April 15, 2009

Note from the CEO

Note from the CEOFirst of all, a very Happy New Year to you.

This is both the time for our company financial New Year starting 1st April, 2009 to 31st March, 2010 and also the month for the Bengali New Year – as our largest India development center is in West Bengal.

Last year was the most eventful year for us and for the world in general. Perhaps the first word on top recall is ‘recession’, and somehow I see a stark similarity with the word ‘outsourcing’. When the latter became the favourite topic – from politicians to businessmen to the grandmother living in York, there was an opinion and reason with almost everyone. Little did it matter whether anyone knew much about the globalization process. Similarly, I have noticed that possibly after ‘Obama’, the most well known word today is ‘recession’. Recently, my own aunt of over 60 years was talking about how recession was responsible for something not doing well, and I couldn’t help seeing the similarity with the grand mum in York who blamed outsourcing for the pesky calls by salesman selling everything possible on the phone.

Coming to how Web Spiders fared last year – relatively, we did well. Obviously, we could have grown faster without the “R” word, but overall it was good performance with top line growth at 60% year-on-year.

The core question however is – What’s the outlook for the next year?

I was seeing the Infosys results last week and honestly, that day was depressing. For decades, the company had shown growth almost for granted, and for the first time ever they said the company will not grow in 09-10; and in fact, there will be a de-growth of up to 6%. Plus they fired about 2100 people recently. This news is a big fallout of the events of last year. It means that past success cannot be taken for granted, and we as a company cannot take our growth since inception for granted.

For most companies, cost management and closing the leakage everywhere in the company is the key. However, I strongly feel it’s not the full solution to tide over in these times. The winner is to bring newer services and solutions to our customers which make them stand up and notice us amidst the crowd. The key is to recruit the best and brightest who are probably more available in these times. And another key is, strangely, to invest back… for there has been no downturn in the history of mankind which has not finished.

One such new service from Web Spiders is in the areas of Mobile. With wireless broadband and everywhere access, very soon all phones globally will come default with Internet access, in the same way that SMS or text messages are a standard facility. In addition, other electronic devices like TV, home appliances etc. will become Net enabled with wireless Net access. The demand for mobile applications across platforms like BlackBerry, iPhone, Nokia, Windows Mobile etc. is exploding and we are already working hard with our focus on this area.

As you appreciate, change is the key for survival, and in times like these the velocity of change required to survive and flourish increases dramatically. I wish all a very fruitful year ahead and deeply thank all our customers and prospects for trusting and depending on Web Spiders.

Best Regards,

Siddharth Jhunjhunwala

CEO, Web Spiders

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