Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Wednesday, Dec 25, 2002
Info-Tech - Software
Corporate - Outlook
Computer Sciences thinks big on India
Vipin V. Nair
NEW DELHI, Dec. 24
AS he looks out from his second floor office to a dusty road in Noida, Dr Arun Maheshwari recalls a terrible accident that had snatched one of his men. He complains about rash driving, damaged and non-functional traffic lights and crowded streets in labyrinthine Noida. That's a sprawling area in Uttar Pradesh, near Delhi, where his company, the US-based $11.5 billion Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), has set up its second facility in the country.
Such conditions hardly deter CSC from rapidly expanding its operations in India. In the next two years, the world's third largest software services company plans to employ around 3,000 people in India, who would maintain applications and systems within CSC and for its clients, write software codes and provide back-office operations.
"In the past two years, we grew at 70 per cent in India in terms of revenue and number of people. In the next two years, we are targeting a 100 per cent growth," Dr Maheshwari, who is the Managing Director and CEO of CSC India, told Business Line.
According to this plan, CSC would hire 700-800 people in the next one year, taking the total number of people to around 1,500.
If a 100-per cent growth, as envisioned now, happens thereafter, CSC's strength in India will be 3,000 people.
CSC, which employs 66,000 people in 70 countries, is a relatively late entrant to India as compared to its rivals, IBM Global Services and EDS. The company came to India two years back when it acquired Mynd Corporation (formerly Policy Management Systems Corporation), which had a subsidiary in the country headed by Dr Maheshwari. Currently, the company employs 750 people in its two facilities located in Noida and Indore. A third facility will come up shortly, most likely in Noida itself. CSC is open to inorganic growth by acquiring smaller companies.
"I am looking at some companies," Dr Maheshwari said.
He said the senior management at CSC was extremely bullish over outsourcing to India to benefit from the country's low-cost and high quality software talent pool.
"Our marketing team nowadays tells clients that we have offshore centres in India and if they want to have lower prices, we tell them we can get the work done from here," Dr Maheshwari said.
If that proposal to lower costs washes well with clients, CSC will pass on projects to India. "We are now increasingly doing more work for external customers," he said, adding that CSC India used to mainly support the company's internal needs such as maintaining operating systems.
Also, a business process outsourcing (BPO) arm has started functioning in India, doing data entry for insurance companies. CSC will hire 300 people in one year for this business.
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