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Best of the Lot

Print Edition: Apr 1, 2012

Business Today receives many responses to its case studies. Below is BEST OF THE LOT the best one on the Ramco Systems case study (Mar 4, 2012).

Ramco Systems, one of India's largest pure-play IT products companies, has been burning cash for years, because of global competition and plain old bad luck. But the company, piloted by CEO P.R. Venketrama Raja, continued to invest in R&D. The case examined if Ramco could ever make it big.

Santhosh Varatharajan is Senior Consultant, Business Development at Oracle. He wrote (santhosh.varatharajan @oracle.com):

Here are my comments on what Ramco System should do:

1. Complement rather than compete: I feel Ramco Systems has now found the right segment and strategy, though I am not sure if it is the right market. It still needs to complement SAP and Oracle. For example: It might be obvious that Hyundai India will be running on SAP and/or having Peoplesoft and Siebel systems, but the III or IV tiers of suppliers, the original equipment manufacturers for Hyundai, will need an ERP solution. This holds good even for industries like pharma, retail, FMCG, manufacturing. I see a lot of potential in those SME organisations which are part of the supply chain of various large enterprises.

2. Change comes with friction: I have not had a look at Ramco's RODE (Ramco On Demand ERP) application. But I feel Ramco should make it simple and easy to use. End user groups are reluctant to try any new system. The SME segment likes technology only when it replaces paperwork.

3. Integration: There should be a strategy to integrate with SAP/Ebiz/PSFT/Siebel/Tally. If RODE can communicate directly with these applications, that will be more appropriate.

4. Consolidate the unorganised market: There are still lesser known and smaller IT vendors who have come up with specific solutions in the SME segment. They generally serve in pockets for specific needs like inventory, sales. Ramco should go on a buying spree to consolidate this unorganised market and strengthen its portfolio in diverse markets and industry verticals. Just acquire them and integrate them with the RODE solution.

5. Glocal is the way out: Even while selling in this segment or while supporting/servicing the segment. I feel we need to talk in the customer's language and terms. Service and support will be a key differentiator between success or failure.

Varatharajan wins a Harvard Business School Press pocket mentor for his views

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