Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Saturday, Mar 16, 2002
HTC to expand Chennai centre
Raja Simhan T.E.
CHENNAI, March 15
THE US-based HTC Global Services Inc (formerly known as Hi Tech Consultants) is to expand its offshore development centre in Chennai, with plans to increase the employee strength to around 1,000 before 2002-end, from the present 600.
The company has invested around Rs 80 crore in its MEPZ (Madras Export Processing Zone) centre, of which Rs 35 crore came in the last two months. The company plans to invest another Rs 60 crore in the next couple of years in the country, said Mr Chary Mudumby, Director, HTC India, and Vice-President, Technology Management, HTC Global.
Mr Mudumby told Business Line that the Chennai centre recently developed eBAP, an enterprise business application suite product for order management and fulfilment system. The product has the ability to use the existing product management systems of the client to capture and process orders in addition to its own extensive product management features.
The application allows traditional businesses to work directly with other businesses as well as their customers, he said. The product was ready for launch, and the company was talking to its clients in India and the US, he added.
HTC Global, started as a one-man operation in 1990, is today a $46 million company (Rs 250 crore), with 1,200 employees globally, around half of them in Chennai. The company has offices in the US, Australia, India, Kuwait, Singapore, UAE and UK.
As part of its infrastructure growth, HTC had embarked on a quality drive to offer benchmarked system services that are comparable to the best in the industry, said Mr Mudumby.
According to Mr Mudumby, the Chennai centre had also developed a college campus management solution. It has signed up with the city-based ACS Group of Colleges. It has also got a turnkey application order from the Mumbai-based Vidyut Electrical. The application would include accounts, sales and production planning, he added.
On the fallout of IT slowdown, Mr Mudumby said currently the US-based clients were concerned more about cost than anything else. They also want quality work, and do not mind where the projects are carried out. Given such a scenario, some projects had come to Chennai from the US, including the Bell and Howell projects, he said. While the volumes had increased, the margins were under pressure, he added.
On billing rate pressures, Mr Mudumby said there was no such pressure on offshore billing in India. But, the onsite billing rate in Australia was under pressure, with clients there asking for 10-15 per cent reduction in the existing rates.
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