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CIO Review >> Magazine >> October - 2013 issue

Leveraging Expertise and Winning over Clients

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Entrepreneurship begins with a business idea, and an entrepreneur's success depends on how well the idea is executed and built upon. The pathway leading to the spoils of success is laden with doubts and challenges which compel many to abandon their journey midway. But there is a class of entrepreneurs that emerges triumphant against all odds. Navin Kapur, Managing Director, COMPAREX India, belongs to the same class. His journey from running a corporate training center to heading the India operations of COMPAREX Group is inspiring in ways more than one.

The Brainchild
His journey began in a modest single room where Iris Unified Learning Ltd was founded in 2001. The focus of Kapur's first venture was to provide corporate trainings, keeping in mind the importance of understanding the needs of users and building software along those lines. The company received business support from industry veterans such as Microsoft and others. But the road ahead was not smooth. The dotcom bubble burst compelled the industry to cutting down its training budget. The hardship transformed into an opportunity when customers suggested, given Kapur's prowess with various software, to supply products and services. This is how Kapur set his foot on the highly demanding platform of software consulting services. He embraced the opportunity and soon went on to tie-up with renowned names like Microsoft, Adobe, Trend Micro, Oracle, IBM, Symantec and EMC. The company also started providing end-to-end solutions to a few clients.
Kapur faced various other hardships on his way to success as well. "Being a Chartered Accountant by profession and working as a CFO when I started this company, I faced many roadblocks. So, a lot of people started saying that CFO cannot run a company but I wanted to prove them wrong," says Kapur.
After a testing 3-4 years, the company stabilized and the company received appreciation from the big players of the industry like Microsoft. Not only did the clients have faith in the organization but employees too were confident about working with the right organization.

Next Big Step
After ten years, when the company had grown to 50 crores in turnover, it was time to sit and think about the growth options for future. Kapur and his team came to the conclusion that they needed to give a global edge to the company while at the same time retaining a local attribute to it. Big IT companies would train their engineers in Indian companies and send them overseas to earn a higher return on those engineers. Kapur got a lot of feedback from the market that Indian customers needed global consulting and services in order to be more competitive. At this juncture, Kapur decided to go for an expansion. He started to look for a partner who could bring in global experience and best practices for servicing Indian customer base. "With this in mind we decided to look for a joint venture partner and this is when we got in touch with Comparex Group. The things turned out well as expected and finally we closed the deal," says Kapur. COMPAREX acquired 70 percent of the company known as Iris Unified Technology Private Limited.
The acquisition was followed by the foundation of an Indian subsidiary of COMPAREX in Delhi, as a part of its expansion in Asia Pacific region. Iris started operating under the COMPAREX brand; focusing on leveraging the significant potential of the Indian market for the COMPAREX Group. Today, it has offices in ten cities all over the country.Alongside providing software procurement and consulting, Comparex provides maintenance, professional services, remote management, security services and IT trainings as well. Under Kapur's leadership, Comparex India has grown by over 150 percent in one year of operation to 131 crores in 2012-13 and the employee strength of the company has increased from 70 to 120. In 2013-14, Comparex India plans to grow by 100 percent, achieving 121 crores already from its six month operation.The company is also looking to expand its portfolio of services by leveraging COMPAREX's 30 year history of providing data centre services.
Drawing inspiration from the lives of Narayan Murthy and DhirubhaiAmbani, Kapur believes that while striving to accomplish anything big in life, one will always face resistance and lack of support; and to resolve these issues, you need to be honest with yourself. Kapur makes sure that the company provides the same quality of services which is being provided in other regions across the globe. Under his leadership, Comparex India continues to helpCIOs to make effective plans for future growthand take the best informed decisions on the adoption of new technologies.