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Global communication services provider Avaya upbeat on India prospects

"The number one agenda for me is get the company to grow... India will be one of our growth drivers," Kevin J. Kennedy, President and CEO of Avaya, told Business Today.

(Photo: Reuters) (Photo: Reuters)

Global communications services provider Avaya Inc is betting big on India as it feels the South Asian nation has emerged as an important market that will drive the company's growth.

"The number one agenda for me is get the company to grow... India will be one of our growth drivers," Kevin J. Kennedy, President and CEO of Avaya, told Business Today on Wednesday at the Taj Falaknuma Palace hotel in Hyderabad, where he will be meeting representatives of the company's clients on Thursday.

Kennedy said India probably has a "single-digit per centage" share in the company's global revenue. But he adds that, more importantly, the country has a disproportionate benefit in terms of incremental growth that the company could get.

Without sharing any details, Kennedy said the company will make more investments in sales, on expanding its coverage of different sectors, and on building its strengths in R&D and services. The company has R&D centres in Bangalore and Pune. It has on its rolls in around 2,000 "direct employees" in India.

Upbeat on the prospects in India, he said that the new government's plan to establish smart cities creates a great prospect for the future.

Without sharing the financials (though he does say that the company had seen some revenue drop), he says that the company last year decided to rebuild the organisation. "We incorporated India as one of our global growth markets" and backed it up by putting in place a new leadership team. The company, in March this year, got on board Priyadarshi Mohapatra as managing director - India and SAARC. It also re-designated one of its senior leaders -- Nidal Abou-Ltaif as President, Global Growth Markets.

There are other things as well that Kennedy says have changed at Avaya. "We have also reinvented our product portfolio with emphasis on the mid-market, an area we have not been focused on," he says. "The company used to be focused principally on the enterprise and a lot of our business was associated with contact-centre business process outsourcing in that enterprise. Over the last year or two, we brought a new set of products to market for the mid-market and India has probably got one of the largest and most great potential mid-markets in the world."

Besides, there is now a clear focus on specific verticals like health care and government. That is where its plans for projects like smart cities, consumer services, telemedicine and remote delivery of education become important areas.

Kennedy says the markets have also undergone a change. "The market of the past was a fairly high-bandwidth, end-point-driven market," he says. "Clearly, the market has shifted to a mobile, low-cost, end-point market."