03 December 2007
CRISIL IPO grade 4/5 assigned to
the IPO of Persistent Systems Ltd.

Proposed public issue of 4,974,836 equity shares of face value Rs 10 at a targeted price of Rs 375 per share

CRISIL has assigned a CRISIL IPO Grade '4/5' (pronounced 'four on five') to the proposed public offer of Persistent Systems Ltd (PSL). This grade indicates that the fundamentals of the issue are above average, in relation to other listed equity securities in India.

The grading reflects the company's strong position in the outsourced product development (OPD) space by virtue of its ability to provide large scale services in specific parts of the software product development life cycle, such as software development, testing and support, and provide end-to-end product development services on a relatively smaller scale. The former is used by global software companies like Microsoft, Agilent, Covad, etc, while the latter is used by small and medium-sized software product companies who do not have the scale to set up captive operations in India. This has given the company a diverse customer base. The grading also reflects the strong corporate governance architecture in the company, in part due to the presence of eminent independent directors on the company's board for the past six years. The grading is tempered by the fact that the margin compression that the company has seen over the last three years is likely to continue in view of currency movements and wage inflation, as well as increased competition from IT Services companies such as Wipro and TCS, as a consequence of a likely slowdown in their traditional revenue streams. The possible withdrawal of tax concessions would also adversely impact the company's return on equity after 2008-09.

About the company
PSL, promoted by first generation entrepreneurs - Dr. Anand Deshpande and his father Mr. S. P. Deshpande, was incorporated in 1990. The company provides offshore software product development services to its customers, majority of whom are independent software vendors (ISVs). It provides services at all stages of the product development life cycle - product conceptualisation, design, development, testing and support. The company has around 190 customers, of which the top 10 customers account for around 47 per cent of its revenues. As of October 5, 2007, PSL employed around 3,700 people.

PSL focuses exclusively on the OPD market. By providing services to mid-sized and small ISVs, the company has been able to get access to the venture capital community. The company continues to use the venture capital community to garner business within the small ISVs space.

The company's offshore development centres are located in Pune, Nagpur, Bangalore, Goa and Hyderabad. The company owns most of its development centres. It currently owns over 5 lakh square feet of office space with a capacity to seat approximately 3,800 people. PSL plans to use its IPO proceeds to construct two new development centres - one in Pune and the other in Nagpur, with a capacity to seat 3,000 and 1,200 employees, respectively at an estimated cost of Rs 1,516 million.

About CRISIL IPO Grading
CRISIL IPO (Initial Public Offering) Grading is an opinion on the fundamentals of the graded issue that reflects CRISIL's independence and expertise. This opinion is expressed as a relative assessment in relation to other listed equity securities in India. The assessment is based on a grading exercise carried out by industry specialists from CRISIL Research. A CRISIL IPO Grade 5/5 indicates strong fundamentals and a CRISIL IPO Grade 1/5 indicates poor fundamentals. CRISIL IPO Grading reflects its assessment of the graded company's equity fundamentals as distinct from an assessment of debt fundamentals. A CRISIL IPO Grade should not be construed to mean a comment on the price of the graded security nor is it a recommendation to invest or not to invest in the graded security.

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Email: RamyaKA@crisil.com
Ajay Dwivedi
Director, CRISIL Research
Tel: +91-22-6691 3502
Email: adwivedi@crisil.com

Sudhir Nair
Head, CRISIL Research
Phone: +91-22-6691 3526
Email : snair@crisil.com
Client Servicing
Tel: +91-22-6691 3561
Email: clientservicing@crisil.com

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December 03, 2007