01 Sep 2003
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Kumar Mahadeva

A Global Approach
by Deborah Blagg

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Cognizant Technology Solutions (Nasdaq: CTSH) founder, chairman, and CEO Wijayaraj A. (“Kumar”) Mahadeva explains how his company can help businesses still reeling from “post-bubble hangovers.” “We keep the mission pretty simple,” notes Mahadeva, who was born in Sri Lanka and held positions with the BBC, McKinsey, AT&T, and Dun & Bradstreet before founding Cognizant — originally a joint venture with Dun & Bradstreet — in 1994. “We help companies to cut their IT and business process costs drastically and to align their IT portfolios with their business needs.”

Cognizant provides application outsourcing services and 24/7 software project management for a small but intensely loyal client base of large U.S. and European companies. Widely praised in the business press for its innovation and growth, the company reached $229.1 million in revenues in 2002, and has a market cap of $1.7 billion. In the most recent quarter, revenues increased 60 percent.

Based in Teaneck, New Jersey, Cognizant has established twelve software development centers across India. “Most U.S. companies approach overseas markets primarily as places to sell their goods,” he observes. “What’s different about our business model is that we’ve leveraged the global talent pool, kept our costs low, and stayed on top of new technologies that can benefit our clients.”

Mahadeva enjoys being an entrepreneur and is excited about the innovative possibilities of Internet technology. “With the Internet, one can collaborate with people halfway around the world throughout the entire business process,” he notes. “That’s one key area we’re focusing on for the future.”

— DEB

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