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Infotech Enterprises Limited, a Hyderabad-based engineering and geographic information services (GIS) provider, is pursuing acquisition opportunities with a ticket size of between $40 million and $50 million as it wants to "put the cash on our books to good use," according to chairman and managing director BVR Mohan Reddy.

Cash balances of the company, including Rs 91 crore that came in as dividend in 2011-12 from an associate company, currently stand at Rs 479 crore.

The company is in the process of integrating the two acquisitions that it had made in the US in 2010 – Daxcon Engineering Inc, a pure-play engineering services company focused on off-highway heavy equipment engineering, and network engineering and management company Wellsco Inc.

"Acquisitions have always been a part of our growth strategies, and we are focusing on mergers and acquisitions at this juncture to augment our capabilities and enter new geographies," Reddy said, while refusing to give any time line.

New SEZ strategy
In addition to the three special economic zone (SEZ) facilities that Infotech owns -- at Kakinada, Visakhapatnam and Noida, he said the company had taken on lease a new SEZ facility at Uppal in Hyderabad that could accommodate 1,000 engineers.

"We are focusing more on moving our incremental business into SEZs so as to bring down our tax incidence in the current financial year. Tax saving of between 1.5 per cent and 2 per cent is expected by moving into SEZs," he said.

InfotechTo hire 1,500 in FY13
Infotech employs 100 professional at its Vizag SEZ facility, and 150 in Kakinada, which would be scaled up to 450 by this November, according to Ashok Reddy, president (global human resources and corporate affairs).

Reddy said the company would be adding 1,500 engineers this year, to the current headcount of 9,334. "Our full-year plan is to bring on to the board at least 30 per cent of the new recruits from colleges," he said, adding 55 per cent of the company's employees were onsite, while 45 per cent were offshore, with the utilisation being 93 per cent and 80 per cent respectively.

"Our margins will be stable where we are today. However, our operating margin may see a dip in the first quarter of this year as we will be giving an 8-10 per cent pay hike to India-centric employees and 2 per cent to foreign-centric," Mohan Reddy said.