Unique business

Chennai: Brigade Corporation was incorporated in 1998 to offer e-customer relationship management (eCRM) to dotcom companies. From the first day of its inception, Brigade leveraged the cost and technical advantage offered by India by having a centre each in Hyderabad and Chennai.

With the dotcom bubble bursting, Brigade found itself in a precarious situation, with many of its clients pulling down their shutters. Not wanting to join that bandwagon, the less-than-$5-million-revenue company decided to expand its domain to enterprise relationship management and then to business process outsourcing (which plainly means subcontracting).

Having decided that, Brigade drew a unique business model called ATL (acquire, transform and leverage), which it claims as a win-win plan for its clients as well as itself. With a new management team, fresh investments and $50-million commitments from the investing firm General Atlantic Partners, Brigade today has big acquisition plans.

“We are now looking at insurance, financial services and telecom companies to acquire their non-strategic, but rule-based, transaction works,“ says Brigade India president Sri Dasari, who is also the vice-president of the company's offshore operations.

Dasari, who has an MBA from Northwestern University and an engineering degree from Marathwada University, was earlier the CEO of IT Gurus, which offered onsite and offsite consultancy services. He talks about Brigade's unique business model and the company's plans. Excerpts:

What is unique about your business model?
We call it ATL strategy. Our idea is to acquire rule-based transaction processing works from corporations and client companies — mainly foreign — and operate them as separate outfits. Normally, when a company sells its non-core activity, its share price spurts up and adds value to its shareholders. Further, the client company forms part our bottomline as we offer the same services at a lower cost. And the selling companies can choose the manner of payment receipt — they can opt for immediate cash payments, committed cost savings, prospective income streams or a stake in the new services company.