Stellar debuts! Ashok Soota scores six in second inning with Happiest Minds

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Shares of Happiest Minds Technologies have now more than doubled when they debuted on the stock exchange, underlining the strong investor interest in tech companies amid the covid pandemic. The company is headed by Ashok Soota, a veteran of India’s nearly $ 200 billion IT industry who also co-founded the largest company Mindtree Ltd. Soota is also the main individual shareholder of Happiest Minds.

It is also the second time that Soota, 77, has led a business to commercial success. Its previous startup, Mindtree, went public in March 2007. This IPO has been oversubscribed more than 100 times.

The stock opened at 351 on BSE and at the high of the day 395, well above its initial public offering (IPO) price of 166. The IPO of Happiest Minds was offered for almost 151 times the number of shares offered.

Happiest Mind actions ended at 371, up about 125%.

The Bengaluru-based company derives most of its revenue from fast-growing digital IT services – such as analytics and artificial intelligence – and cloud-based services.

Happiest Minds was followed by an IPO of Route Mobile Ltd., a provider of cloud communications services. This sale was oversubscribed more than 73 times last week.

“Investors are realizing the resilience of the sector as well as the strong demand for IT after the COVID-19 crisis,” Sneha Poddar, analyst at Motilal Oswal, told Reuters.

“The fact that Happiest Minds comes from a strong management background also acts as a key positive… because people have seen Mindtree’s performance.

India’s IT stocks have been among the few sectors to post gains in 2020, gaining 28% so far this year.

India’s stock market has seen only a handful of IPOs this year compared to more than a dozen in 2019, as the coronavirus crisis hammered risk appetite.

“A lot of other IPOs like CAMS, UTI AMC, Angel Broking, Chemcon Specialty Chemicals, etc. are likely to open in September. Besides them, Kalyan Jewelers, NCDEX, Barbeque Nation, Burger King, Bajaj Energy, Lodha Developers are some of the names that are likely to hit the market during CY20, ”said Hemang Jani, Head of Equity, Brokerage and Distribution Strategy, Motilal Oswal Financial Services. (With contributions from the agency)

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