Three professionals from Chandigarh--Vijay Kumar, Harshvir Singh and Sandeep Aggarwal--joined hands five years ago to start a business in outsourcing information technology.
They put their money into a new venture Drish Infotech, which is doing software development and IT-enabled services, and has later diversified into medical transcription in 2001.
The company now does software development for the telecom sector. Drish Infotech writes the software for Airtel's value-added services (Bhakti Vandana Services) in Punjab and Haryana.
BPL Telecom in the four circles in the south is also managed by Drish Infotech. This Chandigarh-based small company has also done software development for a telecom company of Mauritius.
"We write software and make it operational for the telecom operators," said Vijay Kumar, a director of the company. The company is also doing business application with the 'dot net technology' and is catering for an insurance company in the US.
The company, with an annual turnover of about Rs 3 crore, develops "device drivers", which, according to Vijay Kumar, is a very hi-end technique and very few companies north of Delhi can do it.
This small enterprise has undergone fluctuations in business in a very short period. It was the infotech bubble burst in 2000 and the 9/11 incident in 2001 that brought the business almost to the brink of closure. Despite all odds, the entrepreneurs did not lose hope.
Today the company gets 99 per cent of its medical transcription business from the US. Unlike call centres, the training period for medical transcript is long, about one year--so it is difficult to find people for this job, says Harshvir Singh, another director of the company. Most of the young aspirants prefer to work in call centres rather than as medical transcription professionals. Also, the attrition rate is high.
The company does medical transcription for many hospitals in the US. It now plans to have direct tie-ups with individual doctors in that country. It has two merits -- one, obviously the high returns, and the other is that it is easier to get a dictation from the same doctor everyday because the caller in India gets familiar with the voice of the doctors. But it is expensive to explore the individual doctors, he added.
The company has no interest in taking up space in the upcoming Chandigarh Technology Park, because the Directors of the company feel that such models are suitable for the companies with a strong financial base.
"We have not been able to recover even our costs in the six years. The going is tough for the small companies in India. We have put all infrastructure, including captive power, in the present location and so do not want to move anywhere," said Kumar.The company has a tie-up with C Bay for manpower training. A team of 50, Drish Infotech is optimistic of getting more business in the ongoing recovery trend in the market.