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September 18, 1997


Sierra Optima to raise foreign investment limit

Sierra Optima Limited of Hyderabad plans to increase the investment limit for non-resident Indians, overseas corporate bodies and foreign institutional investors from the present 24 per cent to 30 per cent, the current statutory minimum, of the paid up equity share capital of the company.

According to company sources "The board of directors noticed that NRIs, OCBs and FIIs are showing interest to further participate in the equity of the company."

The company also plans to offer the employee stock option scheme. Sources said "It has become very critical, while operating in the software industry, to be able to attract and retain the best of talents. The system of offering stock options to employees has proved to be an effective method of offering a feeling of ownership to the personnel, thereby increasing effectively the long-term commitment to the company. Sierra Optima, therefore, proposes to introduce the employees stock option scheme for issue of share warrants to the employees from time to time."

The company's decision to enter into alliances with Oracle and Microsoft is said to have been proved right, as is visible through the company's ability to consolidate its business focus alongside growth. The company achieved a sales revenue of Rs 45.8 million and a net profit after tax of Rs 15.2 million for the year ended March 31.

Focusing on migration tools, technologies and services, Sierra last year concentrated on developing tools and products for niche markets. These tools were developed for its US promoting company, Sierra Atlantic Inc. As per the terms of agreement, this development is funded by the promoting company and the copyright is owned by them.

The company also gets royalties on the worldwide sales of these tools. Some of the tools developed by the company include FormsGenie, InGenie, JAMGenie and Btrieve. On the ERP front, the company is actively looking into leveraging its expertise in client/server development, and is undertaking projects towards this end. One such project is the migration of Oracle GEMMS (a process manufacturing ERP solution).

Stating that a unified global imaging and presence had helped the company expand its business to the UK, Japan and Asia-Pacific last year, the sources said the clients included JD Edwards and Systems Aid in UK, Zenrin Group in Japan and the LG Group in Korea, among others.

- Compiled from the Indian media

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