How Cyient is designing a better tomorrow

Cyient, a Hyderabad-based global engineering solutions company, has been enjoying spectacular growth with its profits recently rising 15.7%. Business First speaks with Sanjay Krishnaa, Senior Vice President-Communications and President-Asia Pacific, Cyient to find out what is behind the company’s success.

Having celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2016, it is a good time to reflect on the success of one of the world’s leading engineering solutions companies – Cyient.

Part of the company’s success can be attributed to the fact that it is more than just an engineering company. Cyient delivers services across several verticals: Engineering design services, Design-led manufacturing, Networks and operations, Data transformation, and Analytics.

Within these verticals, Cyient services clients in industries as diverse as Aerospace, Communications, Defense, Rail Transportation, Off- Highway & Industrial, Power

Generation, Mining, Oil & Gas, Communications, Utilities, Geospatial, Semiconductor and Medical Technology.

In its 25 years, Cyient has developed and sustained long- standing relationships with leading names in these industries, which has led to the company employing over 13,800 people across 48 locations in North America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region.

Leading the APAC region is Sanjay Krishnaa, who has played a key role in the company’s sustained growth.

“When I joined Cyient 15 years ago, my portfolio was to grow the Middle East and Eastern Europe markets,” Krishnaa says.

Krishnaa spent about two years growing these markets before the company turned its eye to Asia Pacific.

THE IMPORTANCE OF APAC AND DESIGNING  TOMORROW TOGETHER

“The region provides a blend of developed and emerging economies with an enormous opportunity that exists for every industry that we serve. The amount of investments that was happening at that time and even now, Asia Pacific is becoming an important region that we can’t afford to ignore but to invest.” Krishnaa says. 

With that potential of the APAC market in mind, Cyient entered the region in 2003.

“That is when I started to grow the business here in Australia. We made an entry by setting up a base in Melbourne in 2005 and started supporting some of the large power and gas utilities. We support them even today playing an important role in managing their networks and systems. Cyient also plays a significant role in providing value to some of the large telecom carriers in planning, designing and deploying copper, fibre and wireless networks. We partner with  global telecom carriers using a framework called ‘Plan, Build and Operate’.”

Importantly, Australia is seen as one of the top regions for adopting new technologies, which plays into Cyient’s hands as it pursues its global vision of ‘Designing Tomorrow Together’.

Designing Tomorrow Together is the basis of Cyient’s brand promise to work with its clients to improve their business and the lives of their customers. It’s a value that encompasses Fairness, Integrity, Respect, Transparency and Sincerity. A vision that has enabled the company to attract many high-net- worth and brand name companies who have remained as clients since they first partnered with Cyient.

To put Cyient’s retention rate in perspective, 98% of its revenue comes from existing customers. If you ask those customers, why they remain loyal, their answer will be that Cyient’s ability to use its design skills and industry knowledge to creatively help their customers do more is a primary factor.

As the company itself states: We make them more capable, more flexible and more competitive, so they get to market faster and reach further.

Krishnaa says the company has had to work hard to build this trust, but trust is a key factor in its growth and its ability to work across a client’s entire lifecycle.

“One example of this would be on the product engineering side, the design work that we do for Pratt & Whitney aero engines.

Pratt & Whitney, part of the United Technology Corporation, a Fortune 50 company. As a preferred supplier of aerospace solutions, we have earned recognition for both our innovation and productivity. As a Design-Build-Maintain partner that takes solution ownership across the value chain, we empower our clients by aligning strategically to their goals so that they stay ahead of the curve.”

“We are part of the entire design and engineering lifecycle; from concept to design and design to production,’’ Krishnaa says.

“Most of the engines that go onto the Airbus A320s and Boeing’s 777s have been provided by Pratt & Whitney. Pratt & Whitney has achieved two significant game changer milestones, they were able to increase the fuel economy by 50% and achieve significant noise reduction of about 75%.”

“In both of these areas, Cyient has played a significant role in designing these state of the art engines.”

A ROLL CALL OF CLIENTS

Pratt & Whitney is the largest customer Cyient has today. They are also investors in the company. However, Cyient has several big name clients. 

For the rail industry, Cyient provides product engineering services for companies like Bombardier Transportation, Alstom and Siemens.

“We do a lot of work with Metro Trains in Melbourne and the Perth Transportation Authority in Western Australia. We collaborate with the rail transportation industry on three key areas: Designing the Rolling Stocks, Rail Signalling Systems and Electrification Systems.”

The other main business is around “Network Engineering” – providing end to end network engineering and systems end to end network engineering and system services to the Telecommunications, Utilities,

Power and Gas industries globally. “Our second largest customer is a large telecom carrier player from this part of the world and we partner with them on various areas and technologies, specifically around copper, fibre, HFC and wireless networks. We also support the local NBN fibre roll-out.”

In short, Cyient provides its telecommunications companies with end-to-end network engineering and design services globally.

“The nature of the telecommunications industry is that technologies are changing rapidly, bringing complexities to the way the carriers can support their customers with better uninterrupted connectivity. Cyient is positioned to adapt to these technological advancements and disruptions, innovate in this area and create value proposition that can help the global carriers meet its customer expectations.”

Krishnaa is confident that Cyient will continue on its journey with its long-term clients.

Krishnaa is venturing big on wireless especially around small cells and 5G roll-outs, new technological transformation such as digital, IoT, SDN and others.

THE CHANGING FACE OF INDUSTRY

Krishnaa provides some fascinating insights into how each industry is changing. Again, it’s all about Designing Tomorrow Together.

“What is challenging and exciting – specifically for companies in the telecom industry – is the need to create solutions that can help them be better connected to their customers and provide value. What we are seeing as a shift is that telecom carriers can no longer operate as a traditional telephony company because of the emergence of new technologies and new applications.”

“Consumer behaviour has also changed. The demand for more data and less talk time has made carriers think more innovatively. They have also invested in new technologies to be ahead of the game, or at least maintain their current market in this competitive environment.”

Krishnaa says you’ll no longer find these telecom carriers being able to grow their revenues from mobile calls, it is the data usage that will be in demand exponentially.

“The behaviour of the telecom carriers will change dramatically going forward, mainly because they will see that the value is not in making calls. The call will be more or less free. The survival and to be a differentiator in the market space will be by adapting new technologies and provide new services to their customers. WhatsApp and Viber are examples of those change agents.

LOOKING FORWARD

Cyient has close to 800 people supporting major carriers in APAC, and like any successful listed company, it is focused on growth.

Cyient has a clear roadmap for the next 5 years. Krishnaa says, is to create more value and to be part of their every customer’s end-to- end journey.

“We have a robust strategy for growth for each industry that we operate. The plan is to grow to $1B by the end of 2020.”

Cyient is getting close to that now.

“Last year, our revenue stood at US$538M with a growth of over 13% year on year. We are aiming for around 20-25% growth year on year to get to our one-billion-dollar objective, and not all of it will be organic growth. We are looking for acquisitions globally.”

So as Cyient actively looks at acquiring companies that align to its business and its four-year roadmap, it is worth reflecting on its success to date.

Certainly, Krishnaa has been heavily involved in this success and sees a vibrant path forward based on designing tomorrow with its growing list of clients.



Business First is a peer-to-peer magazine: written by CEOs and other high level executives, with interviews with some of the country’s best leaders.