Satyam sets up shop in Saudi

Firm relocates its sales force across the region

IT services giant Satyam Computer Services has decentralised its Middle East operation from Dubai to better serve customers and more effectively target economies in the region, according to a senior executive at the company.

The Indian firm set up a registered company in Saudi Arabia last month and has moved its regional sales force to countries across the GCC during the last year as part of its growth strategy.

It is also looking at markets in North Africa and the Levant for future expansion.

Virender Aggarwal, Satyam director and senior vice president, told IT Weekly that opening up offices in Saudi and relocating its sales force from its regional head office in Dubai to Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar had led to companies expressing a lot more confidence in Satyam and made them much more open to working with the services provider.

“To give us a greater local focus we have relocated our sales teams across the region,” commented Aggarwal.

“Instead of being a Dubai-centric organisation we have become an organisation more responsive to the local needs of the respective countries.”

The vice president revealed much of Satyam’s recent business was coming from the implementation of big enterprise software solutions from vendors such as Oracle, SAP and IBM.

In the last month Satyam has signed undisclosed deals in Bahrain with retail firm Bahrain Maritime and Mercantile International (BMMI) and in Qatar with Gulf Drilling International (GDI) to implement Oracle’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, and in Saudi Arabia with the Islamic Development Bank to install an ERP system from SAP.

Aggarwal claimed being based locally was a big contributing factor to its impressive growth in revenue.

The strategy has led to an increase in its regional business of around 20% and netted the firm an estimated US$3million in additional revenue over the last eight months, he said.

“We moved into Kuwait a year back and we started getting a lot of business there. We moved into Bahrain maybe three months ago, and started to see an immediate improvement in our business,” he added.

Aggarwal said he expected sales would continue to rise between now and the end of the year and predicted annual growth in excess of the 27% year- on- year growth estimated for Satyam’s global operation.

Aggarwal was particularly bullish about the Saudi market, stating that Satyam expected the Kingdom to become the company’s most important market in the region.

“I think that Saudi will become the largest regional market for us going forward. Maybe it will take around 12 months before it matures to a reasonable size,” he added.

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