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Hero does a blockbuster, set to recruit 8,000

Friday, July,29, 2005

The Rs 9,000-crore Hero Group is close to acquiring a mid-sized US-based BPO company . This is expected to bring a fresh lease of life to its BPO operations, the group is also learnt to be in talks with private equity funds to raise funding.

The company has plans to ramp up its rather humble BPO operations to staff about 6,000-8,000 people in two or three years, if the deal goes through. Primarily in the low-end voice business till now, the company also expects to boost its margins by adding business processing capability to its portfolio . An IPO is also on the cards within the next two years.

Confirming that the Hero Group is eyeing acquisitions in the US, Mr. Sunil Kant Munjal, Managing Director and CEO, Hero Corporate Services, said: “We need to catch up with the time we have lost and we are seriously looking at inorganic growth. We are looking at acquiring companies with voice as well as business processing capabilities outside India.”

The BPO operations, called ‘Hero ITES’, seem to be stabilising after a rough ride. The company has just turned around and reported first full year of profits and 100% growth last year and boasts of three global top-ten credit card companies.

The company had first run into trouble when its first marketing partner failed to get any good clients. Further, all attempts to revive the company failed as one of its biggest US clients filed for Chapter 11 and its second US-based partner also decided to pull out of India.

“We have been through a tough time and saw two-three hard knocks, mainly because of external factors, which worked against us.

But we are still committed to the ITES operations and are willing to make the required investments. We will be working with a new partner soon,” added Mr. Sunil Munjal. However, the Hero Group is still trying to breathe new life into the company and was earlier reported to be in advanced stage of negotiations with another US BPO firm, but the deal was not finalised.

The company now expects to continue growing at 100% organically. It also aims at growing much faster, if the acquisition goes through. It plans to see its business grow to Rs 300-350 crore in the next 2-3 years.

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