HITS Exclusives

ValueLabs: ‘Boutique’ In All The Right Ways

By Chris Tribbey

ValueLabs — a privately owned technology services company out of Hyderabad, India — uses the word “boutique” to describe itself, but in the vein that it offers specialized services, solutions and products for the media and entertainment industry.

“Boutique” sure doesn’t mean small when it comes to describing the 17-year-old firm.

The company has around 5,000 employees, generates more than $175 million in annual revenue, handles 150-plus clients worldwide (with more than 20 of them calling ValueLabs a strategic partner), has nearly 30 offices across the globe with seven of them in Northern America, and its offerings are used by a wide swath of industries, from financial to healthcare and life sciences to Hi-Tech.

For the media and entertainment industry, ValueLabs culled out a separate vertical eight months ago with Rajesh Kachroo leading it, and already the company is working with major studios, broadcasters and others in Hollywood in the areas of digital distribution, rights management and production and post-production services, with a focus on media asset management and cloud services.

“Unabashedly, our goal is to work with every single major studio,” Edward Altman VP of sales and solutions for ValueLabs, told the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA). “The key, No. 1 challenge facing Hollywood today is this tremendous pressure to reduce costs, and build and manage that digital supply chain. I see a tremendous opportunity for ValueLabs to serve in this area.

“That’s where we see the opportunity for a boutique technology services company with the chops to help orchestrate, develop, implement, maintain and manage a digital supply chain, and make it cost effective.”

ValueLabs’s nascent media and entertainment division has already delivered a bevy of solutions to clients, catering to every phase of the content lifecycle, from production to distribution. Leveraging reusable frameworks and ready-to-integrate components, ValueLabs tackles everything from app development and customization; porting and integration of middleware components and apps; to algorithm development, porting to target and driver development, multimedia codec optimization, frameworks integration and more. ValueLabs provides an industry leading automated Legacy Systems migration service focusing on moving from old tech stacks to new!

The company provides solutions for set-tops, digital TV, IPTV, mobile and more, and ValueLabs offers its own in-house content management system and OTT solutions. Rajesh Kachroo, ValueLabs’s SVP & Global Head of Media, Entertainment and Education division, said the company’s ready to grow even further in the M&E space. “In the IT services industry, we stand out from the other low-end maintenance and support service providers,” he said. “The industry is heading towards consolidation of the IT partners based on their areas of strengths. There are service providers who have traditionally been in maintenance and support area of business and there are a very few like ValueLabs who engage with their customers to help align IT roadmaps (and execution strategies) to ever-changing business needs. Off late, we at ValueLabs have seen increasing number of our customers understanding this difference in strength of their IT partners and are revisiting their sourcing partnerships.“

Specifically in the Media industry, Rajesh continues “Consumers want content anywhere, any time, and at the lowest possible cost, and that’s where we help enable our customers to optimize the digital supply chain and increase revenue monetization potential. This could be achieved by using analytics or customer segmentation, migrating applications to the cloud or even architecting platforms to further the reach of our customers. Our corporate philosophy of “doing the right thing”, “employee centricity” and “playing by our strength” have made sure that customers stick to us (average age of customers within ValueLabs is 8 years, attrition rate of employees is below 5% and in the long history of ValueLabs, none of ValueLabs customers ever has stopped working because of shoddy delivery)”

Altman added that where ValueLabs really stands out in the M&E space is that while ValueLabs has all the capabilities of multi-billion-dollar firms, the company is more entrepreneurial, more agile and more invested in the projects it undertakes.

“Like strategic investments, we can conform and invest in the needs of our clients,” he said. “This emerging digital supply chain allows companies like ValueLabs to come in and build flexible, adaptive systems very quickly and at an economical price point, to solve very quickly defined business needs. That’s where I see the opportunity for us.”

He pinpointed four specific areas in the M&E space for ValueLabs going forward:

• Production and post-production workflows and cloud-based infrastructure are huge opportunities for us. “To have environments that can use the most cost-effective digital cameras and equipment, defining and building-out the appropriate infrastructure is a huge opportunity for us.”
• Digital distribution and the digital supply chain. “You’ve got core legacy systems, but you’re going to have to build on top of that core to handle all the digital distribution, to Google, to Netflix, to theaters.”
• Rights and rights management.
• Big data and analytics.

“Over last 17 years, we’ve worked with large broadcasting, network rating, media and publishing companies, and we are plugged in on how the business is transforming,” Rajesh added. “That coupled with product engineering & technology expertise is driving the growth within our organization.”