as the MD as well as the director on completing 76 years of age. Mr. Nadar will take on the role of chairman emeritus and strategic adviser to the company’s board.

Mr. Vijayakumar added that the IT giant saw good bookings in the last two quarters and a lot of these are under execution. He said that the company had significantly ramped up hiring as well with the addition of 7,500 people in the April-June quarter, and about 9,000 people in the January-March period.

“Some of them are getting trained and they would be ready to be put on programmes. So, we feel good based on all these metrics, and believe it is possible [to achieve double digit growth]… Overall booking momentum is very strong, our pipeline is strong, our hiring is strong. So we are looking at good quarters ahead,” Mr. Vijaykumar added.

The strong deal pipeline is being driven by factors such as rise in digitisation, cloud migration, Industry 4.0, cybersecurity and overall cost optimisation.

Asked about expansion into new geographies, Mr. Vijayakumar said the company had categorised these into focused countries and new-frontier countries.

Focused countries are the ones where HCL Technologies already has presence but wants to accelerate growth. These countries are France, Germany, Australia, Japan and Canada. On the other hand, new frontier countries include South Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan, Brazil, Mexico, Spain and Portugal. From these countries, HCL Technologies does work for its global clients but does not do any work for clients headquartered in these countries.

“That is where we are building local sales teams to look for clients. So this is the strategy, and I think it will take some time. Our focus countries are already yielding good revenue and good growth. In new-frontier countries things are starting from scratch so it will take some time,” Mr. Vijayakumar said.

On employees coming back to the office post vaccination, he said the work-from-home model would continue for about half of the company’s employees. “There will be some kind of system that will be put in place where they come to office for a certain duration, certain days and work from home on other days. I think the hybrid model will be sustainable in the long run,” he said.



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