New Delhi, India | Nov 17, 2022 | Business Standard
Software and information technology company says it will recruit in India for the next 5 years
Insight Enterprises, a global provider of information technology hardware, software, and services, will continue its expansion in India, by hiring technology experts and acquiring other firms, said Joyce Mullen, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company. India has an “incredible set of talented people”, she told Sourabh Lele in an interview about her company’s plans.
Here are edited excerpts from the interview:
It has been almost a year since you took the charge as the president and CEO of Insight. What is on your agenda?
Insight has been around for a long time, more than 30 years. Insight started as a reseller and it was a very important partner for Dell, where I worked for 21 years. At Dell, it was obvious to me that Insight was ahead of the curve in terms of the acquisitions it had been making, in the fastest-growing areas of the market–things like cloud data, AI, cyber, and edge.
We had an investor day at NASDAQ, on October 11, where we talked a lot about our ambitions and set out our strategic plans, and our financial goals for the next five years. Our ambition is to become the leading solutions integrator. Almost every client is becoming a software company; every client is a technology company because they realize the power of the data and what it can do for their business. We believe that clients need a technology partner who can give them efficient access to these technologies, a simplified experience, and who can build a solution that delivers a business outcome. So that’s what Insight is—a Fortune 400 company with 12,500 employees around the world.
How do Insight’s operations in India contribute to your global objectives?
Around 1000 of our employees and our teammates are in India. And that number was dramatically increased with the acquisition of Hanu Software, a cloud solutions company. Of course, it is a beachhead for us. We expect to hire thousands of technical experts in India over the next five years for our strategic planning period.
I think that answer is probably different than it would have been two years ago. What we are learning is we need access to technical talent almost no matter where it is. And obviously, our presence in India is to try to make sure we have access to this incredible set of talented people in this country. We will have a strong presence here, in broader Noida, Delhi, and then probably at least one or two other locations in India.
What was your objective in acquiring Hanu?
So, basically there are two elements to our M&A strategy. The first is to help us shore up capabilities in the fastest-growing areas of the market: cloud, data, AI, cyber, and edge. That’s important to us. So we have strong capabilities there, we want the capabilities to be deeper, and more differentiated. We have, for example, 70 patents pending across those areas today from our engineers and we want that number to be much bigger so that we can deliver even more effective outcomes to our clients.
One focus of our acquisition strategy is acquiring fast-growing companies in the fastest-growing areas of the market where we want to shore up our technical expertise. The other is opportunistically to buy ‘scale’ companies that can give us broader access to customers or clients, but also maybe more geographic coverage. And actually, Hanu helps us with both of those things. They help us with cloud capabilities, experts in Azure migration, and application modernization. They also have a strong capability in India, which we want to use as a beachhead to build out a much stronger presence here.
Are you also looking at more M&As in India in near future? What will be the criteria while acquiring?
We just hired a brand new leader in our M&A activities. Her name is Aneema Rawat, and she is helping us identify companies that are for sale. I believe that this macroeconomic environment is an opportunity. So this is a time to acquire great talents, acquire great companies and consolidate them in the fastest-growing areas of the market. So we’re looking at many companies right now that would fit that bill, and many of them are in India.
About the criteria, it might be broader—cloud, data, AI, cyber, and edge. Those are the areas where we are trying to shore up our technical skills and our depth.
What is the impact of economic uncertainties on Insight’s demand outlook?
We see a combination of things. Over the past couple of years, we have seen tremendous investment in modern workplace solutions. We sold a lot of devices over the past several years, as supply chains goofed up. I expect to see device sales moderate or slow down for sure.
However, digital transformation has become essential for business outcomes. Cybersecurity is non-negotiable and so we continue to see significant demand. For some projects, customers are saying I would like to limit the size and scope of the first part of the project. I would like to see a faster return on my investment. We’re seeing some slowdown in terms of how long it’s taking a project to be
approved. But that’s all okay. I mean, it’s still quite resilient. We expect to grow in this environment even so.