IT Champs was founded in the year 2005 in Mysore, India by two technocrats, Rajesh & Prajakta Kutnikar, who had been working with large Organizations outside India for over a decade in the ERP Space. Rajesh Kutnikar, the founder & CEO worked for SAP as a Developer in the HR module and was instrumental in the rollout of several Country versions of HR solutions in the standard SAP system. He has been working with large consulting firms and a then, big-5 firm in the US overseeing SAP implementations at large customers like Microsoft, Starbucks, Continental General Tires, Brown-Forman Corporation, J. Crew, Paccar and many more.
Alumni of PESIT, Bangalore, Rajesh Kutnikar wanted to establish a SAP consulting firm in Mysore as he came across many bright minds graduating from top-rated engineering colleges in Mysore forced to migrate to larger cities for lack of opportunities locally. This was a small way of giving back to the native town of Mysore by creating opportunities for local talent to build a career in consulting in the World’s number one ERP. Since then, there have been more than 250 consultants produced by IT Champs in the past decade and a half, many of whom have moved into very high positions in various organizations across the globe.
IT Champs soon got a partnership with SAP, initially as an extended business member and later on as a value-added reseller for SAP licenses. IT Champs has been proud to serve several marquee customers like ABB, N. Ranga Rao & Sons of Cycle Agarbathies fame, AT&S, Bhoruka group of companies, locally in Mysore and several other customers globally like American University in Cairo, 31 Country locations of ABB, ONGC Videsh, Al-Muhaidib Group of companies in Saudi Arabia, Subex Limited, Manipal Global Education, to name a few.
IT Champs’ customers and its commitment to them is the main reason behind the company’s long-standing success.
The initial challenges faced haven’t been very different from what most entrepreneurs do. Convincing the resources to join and that they can build a career by learning and getting certified in SAP, convincing the banks for credit facility against the inventory of software licenses which are intangible assets, convincing the prospects about the investment required in buying the software to reap the benefits of enterprise-grade solutions, especially in conservative places like Mysore has been challenging.
However, with time, businesses soon realised that the adaption of a stable and standard solution to run their business is inevitable to survive, let alone stay ahead of the competition.
And the growth started…
There was a large SAP implementation and roll out being worked on by a multinational company. However, they weren’t able to handle some complex requirements in Countries like Singapore and other APAC locations. SAP India, then referred them to CEO, Rajesh Kutnikar for expert consulting help. He traveled to Singapore and brought the rollout under complete control which impressed the customer very much and they entered into a direct contract with IT Champs. They also referred IT Champs to several other Country locations/branches which spurred rapid growth. Also, once they did a couple of local implementations, those customers started referring to other customers which helped the company immensely.
The reason behind the long-standing success
IT Champs’ customers and its commitment to them is the main reason behind the company’s long-standing success. Customers have always given repeat business apart from referrals to other customers. They see value in the company’s deep understanding of the software and the industry best practices which they bring to the table based on decades of collective experience across industry verticals. IT Champs never compromises on the quality of deliverables which has helped to win the trust of customers.
IT Champs has offices in Mysore and Bangalore where they offer the following quality services
- SAP license sales for both on premise and cloud-based products
- SAP Academy offering SAP Authorised training and global certification for aspiring consultants
- SAP Implementation and SLA based application maintenance and support services
- SAP Unlock – system audit and assessments to unlock the full potential of the ERP use for customers to maximize their returns on investment
- Managed solutions for the entire enterprise by integrating several different systems with a suite of industry-leading products as well as home-grown portals and solutions which makes it simple and seamless for the customer to focus on their core business rather than worry about IT Support for their business
- End to end HR and payroll outsourced services with all statutory compliances for over 30 Countries across the globe.
IT Champs focuses on delivering value through end to end automation to customers so that they can operate with better efficiency. Company’s USP is, they first study the business processes and the manual activities performed across various departments and without any prejudice of fitting their process into standard products, they identify the gaps and then do a detailed analysis with a focus on automating manual processes, transactional entries, interfaces between various systems so that the errors are minimized and efficiencies are gained.
Mr Rajesh says, “We would like to grow to serve more customers globally. We have plans to further our presence in the middle east and Africa region through our partner network. Our ultimate objective is to put Mysore on the World map for quality of service and trust. We are also aligning with a large organization with a presence in North America to offer our services in the USA and Canada.”
Based on long-standing experience with HR systems globally, they believe that they can take away the pains of dealing with mundane transactional processing and statutory compliances by providing a proven and effective solution at a very reasonable cost. This will enable the in-house HR teams to focus on providing more strategic value to their organization by streamlining recruitment processes, learning and development of the workforce for better productivity, and so forth.
People at IT Champs have invested all of their experience across the globe and the best practices they have gathered from the various projects executed in developing own Human Resource management product called iEmpPower. This is an easy to use employee portal with not only employee, manager and administrator self-service functionalities, but also enables employees to track and regularize their attendance and absence data, view their payslips and maintain their tax-saving investment data and so on.
Rajesh Kutnikar, the founder & CEO
After completing a Bachelor’s in Engineering Degree from PESIT Bangalore, and a brief job stint as a developer in Integra Microsystems, Bangalore, he was selected as a part of a team to work for SAP as a Developer in the HR module. They were a team of 10 developers recruited from India amongst hundreds of applicants in the year 1995 and were sent to Singapore and Germany for training since there was no presence of SAP in India. The team was responsible to build country versions of the HR module in the standard SAP system for the south-east Asian countries. After a couple of years, he was promoted as quality coordinator for four Countries and was to relocate to Melbourne.
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”Mahatma Gandhi.
In 1998, he got an opportunity to work on the consulting side which would give him an option to be client-facing. He moved to the US to take up this job. While in the US, he worked on several project implementations for clients like Continental General Tires, Brown-Forman Corporation, Microsoft, Starbucks, J. Crew, Cadence Design Systems, and others. While executing and managing these projects, he had an opportunity to be part of medium to large consulting organizations, one of which was a big 5 consulting firm.
Mr Rajesh stated, “One book that I love to read over and over again is The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. One person whom I admire most is our Honourable Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modiji. He has shown the commitment to the development of our great nation with amazing grit and determination. There are many inspiring stories about rags to riches and business successes. Some of the better ones I have come across are that of Warren Buffet, Steve Jobs, Jack Daniel, and that of Sri. Dhirubhai Ambani.”
The key achievements
Steadily growing the number of customers, projects and competencies year on year. Managing resources and skills effectively to keep up the utilization as high as possible, managing relationships with customers and partner companies to get new leads and references, setting up of processes and internal controls, mentoring and developing leadership skills in managers, are all part of achievements in the past decade and a half.
The environment at the company
IT Champs always strives to provide all to differentiate themselves from their competitors, small and large. They also work with the lifestyle constraints of the employees to provide flexibilities to manage their personal and professional time without compromising family and non-work related responsibilities. They are always on the lookout for bettering the benefits and infrastructure provided to the employees to ensure that their time and focus can remain on the learning and work rather than other issues.
In any entrepreneurial journey, with so many factors playing on your mind, it is so easy to get caught up in day to day operational issues and it is very easy to lose track of your bigger goal. Hence, there is a need for constant vigilance, a regular process of introspection and sanity check of where we are headed and is that what we set out to do in the first place. We need to always aim at bettering ourselves and keep improving the level of knowledge, service, efficiency and overall efficacy to stay ahead of the competition. We just need to keep things simple and straight forward to keep winning!