At a Glance
Strong leadership, focused on employee development and morale
Tunnel vision when it comes to BPO
"Disorganized corporate culture"
"Low cost projects, mostly application maintenance focus"
About HCL Technologies Limited
It all adds up to success
One of India's "Big Five" IT service companies, HCL Technologies is both a success story in its own right and part of a much larger success story that dates back to a calculator distribution startup in the 1970s. A provider of services including software-led IT solutions, remote infrastructure management, engineering and R&D services, and BPO, HCL Technologies has a global presence and a client list to match. The $2 billion in revenue it generated through its offshore business model in 2008 represented a substantial share of parent company HCL Enterprise's $4.9 billion for the year.
HCL Technologies' largest market remains in the U.S., and seems set to do so in spite of recent economic concerns. Indeed, in September 2008, the company announced plans to add a new U.S. delivery center in Wake County, N.C., by the end of the year. A $3.2 million investment, the new facility will take HCL's U.S. employee base well above the 3,000 mark (out of a total of more than 50,000 worldwide), and increase the firm's home-market proximity to many of its clients. The new facility comes on top of existing strategic locations in Sunnyvale, Calif., Downers Grove, Ill., and Florham Park, N.J.
From calculators to consulting
The first part of the firm's moniker is an acronym of the name it was founded under in 1976: Hindustan Computers Limited. Viewed by many as a classic Indian startup, HCL was founded by six engineers with an entrepreneurial spirit. Led by Shiv Nadar—who remains as chairman and chief strategy officer of HCL Technologies today—the group pooled some Rs 1.83 lakhs (roughly $165,000) in savings to set up a calculator distribution company, getting into the domestic manufacturing business just as the government was tightening restrictions on imports.
The next decade saw the firm become the top IT concern in India, a situation aided by those government restrictions keeping the likes of Apple and IBM out. Indeed, HCL produced India's first domestic microcomputer in 1978, the same year that Apple's first personal computer hit shelves in the U.S. The import restrictions worked in the company's favor in other ways, too; it gave the firm a level of expertise in R&D that ensured a steady flow of income throughout the 1980s. The clients for that first foray into providing outsourced tech services? Hewlett-Packard, which contracted HCL to develop a multiprocessor, as well as the likes of Nokia and Ericsson, which tapped the firm to distribute their cell phones and switches in India.
Not content merely to become an ever-bigger fish in a small pond (and possibly spurred on by relaxation of import restrictions in the 1990s), in 1997 Nadar decided to spin off the R&D division as a software services company and keep the hardware part of the business domestic. The move created HCL Technologies through a public offering in 1999. Today, HCL Technologies focuses on international operations in software and services, while HCL Infosystems still sells hardware domestically. Having already handed over leadership of HCL Infosystems to co-founder Ajai Chowdhry at the time of the spin-off, in October 2007, Nadar handed over his own leadership of HCL Technologies to Vineet Nayar, who had served as president of the firm since 2005. Nadar retained his position as chairman and chief strategy officer.
A-10/11, Sector 3
Uttar Pradesh 201-301
Employer Type: Public
Stock Symbol: 532281, HCLTECH
Stock Exchange: BSE, NSE
Chairman: Shiv Nadar
2009 Employees (All Locations): 54,026
East Hartford, CT
Downers Grove, IL
Florham Park, NJ
New York, NY
Maidenhead, United Kingdom
Noida , India