Gurgaon-based managed IT services startup eTechies, from the stables of LemonLearn eServices, has received an undisclosed investment from Rajan Anandan, who was most recently Managing Director of Microsoft India. eTechies was set up in September to offer managed services to SMEs and consumers. Anandan, who quit Microsoft India in August (and headed Dell's operations in India before that), picked up a minority stake in eTechies on November 3, 2010, according to the founder, Rohit Chaudhary. Chaudhary quit as COO of the Technical Solutions Group at business and knowledge processing services firm Quatrro BPO Solutions in December, 2009.

The first round of funding for the startup will be used to expand the reach to 20 cities and ramp up its sales team and service engineers. eTechies has hired 25 certified trained engineers to attend to and help resolve problems."We are hiring 30 people per month and expect to employ 600 by June 2011. We are also setting up hubs - sales offices that double as storefronts - in 20 cities in the next 24-36 months. We will focus on tier-2 cities, where we see high demand," said Chaudhary.

eTechies currently has 4 centers and will add another 2 in the next 3 months. It also has a contact center in Gurgaon, offering a toll-free number. It has invested in online promotions through JustDial, Trade India and India Mart and is also pursuing direct marketing.

“On an average about half of the typical SMB IT budget is spent on procuring PCs and Laptops, with about 15 percent on networking. The other components of the IT segment like servers, printers and peripherals constitute between 18 percent to 20 percent. However, to manage this entire IT set-up, SMBs do not have in-house trained manpower and thus have to depend on local operators. This is where eTechies will step in to provide a service and support platform,” said Anandan in the release issued by the company.

The company also offers customised IT solutions to SMEs with 5 - 50 computers. "We have opted for a blended model of both offline and online services to future-proof our service. Currently, SMEs are not ready for the online play and demand an engineer's presence to solve

issues that crop up. However, in the future, this might change as their IT comfort-level rises," said Chaudhary. eTechies has 2 separateannual contracts for SMEs and consumers - while SMEs are charged Rs 3500-5000 per node, a node referring to PCs, printers, routers and peripherals, consumers are offered a standard annual package of Rs 4500-5000 for all their IT needs.

The company has racked up 50 clients, of which 22 are SMEs with 5-50 PCs and the rest are consumers. Clients include microfinance consulting firm EDA Rural Solutions, 3D imaging firm Tridex Solutions and furniture company Takshak Interiors.

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