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Satyam all set for big-ticket F1 deal

Last updated on: July 6, 2011 15:21 IST

Satyam all set for big-ticket F1 deal

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K Rajani Kanth in Hyderabad

Information technology outsourcing company Mahindra Satyam is likely to sign a large global deal with Formula 1 at the forthcoming Indian Grand Prix scheduled to be held in Delhi on October 30.

"We are in the final stages of signing the contract. It is a global and a very visible deal," Dilbagh Gill, head (sports, media and entertainment vertical) at Mahindra Satyam, told Business Standard from Boston.

F1 is the highest class of single-seater auto racing sanctioned by the Federation Internationale deRs Automobile.

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Image: A Ferrari F1 car.
Photographs: Krishnendu Halder/Reuters
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Gill declined to reveal the size and services of the deal.

A large deal, in IT parlance, is anywhere between $50 million (Rs 223 crore) and $100 million (Rs 446 crore).

Mahindra Satyam, the first Indian company to sign with the world soccer body FIFA as an official IT sponsor for the 2010 and 2014 editions of the football World Cup, is currently providing IT solutions for the ongoing FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany, besides the Under-17 World Cup in Mexico.

"There is always some activity happening in the sports group of Satyam.

"At the end of July, the World Cup 2014 draw will take place in Rio, where all the 208 participating countries will come to know who will play whom for the qualifiers, which we are currently managing with our sports technology," Gill said.

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Image: Inset, C P Gurnani, chief executive, Mahindra Satyam.

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The company, which incorporated its sports vertical in 2006 to demonstrate its technology capabilities globally, spends $40 billion every year on IT.

It is now trying to leverage the Mahindra Group's capabilities in the arena of sports and make it a 360-degree relationship with its clients.

"The Mahindras have signed a contract with North America's men's professional basketball league National Basketball Association to promote and get the sport into India. Now, we are getting involved in that in certain areas of IT solutions," he said, adding that Mahindras had now consolidated the sports verticals across their group.

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"We are integrating across the Mahindra Group level in terms of mobility and live video streaming solutions. For instance, Tech Mahindra (the parent company) has been associated with the Union of European Football Associations since August 2006 to provide solutions for delivering match contents directly to mobile devices across the world.

"We have embraced that now for our solutions. We will also integrate some of our media and entertainment elements with our sports technology to give associations and fans a single, seamless experience," he said.

Looking beyond football, basketball and motor racing, Mahindra Satyam is now exploring opportunities in more sports disciplines including tennis and cricket.

Gill said the company was evaluating certain solutions for tennis at this point.

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Photographs: Reuters
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"Cricket is one sport, where we are in discussions with academies. Cricket is a very unique area and now the National Cricket Academy has come up in Bangalore, we would be interested in working with them, in terms of academic growth," he said.

He said Mahindra Satyam's sports vertical currently employed 200 professional, a number which fluctuated depending on the events, and the company was looking at approximately a two-time growth in the headcount on an annual basis.

"On the revenues part, it is more of an intangible value as sports give an exposure to our brand and creditability in bringing in more clients.

"Putting these two together (brand building and credibility), the sports vertical brings us a substantial return on investment," he said, adding the company would soon launch its cloud-based sports solutions shortly.


Photographs: Reuters
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