Anjan Malik and PD Mundhra first met at Wharton, where both had gone to do their MBA in finance. While they graduated in 1996 and Malik took up a job with Lehman Brothers in New York and Mundhra with Citibank in Mumbai, they always knew they would set up their own company one day. A few years later, they did, starting eClerx with just five people and five computers in Mumbai. Today, the same company has morphed into one of the leading KPO players from India. eClerx offers middle- and back-office operations support to over 30 Fortune 500 companies. It has over 6,500 employees with offices across the US, the UK and Singapore and delivery centres in India offering services such as data management, analytics, content and digital asset management to companies in banking and financial services, retail, e-commerce, media and cable and telecom.
Over the past five years, eClerx’s revenue and profits have grown at an average 33%. In the first nine months of FY14, the company’s revenue and profit have grown 28% to ₹624 crore and 55% to ₹191 crore, respectively. Now, the goal is to build on this growth momentum and extend services to new verticals and customer while grabbing a large wallet share from existing customers.
eClerx can trace its origins to a business magazine article in the late 1990s about GE setting up its BPO arm in India. It got Malik and Mundhra thinking that perhaps outsourcing was the opportunity on which they could build their business. Their first pitch was to Malik’s employer, Lehman Brothers. He had noticed innumerable powerpoint presentations being made by associates at the New York office and the two felt this was something they could do from an offshore location at more cost-effective prices, freeing up the associates’ time for more productive work. When they pitched the idea, though, Lehman didn’t bite. “But while preparing for the pitch, we realised the enormous potential that outsourcing offers and the various processes that can be outsourced.” says PD Mundhra, co-founder and executive director, eClerx.
It was still the late 1990s, the heydays of the internet boom, and Mundhra and Malik saw several firms looking for