Pranit Banthia is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Hi-Tech group of companies. Mr. Banthia founded Hi-Tech in 2001. From a small firm, he developed and diversified the business to 800 employees with offices in California, Ahmedabad and Cochin. Hi-Tech now provides a wide range of outsourcing services in Engineering, Software and Business Processes to clients in 50 countries across the world.
Hi-Tech has been awarded the second runner-up position in Indian Exporters’ Excellence Awards. The company has also been featured for the second time, consecutively, under the category “Top BPO companies in India” in D & B Publications. CRISIL- a Standard and Poor’s company has awarded Hi-Tech the highest grading for operational excellence.
Pranit Banthia has also served as Vice President of Gujarat Electronics & Software Industries Association (GESIA).
Corporate Social Responsibility is a passion with Pranit. For him, CSR has always been a natural progression of his business interests. In fact when Pranit launched his business venture in the 1990s, it was more as a launch pad to propel his CSR initiatives. The Hi-Tech Foundation works in the health and education sector. Pranit is also passionate about the environment, more specifically about green technologies. His state of the art greenhouse which he personally nurtures with great care exemplifies this interest. A health enthusiast, Pranit plays tennis and tries to promote a healthy lifestyle and diet through his social interactions and blogs.
Pranit Banthia holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from Gujarat University, India.
BusinessInterviews.com: What advice would you give to a company who is contemplating outsourcing their IT?
Pranit:. Well, the company should clearly jot down the business needs which can vary from customer to customer. It could be domain expertise, scalability, flexibility, cost effectiveness etc. or a combination. So, the first thing to check is how closely the proposed partner meets their business needs. While all the above factors are important, for me the key differentiator would be the partner’s track record of retaining long term customers. This could be through reference checks or actual data study. A visit to the client office or rather the actual delivery center is also very important. A good way to start with could be to authorize a pilot run of the project.
It is important that clients looking to outsource their IT needs see the service providers as partners rather than vendors. The outsourcing partners should be treated as an extension of the team abroad which needs to be developed and nurtured. The success or failure of the outsourcing partner will eventually led to the success or failure of the parent business.
BusinessInterviews.com: Can you share how Hi-Tech has managed to experience a steady growth path over the last 15 years irrespective of market highs and lows?
Pranit: Long term customers have been the key to our success. 90% of our revenues come from repeat business. Many of our current clients have been with us since our starting days. A number of accounts which started with a few thousand dollars have now grown into $250,000 + accounts, and some even $1 million+! We’ve been able to achieve this because at Hi-Tech the customer is the focus of all our activities. Customer service is our mantra. Our long term steady relations with clients built on trust and integrity have helped us maintain a steady growth rate even in times of economic lows.
To a great extent, we also owe our success to our ability to adapt to changing market scenarios by leveraging on technology and innovation.
BusinessInterviews.com: I know that you’re keen follower of Jack Welch; can you share a highlight of one of his recent articles that had an impact on you?
Pranit: One of my favorites (though all of them are) from Jack Welch’s collection is his book titled “Winning”. The book has a section on Leadership in which Welch talks about what effective leaders do. I would like to share the key takeaways from this section verbatim to retain the essence of his message.
1. Leaders relentlessly upgrade their team, using every encounter as an opportunity to evaluate, coach, and build self-confidence.
2. Leaders make sure people not only see the vision, they live and breathe it.
3. Leaders get into everyone’s skin, exuding positive energy and optimism.
4. Leaders establish trust with candor, transparency, and credit.
5. Leaders have the courage to make unpopular decisions and gut calls.
6. Leaders probe and push with a curiosity that borders on skepticism, making sure their questions are answered with action.
7. Leaders inspire risk taking and learning by setting the example.
8. Leaders celebrate.
BusinessInterviews.com: Can you elaborate on how you see ample opportunities for building deep domain expertise in the niche sectors of Healthcare, Automotive, and Green Buildings and what that means for the vision and direction of the company?
Pranit: The days of generalized services are gone. The need of businesses today is more towards specialized, knowledge-based services. Domain expertise, rather than cost competiveness is set to be primary market driver. And that’s the direction in which Hi-Tech is making a transition. We aim to be recognized as domain champions in niche industry sectors such as Hospitals/Nursing Homes, Automotives, Green Buildings, and Digital Media & Publishing.
The demand in the healthcare industry is set to increase exponentially, the primary trigger being the increasing population of baby boomers. The current healthcare facilities or even expansions will not be sufficient to handle this onslaught of demand. The thrust would hence be on medical service providers to provide efficient healthcare by adopting new technologies which would encompass features such as tele-health, e-pharmacy, tele-medicine etc.
With the focus of the world community shifting increasingly towards a cleaner and greener environment and sustainability issues, Green Buildings as a niche area of engagement holds a lot of opportunity. We shall leverage technology, knowledge acquisition and skilled resources to tap into this potential market.
Similarly Automotives (increasing use of electronics) and Digital Media and Publishing also hold a lot of promise for business growth.
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