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ITC Infotech has historically preferred to grow organically, with just one acquisition in the past 15 years.
ITC Infotech has historically preferred to grow organically, with just one acquisition in the past 15 years.

ITC Infotech eyes one big buy for $100 million

Move comes as larger rivals Infosys and Wipro are already tapping the start-up ecosystem for growth

ITC Infotech, the software divison of ITC Ltd, has set aside as much as $100 million for at least one big acquisition this year as it looks to scale up and engage more closely with start-ups, said Sushma Rajagopalan, chief executive officer of ITC Infotech, in an interview on Saturday during the firm’s IoT Hackathon event in Bengaluru.

The move comes at a time when larger rivals such as Infosys Ltd and Wipro Ltd are already tapping the start-up ecosystem for growth.

The decision is also a bold one as ITC Infotech has historically preferred to grow organically, with just one acquisition in the past 15 years.

ITC Infotech could opt for a “complete buy in" of the first start-up it chooses to acquire, said Rajagopalan, who took over as the company’s chief executive office in November 2014, in an interview.

Rajagopalan said she had the board’s support for her inorganic plans and the planned acquisition was aimed at long-term growth. “We look at inorganic as investments, partnerships and complete buy-in. May be the first one will be a complete buy in," Rajagopalan said, adding that the deal could be worth $75-100 million. While ITC Infotech is actively looking at potential acquisition targets, it has no plans to chase those with “unholy valuations", she said.

The company is currently working with a Silicon Valley-based start-up to build a new product and could consider investing in it at a later stage, Rajagopalan said without naming the start-up.

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