Our immediate focus point is to put a stamp on the Western market: Ravi Verdes, Frontier Business Systems

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Ravi Verdes, Managing Director, Frontier Business Systems
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Hope to cross Rs 1,000 crore at in 2019-2020, Frontier Business Systems is bullish on its efforts in the Western region, with cloud being identified as a significant focus area. In an interaction with CRN India, Ravi Verdes, Managing Director, Frontier Business Systems, elaborated on the company’s plans

In this competitive market, how is Frontier Business Systems positioning itself?
We have aligned with the segments which are spending, such as the BSFI sector. From a technology point of view, we are doing a lot around cloud. We have launched a new brand name called “Crimson”. This is approximately a two-and-a-half-year old brand now. We have had a pretty good run on cloud, and we believe the market is going to be a combination of both physical infrastructure and cloud. At least from our perspective it’s Frontier and Crimson. We today believe we are rightly perched to capitalise on both. Outside cloud, our focus areas have been security and mobility. From a digital enterprise perspective, we have ‘desktop as a service’. These are the other areas of growth. These are the verticals which we have adopted and we have built deep skills in each of these fronts. I think that is helping us a lot because we’re also seeing the market is moving to hyper converged infrastructure. We have some very good wins on the mobility space, especially with the BFSI sector. We see the market is moving this way and we have had very good traction there.

How much incremental growth have you seen, especially with the change in focus?
On these technologies per se the incremental growth is about 10 per cent at this stage, but we expect it to grow in excess of 20-25 per cent in the next two or three years. Security will always be in demand, while cloud and desktop as a service will see huge demand. From a sector point of view, we have executed some extremely large projects on the BFSI front.

How has been the acceptance of Crimson? Do you have any support from any OEM?
We are fully aligned with the OEMs; but, you still have to get your own people. These are highly skilled areas, so the cost of the people is also exorbitant. While an OEM can give training, the best training happens when you start getting business.

There is a lot of synergy between Frontier and Crimson. We do have a dedicated team over here. We have a sales team; we have a solutions architect team; we have product specialists in addition to a managed services team. From a Crimson perspective, it is multi-faceted. When we started Crimson, the first 100 customers were all startups, but after a year or two we realised the spend power is limited, so returns were not very high and we also had to factor in the attrition in terms of number of startups closing down. We have now moved completely to focusing on enterprises.

What kind of efforts are you putting to skill your internal employees?
We had a strong virtualisation practice in Frontier. A lot of the engineers in Crimson have moved out from Frontier, because virtualisation is also some form of cloud. The investment and training is extremely high whether it’s OEM or whether it’s held privately.

What is your message for the new age partners?
I think you need to be ready to invest without seeing returns. There has to be a three to five year cycle as you cannot invest and expect a return immediately. Obviously you should be willing to take some risk. The opportunities are plenty and it’s beginning to open up further right. Maybe in a year’s time, the whole GST thing will also settle down and then they should open up a lot more avenues.

What are some of the key focus areas for this year?
Our immediate focus point is to put a stamp on the Western market, because we believe there is a lot of growth over there. We are convinced that we need to do much more than what we are doing there. We have made great inroads this year and it’s one of our best years in the West. We will be entering our 25th year in 2019-20 and we hope to cross Rs 1,000 crore at that point of time. We have a separate marketing team and we are very strong on social media. We do a lot of digital marketing per se. Cloud is one big focus area in the Western region.


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