Business starts at home
Patni Computer Systems is one of the leading international providers of services and business solutions in the information technology sector. From its humble origins in a Cambridge, Massachusetts apartment, the company has grown to over 14,500 employees stretched over 16 countries around the globe. Patni serves a wide variety of Global 2000 companies through industry and technology-focused practices, including business process outsourcing (BPO), software development and IT consulting. Key industry areas served include financial services, insurance, manufacturing, communications and media, and retail.
From MIT to IPO
After graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and spending a few years working for Forrester Consulting Group, Narendra Patni decided to go into business for himself. His eponymous firm, Patni Computer Systems Ltd., opened in 1972 in his third-floor apartment in Cambridge, Massachusetts. At the time, the company consisted of two employees: the founder and his wife, Poonam. The couple had conceived of one of the earliest offshore business models, and they began testing their ideas at home; they used their living room to represent the United States, where they wrote out instructions to convert data from paper documents to computer files. A group of MIT students worked in the bedroom ("India") at the Patni house, entering data into a Flexowriter paper tape machine. This rudimentary data-conversion process was the beginning of a global business, and eventually the Patnis returned to India to establish a real headquarters in Mumbai. There, they were joined by Narendra's brothers, Gajendra and Ashok, who today own significant stakes in the firm.
In 2004, the firm paid US$68 million to acquire California-based Cymbal Corporation. That deal cemented Patni's place in the major leagues, leading to contracts with multinational clients like SBC Communications (which took over AT&T), Coca-Cola, Oracle, Gillette, and General Electricâ€”which contributes about 14 percent of Patni's overall revenue and is the firm's largest client. Some other noteworthy clients in the Asia Pacific region have included Hitachi, Toshiba and MetLife International's Asia Pacific businesses. The firm also launched its IPO in 2004, making its debut on the major Indian exchanges. A year later, Patni shares began trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
Growing and growing
Patni's revenue has continued to grow year on year. In 2008, revenue went up to US$718.9 million, an 8.4 percent increase on the US$662.9 million the firm booked in 2007. The U.S. remains the firm's key region, generating 77 percent of Patni's overall revenue in 2008. Europe and the Middle East comprised 17.4 percent of the firm's revenue. Asia Pacific trails the pack, contributing 5.6 percent in total revenueâ€”however, this marks a 25 percent increase in growth compared to the previous year. One hundred new clients were added in 2008, bringing the total active client roster to 331, with the number of the firm's million-dollar accounts hitting 92. Repeat business accounted for 93 percent of total engagements.
PATNI COMPUTER SYSTEMS: