5 HCL Infosystems:Slow Growth But Heavy Support

The year 1999-00 saw HCL Infosystems jump over the 100,000 PC mark. However this did not make much of an impact on the revenue which grew from Rs 879 crore in 1998-99 to just Rs 996 crore in 1999-00. The growth rate was only 13 percent as against 27 percent in 1998-99. HCL Infinet, an ISP was also launched as a wholly owned subsidiary of the company.

HCL is now gearing up for big numbers hoping to cross 150,000 PCs mark. It plans to do this by increasing penetration in the upcountry markets and computer carnivals will help them achieve this goal. HCL for the past three years has been organizing extensive computer carnivals in about 25 locations across the country. Its success has now made it an annual event.

Another focus area for HCL in 1999-00 was the SOHO and home segment. The company has already set up an extensive support mechanism to provide service to the customers of this segment. A round-the-clock helpline and online support are now furthering their service efforts. It was through this segment they could double their sales of DragonSpeech software.

To keep ahead of competition, HCL introduced Toshiba laptops in the market. In addition to its presence in the hardware channel, HCL also signed agreements with Pivotal CRM, SAP and Broadvision B2B Technologies for a variety of technology adoptions. It also bagged the country’s biggest ever order for PC servers, from the National Crime Records Bureau and the Andhra Pradesh Government for its Hazard MIS project.

To expedient order execution and ensure smooth sales and after-sales service, HCL has implemented ERP at all major locations. All the branches are connected through a VSAT-based network for internal mailing. All this is being done with a view to ensure faster growth in the services segment.

Training of employees is a regular exercise and has helped the company in employee retention. Currently the company has over 3,400 employees in the country and abroad.

HCL also unveiled its Netdot (not to be confused with the Microsoft dotnet) strategy in 1999-00. The strategy aims to make the best out of the plethora of opportunities that convergence of IT, telecom and office automation and emergence of WAP will have to offer.

HCL Infosystem also plans to offer value-added services through HCL Infinet in the B2B area. These will include virtual private networks, application services, B2B exchange services etc.

HCL’s extensive channels reach, swift adoption of newer technologies, effective management of pricing and supply chain system along with the expertise in providing components required to set up an e-commerce infrastructure will open growth opportunities for the company.

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