0 Views

Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. history, profile and corporate video

Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. is a provider of information technology, consulting and business process outsourcing services. Its core competencies include technology consulting, complex systems development and integration, enterprise software package implementation and maintenance, data warehousing, business intelligence and analytics, application testing, application maintenance, infrastructure management and business and knowledge process outsourcing. The company operates through four segments: Financial Services, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Retail and Logistics and Other. The Financial Services segment includes customers providing banking/transaction processing, capital markets and insurance services. The Healthcare segment includes healthcare providers and payers as well as life sciences customers. The Manufacturing, Retail and Logistics segment includes manufacturers, retailers, travel and other hospitality customers, as well as customers providing logistics services. The Other segment is an aggregation of industry segments which includes entertainment, media and information services, communications and high technology operating segments. The company was founded by Wijeyaraj Kumar Mahadeva and Francisco D’Souza in 1994 and is headquartered in Teaneck, NJ.

Cognizant Technology History

Cognizant has its roots in The Dun & Bradstreet Corporation, a joint venture between Dun & Bradstreet (76%) and Satyam Computers (24%). Srini Raju was the CEO of this company established in 1994. Kumar Mahadeva played a major role in convincing D&B to invest $2 million in the joint venture. He was born in Sri Lanka, where his father led his nation’s civil service. Mahadeva traveled to England for his studies, earning a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Cambridge in 1973. Originally called DBSS, the unit was established as an in-house technology unit, and focused on implementing large-scale IT projects for D&B businesses. In 1996, the company started pursuing customers beyond the D&B fold.

In 1996, Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) spun off several of its subsidiaries including Erisco, IMS International, Nielsen Media Research, Pilot Software, Strategic Technologies and DBSS, to form a new company called Cognizant Corporation. Three months later, in 1997, DBSS was renamed as Cognizant Technology Solutions. In July 1997, D&B bought Satyam’s 24% stake in DBSS for $3.4 million. Headquarters were moved to the United States, and in March 1998, Kumar Mahadeva was named CEO. Operating as a division of the Cognizant Corporation, the company mainly focused on Y2K-related projects and web development.

In 1998, the parent company Cognizant Corporation was split into two companies: IMS Health and Nielsen Media Research. After this restructuring, Cognizant Technology Solutions became a public subsidiary of IMS Health. In June 1998, IMS Health partially spun off the company, conducting an initial public offering of the Cognizant stock. The company raised $34 million, less than what the IMS Health underwriters had hoped for. The money was earmarked for debt payments and upgrading of the company’s offices.

Kumar Mahadeva decided to reduce the company’s dependence on Y2K projects: by Q1 1999, 26% of company’s revenues came from Y2K projects, compared with 49% in early 1998. Believing that the $16.6 billion ERP software market was saturated, Mahadeva decided to refrain from large-scale ERP implementation projects. Instead, he focused on applications management, which accounted for 37% of Cognizant’s revenue in Q1 1999. Cognizant’s revenues in 2002 were $229 million, and the company had zero debt with $100 million in the bank. During the dotcom bust, the company grew by taking on the maintenance projects that larger IT services companies did not want.

In 2003, IMS Health sold its entire 56% stake in Cognizant, which instituted a poison pill provision to prevent hostile takeover attempts. Kumar Mahadeva resigned as the CEO in 2003, and was replaced by Lakshmi Narayanan. Gradually, the company’s services portfolio expanded across the IT services landscape and into business process outsourcing (BPO) and business consulting. Lakshmi Narayanan was succeeded by the Kenya-born Francisco D’Souza in 2006. Cognizant experienced a period of fast growth during the 2000s, as reflected by its appearance in Fortune magazine’s “100 Fastest-Growing Companies” list for ten consecutive years from 2003 to 2012.”

*Information from Forbes.com and Wikipedia.org

**Video published on YouTube by “Cognizant