L&T starts process to take its engg services subsidiary public

After its information technology (IT) services business, engineering and construction major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has set the ball rolling to take fully-owned subsidiary L&T Technology Services public, by elevating its chief executive and expanding the board of directors.

L&T Technology Services, which provides engineering and research & development services to global firms in diverse sectors such as aerospace and defence, has elevated its chief executive Keshab Panda as the CEO and managing director and inducted Kumar Prabhas, chief operating officer, to the board as an executive director. Panda, who joined L&T in 2009 from Tech Mahindra (formerly Mahindra Satyam), as head of Americas, was until recently heading L&T Technology as chief executive.

Apart from this, the company has also expanded its board of directors by inducting former L&T Infotech CEO Sudip Banerjee as independent director. Banerjee, also a former Wipro president and was heading L&T’s wholly-owned IT services subsidiary L&T Infotech between September 2008 and May 2011, is also on the board of Kesoram Industries and IFB Industries as independent director.

“The process has just started to take L&T Technology Services public, which the board is expecting to happen sometime during this calendar year,” said a senior source in the company. “While we are already the number one pure-play engineering services company, the firm has decided to rapidly strengthen its position in areas like digital and Internet of Things,” the person added.

In reply to a query by Business Standard, the company confirmed the appointments though it declined to comment on the proposed initial public offering (IPO) plans. “We confirm that Keshab Panda has been elevated as CEO and MD, and he will continue to lead the company into new growth areas. We also confirm Kumar Prabhas, who joined us last November as our COO, has been inducted to the L&T Technology Services’ board,” the company’s statement read.

Sources said the company had been strengthening its top leadership team keeping in mind the IPO plans. As a part of this strategy, Prabhas, who was earlier heading Unisys India as managing director and vice-president and general manager for end-user and workspace services, joined L&T Technology. Similarly, Paneesh Rao who was previously heading human resources (HR) at Atos India, joined the company as head of HR in June last year.

L&T Technology Services owes its origin to parent L&T, which in 2010 transferred its integrated engineering services business to the former. This was followed by the transfer of the telecom and high-tech product engineering services business from L&T Infotech to L&T Technology Services in January 2014. As a part of which, around 1,800 engineers were transferred. The company, which has been growing at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 37 per cent, is estimated to have a revenue of $500 million last year.

In January this year, L&T Infotech has received the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s approval to float an initial public offering worth Rs 2,000 crore.

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