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Can this trio kick-start CA?

Once the world's third-largest software company, Computer Associates is betting big on India to get its mojo back.

Suman Layak | Print Edition: September 20, 2009

(From L-R) Saurabh Srivastava, Will Bauman and Amit Chatterjee in front of the India Technology Center (ITC) in Hyderabad
(From L-R) Saurabh Srivastava, Will Bauman and Amit Chatterjee in front of the India Technology Center (ITC) in Hyderabad

Julia Montgomery is frequently stopped on the streets of Hyderabad by Indian women offering a compliment on how good she looks in a saree. She often picks up a tip or two on how best to wear it. And guess what: Montgomery (a white American) thinks Indian women are the smartest for they can wear comfortable clothes at work. Her experience with the saree is not too different from that of her husband Will Bauman—whose -employer is the $4.2-billion software giant CA (formerly Computer Associates), which is embracing the country with as much élan.

CA? What's that… Well if the name doesn't quite ring a bill—or, perhaps, not as loud as it would have in the early 2000s—it's not without reason. Once the world's third-largest software company, CA lost its pride of place ever since it got bogged down by allegations of insider trading. That eventually led to the exit of its high-profile Sri Lankan Chairman & CEO Sanjay Kumar in 2004. A new team largely comprising former IBM officials, led by President & CEO John Swainson, slowly but surely took over at CA, which is when it earned the sobriquet of the world's largest startup. It's #10 now in terms of software revenues, but is the top independent IT management company.

Saurabh Srivastava, Chairman
Background: Veteran entrepreneur and angel investor; had started IIS Infotech, which merged with Xansa in 1998. Co-founded NASSCOM and started one of India’s earliest venture funds, Infinity Ventures; was also Chairman of Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council.
Amit Chatterjee, Managing Director
Background: Was Head of Alliances for HP Software across Asia-Pacific and Japan after serving as HP Software’s India Country Leader for more than seven years; spent two years with Microland and 11 years with HCL Infosystems.
Will Bauman, Senior Vice President & General Manager
Background: Was Senior Vice President and & GM for the Workload Automation business unit of CA before coming to India; before joining CA in 2005, served as VP (Business Development) for InternetSpeech, a California start-up; prior to that VP (Product Management & Development) at BMC Software.

CA is now counting heavily on India to to regain its place in the sun. Soon, 15 per cent of its employees worldwide will be from India. "India is a glass that's half full—in fact, there are many glasses here that are half full and that's how we see India," says Bauman.

Bauman is the Senior Vice President & General Manager for CA in India and is one of a troika that runs the multinational's ambitious India engagement plan. Bauman runs the Indian Technology Center (ITC) of CA in Hyderabad, which, in a couple of years, will be CA's largest technology centre anywhere in the world. While Bauman started his India stint in February 2009, two seasoned Indian professionals came on board months later. First, in April veteran entrepreneur and angel investor Saurabh Srivastava was brought in as Chairman; a month later Amit Chatterjee, HP Software's Head of Alliances across Asia-Pacific, joined up as Managing Director for India in May. The mandate was clear-cut: Leverage India for CA.

Srivastava, one of the co-founders of IT services industry body NASSCOM, has a unique role as Chairman of CA India. He comes in as a mentor from the first day. "We are not in India just to sell our software. It is a much bigger goal. If you look at CA India today, it is almost a mirror image of CA USA. Not in size, but whatever we do in the US, we also do in India. It is not true of CA in any other market in the world." CA, headquartered in Islandia, New York, is the biggest player in the world in large-scale enterprise software, especially in security and mainframes. It's also been holding its own in the downturn; globally, the company reported no decline in sales in the last fiscal and has stated that it wants to invest in the downturn. A lot of that will happen in India. The company is investing in technology, innovation and acquisition of new technologies. CA's investment in ITC will touch $60 million by mid-2010.

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