Quatrro BPO buys out eIndia’s stake

NEW DELHI: Raman Roy's Quatrro BPO Solutions has bought out Mauritius-based fund eIndia's stake in Chennai-based Scope eKnowledge, a knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) firm. Through this acquisition, Quatrro has taken a 'significant majority stake' in the 500 people KPO.

This is Quatrro's fourth big investment in the last 12-18 months. Others include 100% buyout of Flextronics BPO arm and investments in Annik Technology Services, an analytics firm and John Keells, a shipping and ports services company.

Simultaneously, Quatrro has also got an additional funding of $100 million from a bunch of VCs, taking the total VC investment in the company to over $200 million. Olympus Capital is one of the VCs which had invested about $90 million in Quatrro sometime back. Scope eKnowledge is a top-end KPO vendor with services spanning patent filing, knowledge extraction, legal processes and market research.

Its clients include Thomson Scientific, Reed Business Information, London Business School and Fortune 100 companies. Its 500 staff comprise engineers, doctors, radiologists, MBAs and other professionals. Raman Roy, CMD, Quatrro and V Balakrishnan, who spearheads Quatrro's M&A effort, will be joining the eScope Knowledge board. Interestingly, Scope eKnowledge was set up back in 1987 as a business research organisation and made its foray into KPO space in 2001.

When contacted by ET, Mr Roy said, Scope eKnowledge is a top-end research and KPO firm. What excited us was the kind of work they do and the fact that net margins in such business are almost double of what you can expect in BPO work. Our business model is to support management teams. We will supplement the management of Scope eKnowledge and will not replace it. We are already making joint calls to customers for new business.

Typically, for BPO work, the net margins are in the range of 12-15% while in KPO companies it can be double of that. Says R Sivadas, CEO, Scope eKnowledge, "We have a spectrum of clients including Fortune 10 companies and four of the top 10 global publishing companies. KPO business is still nascent in India but we see lot of potential. It is beginning to grow now. We have built a large, trained, qualified team and with Quatrro now we have access to significant domain expertise as well".

Besides English, Scope eKnowledge offers services in German, Spanish, French, Korean, Chinese, Russian and other languages. The delivery centre is in Chennai and it also has offices in China, New York, Chicago, Orlando, London, Brussels and Cologne.

With Scope eKnowledge, Quatrro now has 1,300 to 1,400 people and is looking at both organic and inorganic growth options.