Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Saturday, Feb 16, 2002
PLM Solutions looking for defence business again
Vipin V. Nair
NEW DELHI, Feb. 15
WITH the US lifting most of the sanctions imposed on India, PLM Solutions, (formerly SDRC), is once again getting active in the country's defence sector, hoping that the segment would contribute around 20 per cent of its revenues in India in the near future.
``Before the sanctions were imposed, defence used to account for 20 per cent of our revenues in India. Then it came down to just 7-8 per cent. Now we hope it will go back to the previous levels,'' says Mr Narendar Reddy, President, PLM Solutions India.
PLM Solutions was created last year by the acquisition and subsequent merger of SDRC with UGS by the global services giant, EDS. Today, PLM Solutions is the fifth line of business for EDS, offering a series of collaborative products and services.
``Before the sanctions, we were very strong in the defence sector. A number of DRDO and aerospace labs were our using our CAD/CAM software and other products,'' says Mr Vivek Marwaha, Marketing Manager of PLM Solutions.
``We have had fresh orders coming by from DRDO labs after the lifting of sanctions. But we feel it will take another 3-4 months for the situation to improve,'' he said.
Besides the turnaround in the defence business, PLM Solutions is hopeful that sectors such as automobiles, industrial machinery and consumer goods too would look up in 2002, as the worst phase of the economic slowdown was almost over, the officials said.
The company is now also planning to cater to process industries such a fertiliser, power and refineries with its solutions. ``Last year, we had nearly a flat growth in India. But going by the mood of our clients in the last quarter of 2001 and this quarter, we feel 2002 should be a good year for us,'' Mr Reddy said, but declined to divulge the company's revenues from the country.
While six month back most of the clients were no sure about investments in technology, now they are `cautiously optimistic' about such plans. ``The feel-good factor is getting back among the companies,'' Mr Reddy said.
The automobile industry is the biggest user of software products of PLM Solutions, accounting for as much as 45 per cent its business in India. Since it entered India 11 years ago, the company has had about 1,000 customers in India across various industries.
According to Mr Marwaha, companies in India have become more receptive to using CAD/CAM and other software tools for designing and developing products in view of global competition, cost advantages, pressure on time-to-market and need for innovation.
``These days you don't need to convince companies about the need to use software. Even small and medium enterprises are going in for more seats (of software) after installing 1-2 seats initially,'' he said.
In addition to a presence in 25 cities across the country, both direct and through partners such as NIIT, TCS and SISL, PLM Solutions also has a development centre in Pune where 50 people are employed.
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