Denying “any involvement” in the ‘Tek Fog’ matter, mid-tier IT company Persistent Systems on Friday asserted that “most if not all” of its domestic revenue comes from corporates, and not from the government.
The Pune-based company’s name had featured in a series of investigative reports by the portal ‘The Wire’, which went into the origins of online hate, and found that sophisticated software and apps have been deployed to make certain topics trend or target dissenters.
“We have done our investigations, we have nothing to do with Tek Fog or any of the organisations mentioned there,” the company’s chief executive Sandeep Kalra told PTI on a post-earnings call.
The company reported that 10.9 per cent of its USD 199.1 million or Rs 1,491 crore in revenue during the December quarter had come from the India market, and the share has been growing over time from 7.4 per cent in FY20 and 8.4 per cent in FY21.
Pointing out that to the USD 21.6 million in domestic revenue for the December quarter, Kalra said, “majority of this, if not near 100 per cent of this, is basically in the corporate sector and has nothing to do with the government sector. Very, very small business of ours comes from the government business.” “As far as we are concerned, it is a closed matter for us, anybody can keep saying anything but from our perspective, we have zero involvement in this (allegations),” he said.
When asked if Nasscom should take up the issue of software being written for spreading hate and divisiveness because it gets disrepute to the IT services sector, Kalra suggested that Persistent will do what the industry lobby says but reiterated that his company has no involvement in the matter.
In a statement issued after the publishing of the investigative report, Persistent had said that it values inclusivity and free speech in the society and has zero tolerance for hate speech and harassment.
On the call, Kalra said the matter is closed for the company and it will focus on its business growth from here. As clients embrace digitization across the world and specifically in its key market of the US, there is better opportunity.
Persistent Systems is all set to double its hiring of freshers from campuses to 3,000 in FY23 from around 1,500 that it will do in FY22, he said.
Its executive director and chief financial officer Sunil Sapre said there may be a positive impact on the profit margins as the proportion of fresher hires goes up.
It is also working with colleges in order to train freshers and make them industry ready, so that it reduces the time taken before they are deployed on the floor from the date of joining. Given aspects like chip shortages, it is also stocking up on laptop inventories, he said.
Kalra said he expects at least three quarters for the talent-related challenges in the industry to stabilize and made it clear that right now, the focus is on capturing the demand which will sustain growth over a longer period.
The company had reported a 46 per cent jump in its December quarter net at Rs 176 crore in the results announced late on Thursday. The company scrip was trading 1.62 per cent up at Rs 4,307.25 apiece on the BSE at 1324 hrs, bucking a 0.42 per cent correction on the benchmark. PTI