Companies create jointly owned entity to compete for large-scale local, global projects

DVT, one of South Africa’s leading software development and consulting specialists, has formalised its partnership with IB Technology, one of India’s fastest growing global IT software solutions, services and consulting companies.

The companies have set up a jointly owned entity, IB Technology South Africa, trading as a wholly owned subsidiary of IB Technology, with the expectation of expanding their respective operations in South Africa and the African continent, and developing a compelling service differentiator in the global market.

DVT CEO Chris Wilkins says there are no downsides to what has become “a strong and successful relationship between two complementary technology companies.”

“IB Technology has the presence, credibility and first-hand operational experience of delivering business-critical IT services to some of the world’s foremost companies – and directly to its $4 billion-plus parent company Indiabulls,” says Wilkins. “This gives us an immediate foothold across a range of key industries, including financial services, mining, utilities, telecommunications and building and construction.

“We started working with IB Technology a few years ago as a supplier of high-value skills for some of our major projects in South Africa, and developed synergies between our companies that lead to greater cooperation and closer working ties. Through IB Technology South Africa we now have a platform we can leverage to win major IT projects not only locally but increasingly abroad.”

Keith Milner, Senior Vice President and Director, IB Technology, says DVT’s local know-how and extensive operational footprint in South Africa was an attractive opportunity that dovetailed with IB Technology’s expansion plans for the region.

“Our strategy is to become a global company with a multinational workforce, employing and skilling up South Africans and consolidating our skills with the right talent from India and other operational regions around the world,” says Milner.

“We realise there’s a massive demand for IT skills in South Africa – one that I might add is hardly unique to this country. What we offer from a skills perspective is a complement to local skills with a highly trained, sophisticated and cost-competitive workforce. For us it’s a collaborative relationship, and where we might fill gaps in South Africa with Indian skills, through the partnership with DVT we can just as easily fill skills gaps overseas with South Africans. Both companies – and countries – benefit as a result.”

Milner says IB Technology South Africa will use its Indian connections “where it makes sense and adds value” to do so, but the aim was to create a South African company through a large-scale investment, rather than fund a local operation managed by overseas operatives.

“Our client base is DVT’s client base from a South African context. We want to marry our strengths to DVT’s strengths, so when we talk about developing India’s first live mobile trading platform, and consider DVT’s track record in developing ground-breaking mobile applications for South African businesses, the synergies are clear.

“If we take a look at the bigger picture, our heritage is closely tied to one of India’s – if not the world’s – biggest business success stories in recent years, Indiabulls. Our company was formed as a direct result of the need to supply highly specialised and complex IT services for Indiabulls’ expansive business operations on multiple fronts – from capital markets, to loans and leasing, commercial vehicle financing, and real estate and construction.

“In doing so we developed a valuable competitive advantage, intimately understanding how to service these industries with the skills and tools they need to succeed because we were essentially an extension of the companies we owned. This is something very few, if any, of our competitors can claim, and gives us a unique insight into the management and operations of businesses in these industries.”

Wilkins says that the step up from winning local business to competing for global tenders is not something that most small-to-medium businesses in South Africa can do alone.

“While we’re able to leverage the cost-efficiencies of our workforce against far more expensive international skills, we can never compromise quality to the client, and that’s why working alongside companies like IB Technology is so important,” he says.

“For example only larger consulting companies have CMM (Capability and Maturity Model) certification, a prerequisite alongside standards such as ISO 27001 for large global tenders. IB Technology achieved CMM Level 3 certification within six months by virtue of its watertight processes, checks and balances, and is already pushing for Level 5 certification. These are powerful vehicles when you’re looking to make the jump from smaller projects to national and international deals, and South Africa is increasingly hosting international tenders right on our doorstep.”

IB Technology employs more than 1,000 people across offices in India, the U.S., Singapore, the Middle East and, in the near future, Europe. IB Technology South Africa has a large complement of international staff already working at South African clients and on projects alongside its South African staff. This blend of local and international expertise provides an ideal blend of local and international experience and ensures access to the right expertise, cost optimisation and client and project management.