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Newsmaker: Francisco D'Souza

Francisco D’Souza, 39, is being credited with heralding a change in the outlook of Cognizant Technologies. The company recently paid $135 million (Rs 540 crore) in cash for KPO company MarketRx.

By Nitya Varadarajan | Print Edition: Nov 18, 2007

 Fransic
 Francisco D’Souza
Francisco D’Souza, 39, is being credited with heralding a change in the outlook of Cognizant Technologies. The company recently paid $135 million (Rs 540 crore) in cash for KPO company MarketRx. Cognizant, a conservative company, has paid more than three times MarketRx’s annual revenue.

D’Souza justifies it, saying: “This is a strategic acquisition with good margins, but does not signal a change in our acquisition strategy.” D’Souza’s motto is “think big, think global”. An alumnus of Carnegie Mellon University, where he studied management, he was recruited from the campus by Dun & Bradstreet. Cognizant is the offshoot of the IT arm of D&B, which D’Souza set up in 1994.

He grew within Cognizant as a core member of the management team, progressing from Director (US Operations) to Vice President (North American Operations), to Senior Vice President, COO and now President and CEO. “If there is one thing in my life that has made a decisive impact on business in Cognizant, it is the multicultural experience I have gained and cherished.” The son of an IFS officer, he has studied in seven schools around the world—in Panama, Zaire, New Delhi, New York, Trinidad, Hong Kong and Pittsburgh.

His next goal: ramping up Cognizant’s revenues to $2 billion (Rs 8,000 crore) in less than six quarters after hitting the first billion. Indian IT powerhouses Infosys Technologies and Wipro took eight to nine quarters. Can he do it? Watch this space.

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