Saturday, May 31

Genpact, EXL eye Infovision

MUMBAI: Genpact, EXL Services and few buyout funds are learnt to be in talks with the promoter of Infovision, Aditya Gupta, to buy a majority stake in the domestic BPO firm. For firms such as Genpact and EXL, which have so far been concentrating only on international markets, Infovision presents an entry opportunity into the domestic market. Sources said Infovision could be valued at around $100 million. Avendus Advisors, which works with mid-size IT and BPO clients, is learnt to be advising on this deal. When contacted, Mr Gupta declined to comment. However, about two months ago, when ET had identified Infovision as one of the promising companies in this sector because of its domestic focus, Mr Gupta had said he was exploring various funding options including bringing in new investors. The domestic BPO sector has become attractive on two counts: one, because of larger, more lucrative contracts that are emerging in sectors such as telecom and financial services, and two, because the slowdown in the US economy has made that market less attractive. Some estimates by research agencies like IDC peg the size of the domestic BPO market at around $1.8 billion and its growth at around 45%. Both Genpact and EXL recently announced their intention to enter the domestic market. Genpact’s Pramod Bhasin had told ET during the Nasscom summit in February that it would look at opportunities in its home market, and EXL had said acquisitions was one of the options it would explore to get a presence in the Indian market. For buyout funds as well, the domestic market presents a good opportunity because of its huge growth potential. It also de-risks their portfolio, which in most cases has a higher weightage of US-based firms and firms from other developed economies. “There are higher chances of a strategic player coming into the company because the promoter and management are not separate. But the entry of a private equity player cannot be ruled out,” said an investment banker. Infovision is currently managed by Mr Gupta, who is president, with a small team of professionals. If a private equity player comes into the company, the firm could eventually opt for an IPO. However, if a strategic player such as Genpact or EXL take a majority stake in the firm, it could follow a different course. The firm employs over 11,000 people and has clients in financial services, white goods, hospitality, retail and pharma

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