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We have come together with an integrated value proposition, says Kiran Bhagwanani, CEO, India, NTT Ltd

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NTT Ltd has recently announced that Dimension Data, NTT Communications, Netmagic Solutions, NTT Security and Arkadin will be among the 28 companies and brands from over 70 countries worldwide to become NTT as part of NTT Ltd, the global US $11 billion company. In an exclusive interaction with Express Computer, Kiran Bhagwanani, CEO, India, NTT Ltd, gives details about the company’s enhanced capabilities, GTM strategy and roadmap

Please elaborate more on the impact of the integration of companies into NTT Ltd
NTT Ltd is really the coming together of 28 different companies under the NTT umbrella into one organisation. Primarily, it comprises of three businesses of NTT – Dimension Data, NTT Communications and NTT Security, followed by various affiliate companies owned by these brands. We can now take a much more widened business portfolio to our clients. As Dimension Data, we’ve had a fairly wide infrastructure services portfolio, but we believe that as NTT Ltd., we are able to further augment that with public cloud services, data centre hosting services, with other managed services and NTT Security portfolio. All in all, we have become a one-stop-shop for our clients. As everything is becoming software-defined and clients are looking at digital transformation, they’re looking at one partner who has the ability to span the entire ICT stack.

What can Indian customers expect from this integration?
The impact of this integration will be the most felt in our client community, partner community as well as our employee base. From a client perspective, our priority in the short term, would be to make sure there’s zero impact on our clients in terms of continuity of business. From a medium to long-term perspective, the impact that we want to see on our clients is extremely positive. We have a comprehensive portfolio as NTT Ltd which should help the clients accelerate their digital transformation journey. From a people perspective, we have been part of a great brand. Dimension Data as a brand has been respected in the country and outside as a company that delivers everything that it says and, therefore, to that extent, there has been phenomenal brand equity and credibility in the market of the Dimension Data brand. Our employees will feel much more secure and stable as part of even bigger mothership. The ability to learn new technologies, to be able to talk about new technologies, to be able to integrate the technology stack is something which will be of tremendous value to our people as well.

The company was extremely conscious to ensure the impact should only be positive and nobody should feel any downside of this transition. We created Integration Management Office about almost one year ago. The IMO had almost 27 different work streams looking at different aspects like client servicing, branding, go-to-market and systems integration. The IMO had a crucial role to play in ensuring that the business processes between these 28 companies are so streamlined that any transition of client contracts or accountability in terms of service levels should cause zero disruption for clients. But more importantly, we also set up something known as Business Chain Champions, wherein each brand, each company had to nominate Business Chain Champions who would talk about the change and what it means for our people and what it means for our clients. This also helped to create a phenomenal amount of buy-in among the employee community of these 28 companies.

Although as different brands, we have been going to the market together with a integrated value proposition and depending upon which brand has had the closest proximity with the client that brand has been leading the conversation. There are multiple wins we have already had as One NTT. A leading financial institution in the country wanted to embark on a move to hybrid cloud, transitioning all their workloads onto a hybrid cloud model, some on private cloud, some on a hyperscaler public cloud. We were able to win the confidence of the client as NTT without yet being One NTT.

Following the integration, which capabilities will differentiate you from other ICT players?
We perhaps have the industry’s most comprehensive ICT portfolio for our clients. Traditionally, the world of infrastructure has been in a model where the clients own the assets. The responsibility of ownership, management is with the client. Clients are looking for companies that can help them deploy, operate and manage it over a period of time. However, now clients are looking at business outcomes and the strategy, architecture, and investment. The other considerations are in terms of overall manageability, scalability and the move towards software defined. Having a partner who has the combined ability to deliver the business outcomes without getting stuck in silos of handling pieces of the portfolio – that becomes crucial. As NTT, given the brand equity we have built up over time, it will give us a unique capability to service clients. In terms of sectors, nearly 30 per cent of our revenues in India is derived from financial services.

Furthermore, the consolidation of banks presents another massive opportunity of a transformation that these banks will have to undertake as they go about integrating, modernising and refreshing the technology investments. Similarly, in the manufacturing sector, the move to HANA is a big factor. We’re looking at IT, OT, plant automation in a very big way.

The mid market business has been a big growth engine for us over the last three or four years. This business was practically negligible about four years ago and now it forms about 15 per cent of our revenue. The mid market is much more agile in terms of new tech adoption like cloud or having a multi-cloud environment.

As NTT, we also see a few opportunities that are apart from the traditional ones. One of the initiatives under the NTT umbrella is the Smart World initiative, an umbrella offering that covers smart cities, smart healthcare, smart mobility and smart agriculture. Another area of opportunities is the Japanese industry in India. There are about 1300 registered Japanese companies in the country. If we can take the combined might of the NTT value proposition to Japanese multinationals, that would become a potent area of growth for us.

Through the Smart World initiative, is NTT going to increase its footprint in the government sector?
We have compelling value propositions for a truly Digital India in terms of the investments we can make in some of the sectors such as smart cities, smart healthcare and smart agriculture. Traditionally, we have not been a dominant player in the government space, but there is a significant value that NTT can bring into the country with many of these propositions. We will love to work with like-minded agencies in the government which believe that this technology can be of value into the country and certainly we would like to see some of these through some pilots or projects that we do along with the government.

Will the company also increase investments in R&D and strengthening the managed services platform?
NTT has an investment of $3.6 billion annually in R&D. The R&D investments continue; the go-to-market strategy has got more refreshed and simpler to execute. India is the hub of managed services for the new NTT Ltd. We have a large operational centre in Bangalore from where we render remote management services for our clients using the latest autonomics and tools, people, processes to be able to do that in the most effective way we can for our clients with backup centre in Prague.

How much revenue boost is expected following the integration?
Globally NTT Ltd is a $11 billion company which places us in the top 11 IT services companies in the world. We have come together with an integrated value proposition, and the growth should only be faster than what we have seen in the past. India has been one of the fastest growing and one of the most consistent and formidable businesses within the Dimension Data family. We have grown over the last eight years at a CAGR of about 18 per cent, and we have also been seen as one of the most consistent contributors to Dimension Data.

Amidst the emergence of local players, along with the presence of other global companies, what’s your GTM strategy?
The change that we want to bring in our GTM motion first starts with ourselves – understanding the integrated value proposition of NTT Ltd. We have it well-degined and are being able to internalise it and being able to articulate it for the client so that we can be relevant. Our focus is also on ensuring that the entire transition is seamless for our clients. We are also looking at pockets of new businesses such as the Japanese MNCs in India. Hence, some kind of a go-to-market motion will be required for that.

The 28 companies, combined, have a partner strength of 45. As Dimension Data, we’re working with about 14 partners and we want to ensure that there’s no overlap. Some of our tradional partners are strong in their domain. However, for new age businesses, these partnerships alone may not take us where we want to go. We will continue to work with them, but in the world of IoT and cyber security, there are many niche areas such as blockchain and AI. So there are ample opportunities for new-age partners to help us in completing the story in front of our clients.

How are you looking to bolster the growth of cyber security business?
Cyber security has been an important growth area for us. There would be almost 10-fold growth in the business in the past six years. I see equal opportunity in hybrid cloud as well. Cyber security, of course, becomes very important because security is no longer just restricted to just infrastructure services. We are looking at security encompassing all the elements of infrastructure, device and applications. With the cloud management platform of NTT, it gives us a unique position to talk to our clients about our value proposition. Furthermore, there is tremendous potential in areas like blockchain, AI/ML and RPA.

What’s your new mandate and roadmap for the company?
For the last nine years, from 2010, when NTT acquired Dimension Data, we have been a part of NTT. It’s just that we have now become NTT and the value proposition changes, because now we have a bigger story, more relevant conversation that we can have with clients. What does not change, however, is our values, principles and beliefs.

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