Cognizant celebrates 25 years of operations in Asia and beyond

31 January 2019 Consultancy.asia

Global ICT consultancy Cognizant has celebrated its 25th anniversary in business by ringing the bell at Nasdaq.

Founded as Dun & Bradstreet Satyam Software (DBSS) in 1994 as an in-house technology wing of analytics firm Dun & Bradstreet, and rebranded as Cognizant in 1996 as the newly structured firm branched out internationally, Cognizant has since then grown to become one of the world’s largest IT services and tech consultancies, bringing in revenues pushing the $16 billion mark and home to a headcount of some 270,000-plus employees.

To mark the occasion of its 25th anniversary on the 26th January (incidentally, the date which marks independence in India, where the firm was originally established), Cognizant executives have gathered on the floor of Nasdaq in New York’s Times Square to ring the opening bell. The firm has been listed on the prestigious NASDAQ-100 index since 1994, the first IT services company to be included on the list of Nasdaq’s 100 largest non-financial stocks.

Breaking into the Fortune 200 last year, and featured toward the top of Fortune Future 50 list, Cognizant has achieved remarkable recent growth, rocketing from revenues of $8.8 billion in 2013 to $14.8 billion in 2017 to record a five-year compound annual growth rate of 15 percent. Five years prior, in 2008, revenues stood at $2.8 billion. And still the company continues to grow, adding creative agency Mustache to its Interactive branch as recently as last month.Cognizant celebrates 25 years of business in Asia and abroadCognizant has been growing in Asia too. Beyond India – home to approximately 70 percent of the company’s workforce – and its APAC headquarters in Melbourne, Australia, Cognizant has branches in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Shanghai, Singapore, Manila and Hong Kong, the latter expanding with an additional office in 2017. In August of last year, Cognizant picked up India and Australasia-based Salesforce specialist SaaSfocus, adding around 350 expert consultants to its existing team.

“Cognizant’s remarkable growth story started 25 years ago,” said Cognizant CEO Francisco D’Souza, who has overseen the firm’s impressive rise since 2007 and is expected to step down some time during this year. “Over this period of time, we’ve scaled Cognizant from a 200-person software development and maintenance firm to a Fortune 200 global professional services leader that employs more than 270,000 associates who help clients apply digital technologies to transform and grow their businesses.”

Immediately prior to its anniversary celebrations, during the firm’s participation at Davos, D’Souza was announced as the new Chairman of the IT and Electronics Governors community, a body of industry leaders focused on the long-term sustainability of the technology sector and its role in society. D’Souza joined the anniversary celebrations at Nasdaq via satellite from Chennai, saying, “I’m deeply grateful to all of our associates around the world for building such a great company with such tremendous prospects.”

Present at the ringing of the bell in New York was the firm’s Chief Financial Officer Karen McLoughlin, who added; “We’re a company of people who love to creatively solve problems; we have deep knowledge of the world in which we operate and of our clients’ businesses, technology, and infrastructure. We’re constantly developing our people, improving and renewing our knowledge which makes us a force to be reckoned with in the marketplace.”

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Asia-based BCG-backed tech fund B Capital raises a further $400 million

09 April 2019 Consultancy.asia

The BCG-backed B Capital Group has raised over $400 million in the first close of its second fund. Based in Singapore, B Capital has now raised $766 million across two funds.

Established by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin and ex-BCG Senior Advisor Jav Ganguly in 2016 – and backed by Boston Consulting Group from the outset – the Singapore-based venture capital firm B Capital has according to a US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing secured $406.1 million in commitments at the first close of its second fund – adding to $360 million raised last year for its first fund.

Launched toward the end of March, the second B Capital Fund has so far attracted 62 investors, and although a final close date or target hasn’t been disclosed, an unnamed source told Forbes that the VC firm is looking to double the size of its first fund. Meanwhile, B Capital has already built up a portfolio of 19 start-ups, with a focus on technology in the healthcare, financial services, industrial logistics and consumer enablement segments, and a particular eye to the Southeast Asia and India markets.

“We continue to strive to be a launch pad for entrepreneurs across a wide range of verticals and seek to provide our portfolio companies with the necessary resources and access to some of the most important business leaders,” said Saverin, who moved to Singapore in 2009. “We are committed to helping the next generation of entrepreneurs deliver transformative technology to the world and are strategically positioned to disrupt the realm of venture investing.”Asia-based BCG-backed tech fund B Capital raises a further $400 million Anchored by BCG, and partnering with BCG’s Digital Venture’s incubation arm, B Capital styles itself as a bridge between the innovative tech start-up realm and leading global corporate incumbents – bolstered by BCG’s deep client network (some 1,800 globally according to the consulting firm) and domain expertise in the investment fund’s areas of focus. Further, B Capital and BCG work together to uncover the most promising areas of investment.

“We partnered with the Boston Consulting Group because of their unique insights into the industries that we invest in and their unparalleled access to the world’s leading corporations,” said B Capital’s Ganguly, who in addition to spending the past six years with BCG served as a senior vice president at Bain Capital during the prior six. Earlier, Ganguly spent three years as a senior manager at MBB rival McKinsey & Company.

“It is inspiring to be backed by investors who recognise that our combined extensive experience as entrepreneurs and business creators provides a unique and valuable perspective as to how we support and provide capital to our portfolio companies,” adds Ganguly. “Our first-hand experience building and scaling enduring businesses has allowed us to bridge an important gap connecting entrepreneurs in need of resources to scale their businesses with corporations seeking to innovate and leverage emerging technologies.”

With B Capital said to be aiming to invest $20 million in each portfolio company, including reserves for future growth funding, Southeast Asian and Indian investments to date include Singapore short-term financing match-making platform Capital Match, ASEAN last-mile logistics provider Ninja Van, Carro – a Singapore-based vehicle sales and subscription service, and India’s Mswipe, a mobile point-of-sales solution.

“Whether it is funding availability, stage, talent, institutions, or exits, the presence of such whitespaces in the ecosystem makes it equally challenging and rewarding for investors,” Saverin and Ganguly wrote of the gaps in the Southeast Asian and Indian investment space in a founding post on LinkedIn. “We are very excited and bullish in the long run because we see the opportunity to bridge that gap and make a positive impact in a community of two billion people.”