Sify’s Discontent: To Bet On Offshored Infrastructure Management Services For Growth

Sify is becoming less and less of a content play. The Chennai-headquartered company is putting its thrust on offshored infrastructure management services (IMS) as a growth area, and is expecting a quarter of its revenues to come from this segment by 2010. Currently, they constitute 7-8 per cent of the revenues. The company already has the experience of managing infrastructure in the domestic market, and a half of its revenues come from this segment.
But it plans to ramp up IMS from international markets. The IMS market is estimated to be $100-150 billion globally, while India currently accounts only for $500-600 million. Sify did not target this market till 2003, as it was owned by Satyam Computer Services till then.
So this is the transformation of Sify into a different play. Sify on Tuesday announced the appointment of P J Nath as the Executive President of its Enterprise Solutions business. In India, Sify has been better known for its portals (Samachar.com, Khoj.com etc), broadband, and internet services. Now, since the big money seems to be on the enterprise side, will Sify sell its internet business? Your guess is as good as mine.

Sify’s head of communications, David Appasamy, responds here: Sify’s portals business is an integral part of its consumer business strategy, which is a combination of content and access. With 3,500 strong broadband iWay cyber cafes and with millions of registered users, Sify is the second largest player in the fast growing private broadband access to home market.
Sify had the foresight to provide its portal in five Indian languages in addition to English over three years ago. Sify.com has also provided email in languages for years now. Sify was the first portal in the world to offer an unlimited mailbox. Sify was also the first portal to offer extensive and compelling video content on Sifymax.com. The focus is now on growing ecommerce, and developing its areas of strength content.
So Sify’s portals business continues to grow, contributing to the company’s revenues, as well as to bringing many more Indians on to the Internet as an integral part of the company’s growth strategy. Ours is an integrated business model that has Enterprise Solutions, International business and the Consumer Business that each have business heads focused on building them.
Growing the international business in no way takes the focus off any other business, but represents one more growth opportunity for the company based on its unmatched expertise. Particularly when each of these markets is slated to have robust growth in the years ahead, given their nascent stage in India and as an offshored business in the case of the remote management of infrastructure services.