Monday, April 07, 2008

Indian IT company plans big in Michigan

Source : Click

A USD3.5 billion Indian IT, engineering and businessprocess outsourcing company is eyeing further expansion in Michigan, adding to a pair of offices in Troy and further growing the states economic ties to the Asian nation.
Wipro Ltd is entering the third month of its new lease in the National City Center building on West Big Beaver in Troy, where it is leasing 10,596 square feet for a software development center. The new office, which the company said is still in the process of being built out, is down the street from Quantech Global Services LLC, an automotive engineering company Wipro acquired in 2006.

The company has been having ongoing discussions with state officials regarding future expansion opportunities, said Sridhar Ramasubbu, CFOAmericas. Ramasubbu said he planned to visit Michigan in early April to meet with officials from Gov. Jennifer Granholms administration. A spokeswoman for the Michigan Economic Development Corp. said officials plan to meet with Wipro the week of April 7.

We are planning to expand our presence in Michigan, Ramasubbu said by phone from the companys North American headquarters in East Brunswick, N.J.

The Michigan center will be part of a global recruiting strategy that leverages local talent for Wipros outsourced engineering services.

The Troy office is the first step towards bigger plans for Michigan, Ramasubbu said. The companys software development centers, he said, provide outsourced engineering services, applications management and business process management. The new Troy office ultimately could house 100 employees.

This center will look at supporting the engineering services, but could be expanded to offer the other services as well, Ramasubbu said.

The moves come as Bangalore, India based Wipro experiences significant growth. Including Quantech, which also has a small office in Okemos, the company acquired six companies and established two joint ventures during its 2006 07 fiscal year. Wipro, which has nearly 90,000 employees, also operates a development center in Windsor, Ontario.

The new Troy office also adds to a growing list of Indian companies operating in Michigan or with Michigan based companies. Incat, a subsidiary of industrial conglomerate Tata Group, operates a facility Novi, while Tata Consultancy Services announced March 31 it will provide global engineering services to Troybased ArvinMeritor Inc.

Wipro Technologies, the companys IT division, last month announced an alliance with Canton Townshipbased computing vendor Scalable Informatics.

Oakland County officials have twice met with Wipro executives at the companys Bangalore headquarters, including during a trip earlier this year organized by the Detroit Regional Chamber. Maureen Krauss, the countys deputy economic development director, said officials were impressed by the culture of the company and by its commitment to training employees and expanding worldwide.

I think their experience of Quantech has given them a positive experience of our workforce and what we have to offer, Krauss said.

Pamela Valentik, business developer for the city of Troy, said city officials met with Wipro at the end of December regarding the new recruiting office. She said there was discussion of doing aerospace work for Boeing Co., which Ramasubbu would not confirm, citing nondisclosure agreements the company signs with customers.They are starting to make more of a presence in the United States as theyre looking to pick up defense work, where that work has to stay in the country, Valentik said.

While the company acquired Quantech for its competencies in automotive R and D, Wipro also provides engineering services for semiconductor, avionics, financial services and manufacturing industries, Ramasubbu said.

We do work across verticals, across technologies and on the applications side, he said. We have a very wide portfolio.

The scale of its Michigan expansion would depend on Wipros success attracting engineering customers to its new Detroitarea office, but could grow to as many as 500 employees, Ramasubbu said.