Aeries Technology

Alegeus CEO, Leif O’Leary & Aeries Technology COO (Americas) & CRO, Ajay Khare on the Mid-Market Tech Industry & Need for a Global Workforce

By Exec Edge Editorial Staff

Thank you both for joining me today. Let’s start with a little about yourselves and your organizations. Can you tell our readers a little about Aeries and Alegeus?

Ajay: Of course – my name is Ajay Khare and I’m the Chief Operating & Revenue Officer at Aeries Technology. I’ve been at Aeries since its founding more than 10 years ago and I’m currently based in North Carolina. As for Aeries, we are a global professional services and consulting partner for businesses in transformation. We work with business leadership teams, private equity sponsors and their portfolio companies to provide engagement models designed to offer deep vertical expertise and the systems and solutions to allow them to scale. We deliver everything from technology services to business process management (BPM) and digital transformation solutions.

Leif: Alegeus is one of those businesses in transformation – with a focus on innovation. I’ve been the CEO at Alegeus for about three years and we’re a white-label SaaS platform for the healthcare industry. We provide a platform that powers benefit funding and payments solutions for the industry’s leading health plans and administrators. We’re backed by Vista Equity Partners and we deliver an exceptional user experience and differentiated capabilities for our partners to strengthen their product offerings, operate more efficiently, and unlock their full growth potential.

Great and how did this relationship come to be? Tell us about the work you do together and what a Center of Excellence (CoE) is.  

Leif: I knew both Sudhir – Aeries’ CEO – and Ajay from a past life, having worked with them earlier in my career, and so I knew the team before partnering with them at Alegeus. Having that prior relationship and knowing about the Aeries team’s capabilities to help organizations in transformation, it was an easy choice as I knew they’d work hand-in-hand with us to support our growth. One of the main objectives I had when I joined Alegeus was to tap into the robust source of talent that lay outside the US to ensure we had someone available whenever our customers needed us – in a sense, I wanted to make it so Alegeus would never sleep. As a global organization we need to keep the lights on 24/7 to support our partners and that wouldn’t be possible with a workforce solely based in the US. When evaluating companies, there were many that specialized in one functional area of global workforce optimization but none could offer the complete coverage that Aeries does – or integrate their teams into an organization like they do. Establishing a CoE with Aeries not only provided the perfect team for our needs, but the integration was seamless. Aeries makes the process very simple for their partners and they helped us achieve our goal of quickly ramping up a local team in the region to support our global initiatives.

Ajay: Thank you for that, Leif – that was one of the main focus areas when we founded Aeries. We wanted to build a company to disrupt the global workforce and outsourcing market. There are a number of the usual outsourcing and third-party vendors that create an “us vs. them” mindset when it comes to globalization. At Aeries, we build our teams to integrate within an organization and its culture. From holiday parties to corporate recognition and team building, the teams we put in place are as much a part of our customers’ DNA as their own employees. When we talk about a Center of Excellence – or CoE – like we have established for Alegeus, we mean a global office that has been established to further their ability to scale operations and further their innovation endeavors when it comes to cybersecurity, R&D, and more.

Leif: And just to reiterate what I said earlier, when we established our CoE in Bangalore with Aeries, this office isn’t looked at as an outpost or third-party location. It is our Bangalore location – they are as much of a part of our global footprint and as important as our headquarters in Massachusetts.

Looking at the industry as a whole, can you both talk about the trends you’re seeing globally?  

Ajay: Our customers typically fall within the PE-backed, mid-market space. Most large enterprises – like the Apples and Googles of the world – have been utilizing the skilled talent within India and other regions for years. However, with stiff competition and higher valuations within the private equity space, mid-market organizations need to be flexible and nimble to stay ahead of competitors by gaining access to global talent that won’t break the bank. For example, India graduates about 6 million new entrants into the IT market every year. With mid-market companies now realizing the benefits of these global CoEs, they are able to achieve velocity of execution when it comes to their digital transformation.

Leif: All of us leading mid-market tech companies have experienced a wide range of challenges in recent years – a number of which have been a direct result of the global pandemic in 2020. One of the main macro trends impacting the industry has been the war for talent and the other is the increased rate of digital transformation. The combination of those two trends has made it an imperative for organizations looking to scale effectively and efficiently to tap into the global talent pool. As I mentioned earlier, organizations can no longer rely solely on local talent to support a growing customer ecosystem and increasingly global marketplace.

Ajay, I also wanted to ask you about Aeries’ recent listing on the Nasdaq. Congratulations! Can you talk about the exciting news and why Aeries decided to enter the public markets?

Ajay: Thank you! Of course, my team and I were in New York last November to ring the closing bell as we officially listed on the Nasdaq (Nasdaq: AERT). It was an incredible event and our team is very excited for what’s to come. This public listing will enable our organization to accelerate growth and innovation initiatives for both us and our partners – like Alegeus. We also understand that we went public at an uncertain and volatile time for the market overall, but this is the right time for Aeries. Our focus is medium to long term and being a public company will provide us a very robust platform for our growth strategy. Unlike a number of companies that have gone public recently, we are an established, successful company with a track record of growth and momentum – we have been cash flow positive since 2013.