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IBM to double India headcount to 1 lakh

Vishwanath Kulkarni

Co has been adding 1,000 a month in the past few quarters

With 50,000 employees in 27 locations across its global services and BPO units, India is home to the largest base of IBMers outside the US.

Bangalore , Dec. 4

Moving forward on its commitment to increase investments in India, the `Big Blue' IBM proposes to double its headcount in the country to about 1,00,000 over the next four years.

IBM's current headcount in India is around 50,000, an increase of over 100 per cent in past two years. IBM has been adding 1,000 people a month for past few quarters and is likely to sustain the growth momentum in the next few years. With 50,000 employees in 27 locations across its global services and business process outsourcing units, India is the home to the largest base of IBMers outside the US.

During his India visit in June, the IBM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Samuel J. Palmisano, had announced that the global major would triple its investments to $6 billion over the next three years.

"India presents a good opportunity in terms of skills and expertise. The investment will ensure that we make the most of the opportunities to grow this market, while it also enables IBM to fulfil its vision of becoming a global integrated company," Mr Palmisano had said then. India has been IBM's fastest growing market for past couple of years and the company registered a 55 per cent growth in 2005.

"We don't project our hiring plans," an IBM spokesperson said citing company's policy. However, IBM officials are said to have recently shared the company's India plans with a section of analysts.

AMR Research in a latest report said IBM-India expects to have 100,000 employees by the end of 2010. This means that the company will have to add an average of 1,000 people a month over the next 48 months.

"To reach its target of adding 1,000 new employees every month, the company sorts through 60,000 resumes and conducts 10,000 interviews," AMR Research's Chief Research Officer, Mr Bruce Richardson, in his latest diary on India. "Maintaining the unique IBM culture is a challenge. Today, 70 per cent of IBM-India employees have been with the company for less than three years".

IBM, which recognises India's growing dominance in the global outsourcing industry, is trying to showcase its capabilities and kind of work that it undertakes for both global and domestic markets to the international media at a symposium in Bangalore on Tuesday and Wednesday. It may be recalled that IBM held a global analysts' meet in Bangalore in June this year.

Along with IBM, other IT majors such as Hewlett Packard, Accenture and EDS are aggressively ramping their delivery capabilities in India leveraging the cost advantage as they shift more projects. Indian IT giants, who are ahead of these global IT majors, are also seen ramping their operations rapidly to cater to the growing outsourcing phenomenon.

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