Bullish on Chandigarh, this Punjab Engineering College (PEC) graduate has returned to the city after nearly two decades. Nostalgic about the days he spent here, Mr Rahul Gupta, a venture capitalist-turned-IT guru has brought with him a unique proposition. At the Mohali IT Park, he will train bright engineering students recruited from the region and then send them to develop software at the Chandigarh Technology Park, where his KMG Infotech Limited has been allotted land.
“Construction at Mohali and Chandigarh will start after the monsoons and we hope that when the next class of engineering graduates pass out sometime next June, they immediately start their short training at KMG. Out of the proposed 600 seats, we hope to start with 100 by next June”, President and Managing Director Rahul Gupta proudly disclosed while interacting with The Tribune here today.
It’s no small feat for Mr Gupta, who can easily be called a technology and ‘Venture Capital’ industry veteran after his 17 years of executive management and leadership experience since his B. Tech in 1987, followed by an MBA from Kurukshetra University in 1989. In this short span, KMG Infotech has emerged as a leading global software development company, providing premium IT software development and maintenance solutions worldwide to large and medium-sized insurance, banking, financial services, healthcare and government organisations with offices in New York, Washington DC, Toronto, Denver, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata and Hyderabad.
Giving out plans for his company, Mr Gupta disclosed that KMG would invest US $ 3 million (approximately Rs 13 crore) to set up the Software Development Centre in Chandigarh and another US $ 2 million (approximately Rs 9 crore) in the Research and Training facility in Mohali. The Mohali centre will totally be for training facility and will train people on insurance back-end operations. After Chandigarh, KMG is also planning a similar Software Development Centre in Kochi with a similar investment.
Over the next three years, KMG is expected to provide employment to around 1200 people in Mohali and Chandigarh. Mr Gupta disclosed that the US insurance giant Fairfax, a US $ 20 billion company, was an 8 per cent shareholder in KMG with Fairfax having a representation of the KMG Board. KMG has recorded a 60 per cent growth over the past five years. Looking at the success, SIDBI Venture Capital has made investment of US $ 2.3 million (around Rs 10.2 crore) in KMG. Another insurance major from the USA has signed an MoU with KMG to invest another US $ 7.2 million.
“All the money that goes into IT will be reflected in the lifestyle and earnings of the people. According to my estimates at least 5 lakh people will directly benefit from IT in the city and its neighbourhood”.
KMG works on the principle that it is already aware of the ground realities of different segments of business and when they develop a software for a company, they do so with prior knowledge about the business, making the software much more useful compared to a software developed by a company unaware about the needs and realities of a particular business segment. After insurance, KMG is planning to diversify into developing software for oil, retail, construction and many other industries. Engineers India Ltd., South Asia’s premier Oil and Gas Engineering Consultancy, has tied up with KMG to provide integrated software for upstream oil and gas companies. Similarly, KMG has also tied up with some cement companies to develop inventory control software. In terms of financial growth, KMG is targeting a US $ 50 million target over the next three years.
“Currently, KMG is training 18 engineers it recruited from PEC last year at its Delhi centre. Once the Chandigarh centre starts they would be transferred here, the logic behind recruiting local talent is that they will not only be more grounded in a local environment, but some bit of their prosperity will also flow back into the local environment, thereby benefiting the workers and the city both”, says Mr Gupta.