. . .
A driving restlessness, an uncompromising stance on quality, and a will to succeed. CEO
-KPIT, Ravi Pandit who lets his work do all the talking!
Explains Ravi Pandit of his forty year old firm, "Kirtane and
Pandit was initially begun with my father as an accounting firm in the early fifties. It
has always been a partnership firm and we have always had like-minded partners who have
joined us along the way." Till Ravi Pandit joined in the early 70's, it was primarily
an accounting firm which then gradually moved on to management consulting. "We then
began bringing in partners with new business skills and knowledge to start changing gears
at KPIT. "
KPIT initially began helping their clients computerize for a while.
But it was when the Personal Computer Revolution happened in the mid eighties that it
shifted their entire focus as they changed tracks to head into Information Technology. A
Chartered Accountant by profession, he specialised in Information Systems from MIT, (USA).
"Though in the mid seventies, the PC's had not made their appearance, I always knew
that this is what I wanted to do," he avers emphatically. For Ravi Pandit, coming
home was happiness. To make it big amongst his peers. What made it easy was that Kirtane
Pandit had already a strong base to build on!
The decision was aptly timed. Ravi Pandit says, "It was not
even difficult to convince clients to change onto being more technology friendly. It was
all waiting to happen." Initially, they began converting all their accounting systems
and management systems which were being done manually all into computerised format. That
is where their initial clients came in from. Today they have a hand in every pie as they
have expertise in varied technologies like OLAP, Client/Sever, RDBMS, OOPS, OOAD and GUI.
"We do a lot of work in process automation and engineering. Earlier our clients all
belonged to the domestic market. In the last two or three years the major shift has been
towards the international market with 95 per cent of our clientele being overseas."
has different parameters in a highly competitive world like Information Technology. Total
quality, good systems, solid infrastructure, excellent equipment - are just some of the
paradigms to surpass the standards set. "Indian clients do not pay for such quality
which is what makes most I.T industries largely export oriented. Till recently, the
domestic market was not large enough and also remained highly price sensitive."
Explaining their underlying business target, he says, "What we are looking for is a
client whom we can do more and more business with-fulfilling each and every need of the
client. As a result, we have developed a vast reportoire of professional services that we
offer." Services at KPIT include like re-engineering and migration, implementation of
ERP systems, datewarehosuing and OLAP systems which are essentialy business intelligence
systems, engineering softwares, Internet and e-commerce as well as process automation and
Y2K solutions. Tempting the customer from more than one end with their highly
cost-effective and quality conscious efforts have helped them break into new markets and
territories. "Like most of the businesses I would say, it is fairly opportunistic.
You pick up an opportunity and go for it." The underlying steel is distinctly
Today, KPIT Systems Ltd. is an ISO 9001 company With several success stories like
Oracle Corporation, Unilever(UK), Polygram, Bharat Bijlee (India), Pepsi Foods
International, now Frito Lay (Asia Pacific), RESOTEC (Germany), Johnson & Johnson,
Birla AT&T, SCS Software (Israel), Natwest Group, UK, Motivity, UK, Shell, their
thrust on Total Customer satisfaction and Quality has brought in rich dividends. With an
annual growth of 70% a year, they have bagged the 'Excellence in Exports' award from the
Ministry of Commerce, Government of India since 94-95 for the conscecutive four years. Ask
Ravi Pandit, how he would classify his company and he adds in promptly, "We are a
very young company. We try to recruit young, energetic and definitely the best talent
there is to offer. The average age amongst our three hundred twenty KPITians is about 24,
and if you take away a few senior colleagues, then the average age would be 21! Besides we
spend a lot of money in training up our personnel where they are continuously being
trained in new technologies. Even our employee turnover is not very high which we follow
very closely and that it makes me happy. It is a fun place! Obviously what excites him,
and still provides the glint in his eye are the new technologies and the young recruits he
is rubbing shoulders with. And he whispers easily, -Size is very helpful, but it is not
everything' and in the same sentence mentions that the market value of KPIT is an
astounding 150 crores! Though he envisioned that the company would grow, he still thinks
there are lot many mountains still left to climb. "I think we still have a long way
to go!" What about their USP in such a crowded market? "The very fact that we
are a young company whom you can talk to says it all. Our long standing relationships with
our clients, besides the ability to retain our customers is what definitely gives us the
cutting edge!" Having spread their wings to UK, US and the Middle East, he is
definitely on course!