HCL is the fifth-largest India-centric IT service provider in terms of revenue (after TCS, Infosys, Cognizant, and Wipro). While it only derived about 15% of its global fiscal 2012 revenues from markets outside of Europe and the US — slightly lower than the four larger Indian firms — HCL has built a strong base in Asia and now boasts more than 300 customers served by more than 8,000 employees. I recently attended HCL’s Asian analyst event in Sydney; below are some key reasons why I believe that you should consider HCL on your shortlist of systems integrators (SIs) and outsourcing providers:

  • Flexibility. When I asked some of HCL’s Australian, ASEAN, and Indian clients what characterizes HCL’s approach to managing client relationships and delivering projects, most mentioned “flexibility” and “HCL is easy to work with,” particularly  during the transition phase in outsourcing contracts.
  • Co-innovation focus. HCL’s Asia growth strategy is both focused (on a limited number of vertical and horizontals) and pragmatic. Starting small with staff augmentation deals, the company invests in relationships to develop its presence and its expertise with its clients’ challenges — 2% of the revenue generated from clients is reinvested in the engagement as an innovation budget.
  • Local commitments. HCL has increased its regional presence via local management and delivery capabilities and local partners, including universities like Singapore Management University; IT companies like Lippo Group in Indonesia; and government, such as its work on the Mobility Lab initiative for EDB in Singapore.


Shortlist for sourcing:


Financial services

Strong domain expertise and software assets like Finedge. HCL works with five of the top 10 banks in Asia, focusing on wealth management, lending, and multichannel services.

Retail and CPG
Public sector
Energy and utilities

All are key verticals for HCL in Asia as the company seeks to bring strong global domain expertise and software assets to the region. One early success in Asia is the enterprise application work HCL has done for the largest retailer in Australia.


HCL has about 2,500 employees in its SAP practice in Asia; the company is currently working on 50 projects in Singapore and 40 in Malaysia.

Needs further evaluation:


Infrastructure services

HCL has been successful winning and delivering large infrastructure outsourcing deals in the US and in Europe in the past 18 months, but has yet to achieve the same success rate in Asia.

Social, mobile, analytics, cloud (SMAC)

HCL has some great innovation examples via the HCL SMAC Lab and the Eli Lilly co-innovation lab in Singapore, but capabilities are still nascent in Asia.


While HCL is still a relatively small player in Asia, it’s growing fast and has secured several large and complex deals in recent months. Moreover, clients value the dedication and flexibility that HCL brings to engagements. It’s the company’s spirit, more than its size, that it embodies in Asia (flexibility, commitment, and co-innovation) that clients should value.