January 18, 2021
The IT industry’s best-kept secret is making a roar. Today, Accolite Digital serves Fortune 500 customers and top private equity companies and is seen as THE preferred choice in their digital transformation journey across several key verticals. However, this secret success has been some time in the making. Mr. Leela Kaza, Chairman & CEO, Accolite Digital, leads a formidable team of world-class IT professionals who are bringing in key differentiation into the market by solving the most complex digital problems through AI-enabled digital transformation services.
Mr. Kaza’s story is an inspiration to budding tech entrepreneurs on how to build an industry-leading digital engineering services firm at scale. Relentless in his focus to build an organization that has a laser focus on customer success, Mr. Kaza has never lost a single customer since the company’s inception.
“Triumph can’t be had without a struggle!” Mr. Kaza exclaims as he reminisces his humble roots. After he graduated from PSG Tech in 1992, he landed in the United States with just over $2,000 to cover for his first semester tuition fees and living expenses, secured through a bank loan. He completed his master’s in industrial engineering at Clemson University, South Carolina, and began his professional career at Sabre, then a division of American Airlines. Over the next decade, he fortified his digital product engineering experience, built deep relationships in the tech industry, and held various senior exec roles at Sabre, Travelocity, Trilogy and ESW Capital. It was then time to start his entrepreneurial journey.
The goal? Build a world-class tech services company leveraging the best of technical minds to solve real-world business problems.
Behind the suave demeanour has been a man with a vision to make it big with inclusive growth, impeccable values and above all, to do his best at what he was—enterprise software, digital product engineering and sales. It was a defining moment when Mr. Kaza established Accolite Digital in 2007 with a mere $37,000 in seed capital headquartered out of Dallas, TX.
The techpreneur spotted the need of large enterprise customers yearning for world-class design and digital solutions from best-in-class engineers to give momentum to their businesses and emerge as thought leaders in a digitally advanced global environment. This was the space that Mr. Kaza envisioned to capitalize on, where large IT players were playing the volume game and only a handful of niche firms catered to the high-end digital needs of their enterprise customers.
Accolite Digital created an ecosystem for achieving robust differentiation and propel sustainable growth. He sought no external funding or support of any external stakeholder and bootstrapped the company with his enthusiastic team of handpicked top-of-the-rung IT experts, with whom he had worked earlier. In 2013, he returned to Hyderabad and expanded the company’s offshore footprint in India across all five major metros—recognizing the immense potential and access to talent.
Under Mr. Kaza’s leadership, the company’s lean but sharp marketing and sales force established a strong customer base in the five core industry segments namely, BFSI (Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance), Healthcare, Hi-Tech, Communications and Media and Logistics. Because of its perceptible offerings in Customer Experience & Design, Data and AI, Cloud Engineering and DevOps, Digital Product Engineering and Cyber Security, customers rate Accolite at the highest level on every performance metric. This reflects the market goodwill that Accolite enjoys and despite a COVID year, the company is poised to deliver a growth of 40% while maintaining Industry’s highest EBIDTA %.
The Company is nearing $100 million in revenue in the next fiscal year and is generating significant interest from some of the world’s best private equity funds who are vying to invest in the company and take it to the next level. Accolite also intends to grow inorganically through a strong M&A strategy, focused on tuck-in acquisitions in Eastern Europe, South America, and Mexico.
As the leader of a high growth, power player in the digital transformation services and products space, Mr. Kaza says, “In less than five years, you will witness Accolite create $1 billion value to its shareholders and will surpass 5,000 in global Headcount”. Operating from its largest delivery centre located in Bengaluru, followed by Hyderabad, Gurugram and Chennai, Accolite is set to grow 150% over the next three years and create 3,500-plus new jobs in the country by the end of 2024.
The article has been originally published in Fortune India.