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Apr 08 2011

Economic Times: Tee Time with Karandeep Singh of Sapient India


Karandeep Singh of Sapient India is turning bullish on interactive marketing and the importance of the brand. He talks about the rescuer shots at his business and playing with the snakes in Las Vegas

How did golf come to be such a central part of your life?

I picked it up in Dubai while posted there. I get my nine hole game every morning before I head to work. This is one game where you hit a stationary ball and not a moving one, which suits me. It turns out it works well for the business too. I just meet up with new clients on the course and build a relationship. It's better than doing a lunch.

How has Sapient changed over the last few years?

Sapient has been around in India for 20 years and it is constantly evolving. We are now strategically well positioned in two businesses. The first is Sapient Nitro, which is an interactive marketing, creative design, and technology services agency and the other is Sapient Global Markets, where we have technology to help investment banks.

How is Sapient shaping its plans for the new decade?

Things are brighter in the United States and this is now reflecting in India. We are growing and we are hiring. It's now about how you create the brand experience for customers on the marketing leg and not about traditional application development. We have 9000 people across the world, of which two-thirds are in India.

I notice your rescuer has helped your next shot, taking you to the green but did it work for you during the economic storm?

It was a big challenge but I have to say it was all about fiscal discipline. We weren't prepared like everyone but were prudent. The US market was hit more but we had to ensure we were tight on budgets and went in for a freeze on hiring. Also we had to fight harder to keep the business since, at the end of the day, you want to keep the customer. Today we get 65% of revenues from Nitro and the rest from Sapient Global markets..

What's been your most challenging round, outside the recession?

I was at Lag Vegas at a course which had rattle snakes and other wildlife on the course. These were challenges beyond water hazards and bunkers. No one wanted to hit the snakes, even by mistake. 

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