Taking its operations in South Asia to the next level, ERP software, applications and services provider Lawson Software has formally opened its first office in India at New Delhi. The company has so far been servicing clients in India and Sri Lanka through partnerships with Symphony Services and ETP International. The India office will help the company build its South Asia presence and forge new partnerships, said Harry Debes, president and chief executive officer, Lawson Software. “We have been investing USD 7-10 million annually over the last three years in expanding our presence in the Indian market through our partnership with Symphony Services. With new partnerships with companies like KPIT and Ptex Solutions being added in recent times, we hope to continue adding clients in niche areas like equipment rental services and distribution. These will be focus areas for Lawson in India,” Debes said. St Paul, Minnesota-based Lawson presently has over 400 customers in Asia in targeted industries like fashion, food and beverage, equipment service and rentals, distribution and manufacturing. “Our industry-specific enterprise management software will primarily be targeted at mid-tier companies in the food and beverage, fashion, equipment rental and distribution industries. The formal India presence will help the company expand its customer base in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan,” Kamal Sharma, newly-appointed regional head of Lawson India and Asia South, said. Sharma earlier served as sales director with Lawson in Australia and New Zealand and president of the company’s Japanese and Korean operations from 2004 to 2006. He said Lawson would have now been keen to increase its visibility in the South Asian and a larger greater Asia-Pacific territory through its official presence and upcoming marketing tie-ups with Indian software and services vendors. Lawson saw a turnover of USD 854 million during fiscal 2008, a significant portion of it being realised by the acquisition of Intentia International during Q4 of 2006. “The Intentia acquisition has increased our addressable market. It helped us concentrate beyond traditional ERP strongholds like banking, finance, telecom, and others. Instead, we focussed on sectors with huge growth potential like healthcare, retail, maintenance, distribution and manufacturing which had not received the attention they deserved from larger players operating in the ERP space. The focus will continue to be on verticals like these, not on client size or deal size,” Debes said. The company cornered 60 per cent of the US healthcare ERP market in 2007, according to research firm Gartner. It presently has 4,500 hospitals on its client list worldwide.