It was 1st September, 1991.
A first time entrepreneur Tarun Seth established Micro Clinic India in Delhi with just four employees.
“Pursuing a break-fix ‘services’ model with a motto of ‘Life after Death’, we resurrected PCs at the customer site within four hours.” recalls Tarun Seth, founder of Micro Clinic India.‘Clinic’ in the company name because it synced with the innovative business model, he adds.
After 23 years of continued success to suffice IT needs of enterprise organisations across India, Micro Clinic ironically received a fresh lease of life with a buy-out by Hitachi Systems.
|Why Hitachi Systems acquired Micro Clinic?|
|According to Tarun Seth, Founder of Micro Clinic and MD of Hitachi Systems Micro Clinic, the three reasons that sealed the deal were:|
|1. Ethical Company: First and foremost, we were 100% transparent to them as they checked our records thoroughly.|
|2. Quality of People: They interviewed our people and found them extremely capable to execute projects across India.|
|3. Customer Set: The trust factor between customers and our team. They visited and interacted with our customers, and received a positive feedback.|
Tarun Seth is now MD of Hitachi Systems Micro Clinic. Today Micro Clinic has swelled to a 700-employee organization. “With a driver-cum-peon, two engineers, and a sales person, our vans in the early 90s completed the work at customer site within four hours versus four days by competitors, “he says.
To maintain the emotional connect with building the successful company over two decades, the company’s name has been changed to Hitachi Systems Micro Clinic. “Micro Clinic will never die as it is now a part of Hitachi," says Tarun Seth, a 53-year-old commerce graduate with a Masters in management.
Seth’s role will be dominant in the new entity.Besides another board member from Micro Clinic, there would be three executives from Hitachi. “OEM relationships, closing deals, customer interactions and other activities will be primarily driven by two executives of Micro Clinic. It will be business as usual with the existing vendor companies though now we intent to double our business, “he says. Micro Clinic looks on course considering it made Rs 77 crore in the last fiscal. For March ending 2014 itself, we would cross the Rs 150 crore figure, says Seth.
What business mantras would he share with channel companies that are seeking such buy-outs? “Hitachi invested in Micro Clinic primarily because we were 100 percent transparent with our pluses and minuses. Also your employees should be satisfied with your company operations. “The entire ecosystem was positive –customers, employees, and OEMs. They even checked with the distributors to validate our credentials. Everyone gave a good report,” says Seth.
Before and After
Micro Clinic had the highs and lows as a typical ‘first time entrepreneur company’. But we had competent people, technical expertise, and long-term company vision to record profits each year except once, he says. The company reinvested the profits into the system to enhance its people management, infrastructure management, and expansion plans. From introducing Dr.Solomons in 1993-94 and becoming an anti-virus company to becoming a preferred Compaq partner in 1999, Micro Clinic adapted the business model as per market needs. "Due to lack of funds we could not do hardware sales till 1999," he says in a candid tone.
Today Micro Clinic is a name to reckon as an end-to-end solution provider in virtualization, backup solutions, managed services and other emergent enterprise technologies required by modern day organisations.
The secret to success has been people management and transparent processes at Micro Clinic. “We have always taken care of our people and most of them have stayed with us since a long time. We assume 10 percent of well organised people make 100 percent of the organization," he says. Micro Clinic conducts its business in a highly transparent manner."Few years ago, we moved from Tally to ERP which I personally feel was a saving grace to further enhance the business operations," he adds.
Will the vendor agnostic approach continue despite the buyout by technology company Hitachi? “We are very clear to continue our existing partnerships – with customers, with distributors, and with OEMs. Hitachi wants to focus more on datacenter services and managed services which really does not affect any OEM relationships,” he says.
According to Seth, IT will be a mix of on premise and cloud model. “India is a highly heterogeneous country in terms of customer sets and their varied demands - which cannot be classified as SMB and enterprise. But there is space for each model--On premise, Cloud and Service Provider--to exist in the future.
If not into technology, Tarun Seth would have opened a restaurant. “I will pursue that dream of restaurateur now. But IT continues to dominate as we commence on the next growth phase of Micro Clinic – on a larger scale," he says.
Yogesh Gupta is associate editor for ChannelWorld. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org