Business process management (BPM) companies Genpact, WNS and EXLhave all raised their revenue guidance in the last quarter, on the back of acquisitions and improving demand, bucking the slow growth that has hurt the rest of the IT industry.
Experts say the improved outlook comes on the back of years of investments in platform and digital offerings that are beginning to bear fruit.
"They've made acquisitions over the last year and that is coming through. For a large IT player, smaller acquisitions in analytics and digital won't have the impact. But these companies are showing that growth. They're also focused on analytics and digital in an attempt to stay ahead of automation, that is also being seen," Pareekh Jain, Senior Vice-President at HfS Research, told ET. He added that companies that have focused on transaction processing rather than call-centre work are growing better.
When Genpact first issued guidance for 2017 in January, it forecast a revenue of $2.61-2.68 billion and a growth of 5-8% in global client revenue on a constant-currency basis. It raised that outlook in April and again in July. It's outlook now stands at $2.66-2.71 billion and a growth of 7-9% among global clients. EXL raised its FY18 revenue growth expectation to 9-11%. WNS’ revenue growth for the financial year is expected to be $748-762 million, up from its previous forecast of $740-760 million.
The National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) expects the industry to grow 7-8% in FY18. BPM companies have also actively embraced automation as a way to get hold of new clients. "Clients are looking to us to help them transform themselves and if in that process revenue reduces, then it is alright. We are such an underpenetrated company that the opportunity is very large," NV 'Tiger' Tyagarajan, Genpact's CEO, told ET in a recent interview.
Genpact gets over 20% of its revenue from digital offerings and has been making key acquisitions in the space. That business has been growing at 20% year-over-year. WNS and EXL too have acquired capabilities to spur growth but not all the outperformance can be attributed to acquisitions.
WNS' June-quarter revenue rose over 24% over the last year and even stripping out its three acquisitions — ValueEdge, Denali and HealthHelp — its organic revenue grew over 13% in constant currency.
BPM companies are also increasingly taking steps to boost their organic growth. WNS has grown its sales team 20% to 91 at the end of the first quarter over the last year, after not adding any net-new sales people for nearly the previous three years.
"These resources will also be focused on deals led by technology, digital, analytics and finance, and accounting across our core verticals. We believe this investment is necessary to meet our growth objectives going forward and reflects the opportunity in front of us," Murugesh told analysts in July.
The companies also say they are winning more deals than they had in the past and that the pipeline is stronger than it has been for years. "We had 24 client wins in the first half of the year. This is one of the strongest client wins that we've had across the years," Rohit Kapoor, CEO of EXL, said. "Despite winning a significantly larger number of deals, the pipeline remains strong."
Source: Economic Times