HYDERABAD: It was a bumpy beginning for US-based serial entrepreneurs Niranjan Chintam and Krishna Chintam, who took over city-based VMF Soft Tech Ltd in 2009.
Though experience was on their side, having started and exited three ventures in the US, for the Chintam brothers, the India foray, initially, was anything but smooth.
The duo were attracted to the dormant VMF for three reasons: It was a listed entity, gave them access to the burgeoning Indian IT market and to top it all, it came cheap. “But soon, we realized that the Indian financial system was unfavourable to IT companies and was yet to mature,” recalled Niranjan, founder, Kellton Technologies, earlier VMF Soft Tech.
For instance, in the US, if entrepreneurs take over a dormant company, banks and financial institutions will be forthcoming to infuse capital based on the business plan the new promoters bring in to revive operations. “But this wasn’t the case in India as lenders were worried that our balance sheet was negative. We had to mobilise all our savings to kickstart operations. When that wasn’t enough, we mortgaged properties,” he added.
Soon, they acquired two more companies to get going and Kellton was born. It currently offers end-to-end IT solutions, technology consulting, product development services in web, SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud), ERP-BPM, and Internet of Things.
From just about 2, it now employs over 1,000 catering to 200 customers ranging from start-ups to Fortune 1000 companies from across its offices in Gurgaon, Noida and Hyderabad.
Currently, the company has a revenue run rate of about Rs 500 crore and is targeting to generate Rs 2,000 crore turnover in the next three years. “This, we intend to do both through organic and inorganic growth,” said Niranjan.
As for acquisitions, he said, the company was looking for companies that can either give it deeper industry presence or complement its technology offerings.
“We are always talking to companies. We have given the mandate to bankers to scout for potential targets. Evaluating the right company is a continuous and on-going process,” he said adding that the potential buyout could be anywhere between $10 and 100 million.
The three technology firms the duo started and sold had an average time span of 5 years and they intend to replicate the same here. “The idea is to create value and move on if we get a right price. We will not hesitate to exit if the timing is right,” Niranjan said.
2010: Acquired Tekriti Software, a software services company focusing on web/open service
2011: Acquired MCS global, Inc. US-based IT consulting company
2012: Acquired DbyDX software, a mobility solutions company
2013: Acquired Supremesoft Global Inc, Inc.US based IT consulting company
2014: Acquired Vivos Professional Services, LLC, USA focusing in the life sciences and healthcare service
2014: Acquired eVantage Technologies Inc., US-based IT consulting company
2015: Acquired US-based Prosoft Technology Group