Blessed by Big Data: Cambridge Technology’s Journey from Netting Losses to 100 Cr
How Cambridge Technology Enterprises went from netting 50 crore losses in 2013 to achieving revenue over 100 crores in a matter of four years, blessed by the trinity of emerging tech - Big Data, AI and ML.
Photo Credit : aashishkalra.com, LinkedIn, ACG Silicon Valley,
The last generation of trillion dollars was created out of traditional Indian IT technology businesses that were focused on back end support and cost efficiency. The next trillion dollars will be created by front end services from innovation driven technology companies focused on value.
You will find Aashish Kalra jetting a plane to all corners of the world, Beijing to Delhi to Seattle in search of new tech developments he is confident will be the next big thing since the industrial revolution.
Cambridge Technology Enterprises Limited (CTEL), an eighteen year old company, is changing the face of its business. Since 2015 when tech investor Aashish Kalra took over, the company has expanded into IT services in avant-garde technologies like data infrastructure, rapid prototyping (via Cambridge Innovations), and data support and managed services (via Cambridge Bizserve). Cambridge set out on a new mission that same year to build strategic partnerships like the ones with Oracle and AWS, while acquiring marquee clients like Schneider Electric, Hills Pet and Iron Mountain who serve as world famous references so that the company once destined to be the standard IT BPO services provider for mid-sized enterprises will now be that company on the verge of every technological advancement there ever was.
Because providing the early 2000’s kind of IT support that just cuts cost at the back end won’t bring in the money for IT service providers anymore.
Aashish knows that. “Big Data fueled by AI and Machine Learning is the next natural resource, like air and water. We are in the midst of the largest technological revolution. We have spent the last few years in building an organization to take advantage of this [revolution].”
The shift to emerging technology services is paying off for Cambridge. The company’s 2016-2017 fiscal year (FY17) results show that their biggest revenue generator isn't any standard IT division, but is a division called, ‘Cambridge Big Data’ and Aashish is positive new technologies will continue to keep hitting the sweet spot for fiscal growth.
“Over the next three years, on an average we expect an annual revenue of 10 million dollars (rupees 64.4 crores) from each of our four growth drivers, Cambridge Big Data; Cambridge Bizserve; Cambridge Data Science and Cambridge Innovations.
Cambridge Big Data was started first, in January 2015, so it has more reach than the other verticals. While Cambridge Big Data may have the highest amount of revenue at present, going forward any of these four verticals can be the highest contributor to revenue, even Cambridge Data Science, which started just four months [January 2017] back.
We are hopeful that our combined revenue streams will yield close to 50 million dollars in the next three years, with of course a focus on profitability.”
For FY17, Cambridge’s net profit has increased by more than 109 per cent to 4.4 crores from 2.1 crores last financial year. Their revenue increased 28 per cent from 19.7 crores to 25.2 crores while earnings per share has doubled from 1.1 rupees to 2.2 rupees for the same fiscal year.
Aashish continued, “In FY15, the base revenue was 32 crores and we believed that it will take us two years to get to minimum scale. Today, in FY17 we have crossed 100 crores in revenue while serving marquee clients. Our revenue has grown three times over and our profit after tax (PAT) five times over, while our number of employees has increased from 200 to 350 across nine offices in the US and India. In addition Cambridge has also made 12 investments in tech startups and related ventures."
For the 2013-2014 fiscal year, just before the company took an active interest in big data, AI, and ML services, their net profit was 1.79 crores, and for the previous fiscal year ending 31 March 2013, there was a loss of 48.6 crores. The shift in focus has helped make their balance sheets rosier.
Cambridge aided by new tech on the stock exchange
With a face value of 10 rupees, Cambridge listed on the stock exchange on 7 February 2007, at an opening price of 48.90 rupees. During the time this story was being researched, share price was in the high eighties.
CTEL share price exceeded what it could be traded at when it reached 90.55 rupees on 30 May 2017. On the same day volume of share traded surged by more than 2.14 times; another spurt in volume traded occurred recently on June 6, by more than 1.24 times.
The average typical price of Cambridge stock from March to end of May 2017 was 90.42 rupees.
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