Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wipro plans to boost outsourcing to US

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Wipro plans to open more centres in the US in a continuing trend of "reverse outsourcing", as Indian information technology outsourcing companies recruit in the US and Europe.

Azim Premji, chairman of Wipro, India's third-largest information technology outsourcing company, this week said it aimed to hire more than 1,000 people in the US to staff two new software development centres in Michigan and Atlanta.

The recruits for Wipro's centres in Atlanta and Troy, Michigan, would be trained for three months in India before returning to the US for jobs in software development and project management.

Wipro also wants to ex-pand in Europe through acquisition, especially in Germany where Wipro has earmarked as much as $250m for a possible purchase.

"We would like to make an acquisition in Germany," Mr Premji said this week. "Hopefully the shake-out in the market will make prices more reasonable."

Having a presence in Europe is key to Wipro's strategy to diversify away from its core US technology services business. It already employs nearly 7,000 people in Europe, about a quarter of whom are local recruits.

Wipro is scouting for sites in the US in low-cost areas such as those close to universities, or with concentrations of former US military personnel.

Opening the US centres is also an alternative to getting visas for workers, Mr Premji said. Obtaining a short-term visa for skilled foreign workers in the US is highly competitive.