Archive for January, 2014

Aditya Birla Nuvo to sell BPO unit Minacs

January 31st, 2014

Aditya Birla Nuvo Ltd (ABNL) on Thursday agreed to sell its Canada-based business and technology outsourcing firm Aditya Birla Minacs Worldwide Ltd, the firm said in a regulatory filing. The transaction marks Aditya Birla group’s exit from the information technology business.

Pursuant to a share purchase agreement with a group of financial investors led by Capital Square Partners (CSP) and CX Partners (CXP), ABNL IT and ITeS Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of ABNL, will divest Aditya Birla Minacs at an enterprise value of $260 million (around Rs.1,600 crore,) subject to working capital adjustments.

Macquarie Capital is the exclusive financial advisor and Shearman and Sterling is the legal advisor to the private equity consortium on the transaction.

The transaction is expected to be completed in two to three months, subject to the requisite customary and regulatory approvals.

Dr Rakesh Jain, managing director, Aditya Birla Nuvo, said, “Considering ABNL’s capital commitment and growth plans for other businesses, the company has decided to divest Minacs. We are confident the new shareholders will provide the requisite direction to Minacs and enable it to rise to its full potential.”

The sale comes when business houses are exiting from traditional business process outsourcing (BPO) models. Last year, International Business Machines Corp. sold its customer service BPO business to Synnex Corp. for $505 million, citing low margins and profitability.

Minacs employs 21,000 people across three continents and 35 centres. It is the sixth largest BPO firm in the country, according to industry lobby Nasscom rankings.

“Minacs was a non-core asset for ABNL and the sale is in line with the strategy of focusing more on retail, financial services and telecom,” said Santosh Singh, banking, financial services and insurance analyst at Espirito Santo Securities India Pvt. Ltd, a brokerage.

The sale was always on the cards and was part of the parent’s core strategy, he said.

The Aditya Birla Group is a $40 billion conglomerate with interests in retail, chemical, metals and financial services. Over 50% of the Aditya Birla Group’s revenues flow from its overseas operations.

The revenue of Minacs rose 23% to Rs.774 crore in the September quarter against a year ago. Net profit grew 3% to Rs.32 crore. It has not yet posted earnings for the three months ended December.

On Thursday, shares of ABNL shed 0.19% to Rs.1,065.10, while the benchmark Sensex lost 0.72% to 20,498.25 points.


CareTech Solutions Dominates Health IT Outsourcing Segments in 2013 Best in KLAS Report

January 31st, 2014

CareTech Solutions, an information technology (IT) and Web products and services provider for U.S. hospitals and health systems announced today that the company was named Best in KLAS for both IT outsourcing categories; Extensive and Partial as stated in the 2013 Best in KLAS: Software & Services report issued today.

This is the first time the same company has earned the number one ranking for both outsourcing categories. This award also marks the sixth straight year that CareTech Solutions has been named a leader in outsourcing, either for extensive or partial, in the annual Best in KLAS report.

“The satisfaction of our customers is the most important measure of CareTech’s success and we believe that earning a Best in KLAS award for the sixth straight year, in either partial or extensive outsourcing, is a direct reflection of their satisfaction with our services,” said Jim Giordano, president and CEO, CareTech Solutions.

“We believe that consistently achieving this recognition is a testament to the men and women of CareTech Solutions who passionately and tirelessly strive to exceed our customers’ expectations – be it a large-scale outsourcing arrangement, or a smaller clinical service desk operation – the goal and results – are happy customers.”


IT stocks in demand on good US economic data

January 31st, 2014

Key benchmark indices extended gains to hit fresh intraday high in morning trade. The S&P BSE Sensex was up 68.20 points or 0.33%, up 87.91 points from the day’s low and off 5.87 points from the day’s high. The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was strong. In the foreign exchange market, the rupee edged higher against the dollar tracking the dollar’s losses versus other Asian currencies.

IT stocks gained on good US economic data. US is the biggest outsourcing market for the Indian IT firms. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) gained after the company after market hours on Thursday, 30 January 2014 announced that it has been designated as a Leader in the IDC MarketScape. Aditya Birla Nuvo (ABNL) rose after the company before market hours today, 31 January 2014 said its wholly-owned subsidiary, ABNL IT & ITES, has on Thursday, 30 January 2014 entered into an agreement to divest its IT-ITeS subsidiary, Aditya Birla Minacs Worldwide.

A bout of volatility was seen in early trade as the key benchmark indices hit intraday high after sinking in negative zone following a slightly positive start. Key benchmark indices extended gains to hit fresh intraday high in morning trade.

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 430.20 crore on Thursday, 30 January 2014, as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.

At 10:18 IST, the S&P BSE Sensex was up 68.20 points or 0.33% to 20,566.45. The index gained 74.07 points at the day’s high of 20,572.32 in morning trade, its highest level since 29 January 2014. The index fell 19.71 points at the day’s low of 20,478.54 in early trade.

The CNX Nifty was up 17.80 points or 0.29% to 6,091.50. The index hit a high of 6,096.45 in intraday trade, its highest level since 29 January 2014. The index hit a low of 6,068.35 in intraday trade.

The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was strong. On BSE, 1,169 shares gained and 421 shares fell. A total of 179 shares were unchanged.

Among the 30-share Sensex pack, 21 stocks gained and rest of them declined.

Mahindra & Mahindra (up 2.69%), Tata Steel (up 2.31%) and Sesa Sterlite (up 1.47%) edged higher from the Sensex pack.

NTPC (down 2.93%), Tata Motors (down 2.74%) and HDFC (down 0.95%) edged lower from the Sensex pack.

IT stocks gained on good US economic data. US is the biggest outsourcing market for the Indian IT firms.

Infosys (up 0.47%), Wipro (up 1.08%), Tech Mahindra (up 2.96%) and HCL Technologies (up 1.27%) edged higher.

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) gained 1.79%. TCS after market hours on Thursday, 30 January 2014 announced that it has been designated as a Leader in the IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Life Science Manufacturing and Supply Chain ITO. Among the attributes cited in the report, ‘IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Life Science Manufacturing and Supply Chain ITO 2013 Vendor Assessment,’ TCS was lauded for its overall capability and extensive experience in working with global life science companies across all three sections of the industry: pharmaceutical, biotech and medical devices.

The report evaluated the 12 leading IT vendors that serve the life science manufacturing and supply chain space, across a number of capability and strategy measures such as Offering Roadmap, Portfolio Strategy, Customer Base, Engagement Capability, Pricing Model, Investment, Growth Strategy, etc. IDC MarketScape criteria selection, weightings and vendor scores represent well-researched IDC judgment about the market and vendors through structured discussions, surveys and interviews with market leaders, participant buyers and end users.

In the current market conditions, there is a strong demand from life sciences companies for skilled IT Outsourcing (ITO) partners that have significant domain depth and experience, said Eric Newmark, Program Director, IDC Health Insights, Business Systems Strategies Program. TCS has demonstrated its expertise and innovation through its extensive work with life sciences companies in the manufacturing and supply chain market. TCS’ exceptional technical skills, coupled with the overall value that the company consistently delivers to its global life sciences clients, make it an established leader in the field.

Our continued leadership in the life sciences manufacturing and supply chain market is a testament to the unparalleled value we bring to our customers, said Debashis Ghosh, President, Life Sciences, Manufacturing and Energy, TCS. Our strategy is to enable life sciences companies to use technology effectively to optimize manufacturing operations and adopt emerging supply chain practices, which will result in a more holistic, patient-centric healthcare ecosystem. This, coupled with a strong global footprint and a continuous focus on innovation, ensures that we are a partner of choice for life sciences companies worldwide.

IDC MarketScape vendor analysis model is designed to provide an overview of the competitive fitness of IT, telecommunications, or industry-specific suppliers in a given market.

Aditya Birla Nuvo (ABNL) rose 1.65%. The company before market hours today, 31 January 2014 said its wholly-owned subsidiary, ABNL IT & ITES, has on Thursday, 30 January 2014 entered into an agreement to divest its IT-ITeS subsidiary, Aditya Birla Minacs Worldwide, subject to customary closing conditions, third party consents and regulatory approvals. Pursuant to a share purchase agreement with a group of financial investors led by Capital Square Partners (CUP) and CX Partners (CXP), ABNL IT & ITeS will divest Aditya Birla Minacs at an enterprise value of $260 million subject to the working capital adjustments.

Aditya Birla Nuvo entered the iTeS sector in 2003 through acquisition of TransWorks, a $12 million company. Later to provide scale to the business, TransWorks acquired Minacs, a $265 million company in 2006. Committed to its turnaround and growth, ABNL supported Minacs over the years, to attain revenue of $450 million (Rs 2466 crore) and net profit of $23 million (Rs 125 crore) in fiscal 2012-13, Aditya Birla Nuvo said in a statement.

Today, Aditya Birla Minacs has risen to the stature of a global business solutions provider that partners with global corporations through its 35 centers spanning 10 countries across 3 continents. To further expand its scale, enhance its competitive advantage and attain the next level of growth, Minacs requires capital investments, the company added.

Being a conglomerate, Aditya Birla Nuvo constantly evaluates its capital allocation strategy and reviews its business portfolio. Given the multiple growth opportunities and ensuing capital requirements at ABNL, the company decided to divest Minacs to a strategic financial investor, with extensive domain experience, who can ensure that Minacs continues to progress forward on its strategic roadmap, Aditya Birla Nuvo said.

Dr. Rakesh Jain, Managing Director, Aditya Birla Nuvo, said, Considering ABNL’s capital commitment and growth plans for other businesses, the Company has decided to divest Minacs. We are confident that the new shareholders will provide the requisite direction to Minacs and enable it to rise to its full potential.”

The transaction is expected to be completed in 2 to 3 months, subject to the requisite customary and regulatory approvals, ABNL said.

In the foreign exchange market, the rupee edged higher against the dollar tracking the dollar’s losses versus other Asian currencies. The partially convertible rupee was hovering at 62.42, compared with its close of 62.56/57 /11 on Thursday, 30 January 2014.

India’s consumer inflation should ease in the next two months, and will fall to 8% by the end of the year, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan was quoted as saying in an interview with TV news channel on Thursday, 30 January 2014. The comments came after the RBI surprisingly raised the repo rate by 25 basis points on Tuesday, 28 January 2014. The consumer price index eased to a three-month low of 9.87% in December 2013.

Among Asian stocks, the Japanese Nikkei 225 index fell 0.78%.

China’s markets remain closed from today, 31 January 2014 until 7 February 2014 for the Lunar New Year holiday, while Hong Kong is shut until 4 February 2014. Among other bourses shut for holiday are those of Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam.

Japanese industrial production rose 1.1% on month in December, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said Friday, on a demand rush ahead of an April sales tax increase. It also comes after a 0.1% decline in November. The increase in industrial output was due to a rise in production in the general purpose and production machinery sectors as well as electronic parts and devices.

Meanwhile, Japanese consumer prices rose at their sharpest rate in over five years in December, the government said Friday. Consumer prices also increased for the whole of 2013, the first annual increase in five years, according to data released by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

The core consumer price index, which excludes volatile fresh-food costs, climbed 1.3% from a year earlier in December, faster than a 1.2% gain in the previous month, according to data released by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. It was the biggest rise since a 1.9% increase in October 2008. The core index for 2013 increased 0.4% after a 0.1% fall the previous year. The CPI including fresh food prices rose 1.6% on year in December.

Employment data released Friday also suggested a strongly recovering economy. The jobless rate fell to 3.7% of the work force, down from 4% in November and the lowest rate since December 2007. The closely watched ratio of available jobs to applicants also improved to 1.03, meaning 103 jobs were on offer for every 100 job seekers.

US stocks rebounded on Thursday, 30 January 2014 as investors welcomed data showing a robust pace of growth in the economy in the final quarter of last year, while upbeat earnings from Facebook Inc. boosted the tech sector.

The US economy expanded rapidly in the final quarter of 2013, the Commerce Department said on Thursday, 30 January 2014 as consumers shrugged off a government shutdown, with the data fueling hopes of even faster growth ahead. The gross domestic product grew at 3.2% annual pace. The economy’s strong year-end performance follows on the heels of a 4.1% growth rate in the third quarter. For the full year, US growth slowed to 1.9% from 2.8% in 2012.

Meanwhile, Janet Yellen will be sworn in as chairwoman of the Federal Reserve on Monday, 3 February 2014, the US central bank announced Thursday, 30 January 2014. Yellen will replace outgoing Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, whose term as chairman expires on Friday, 31 January 2014.

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday, 29 January 2014, took another gradual step toward exiting its controversial bond-buying program, remaining stoic in the face of market turmoil. As expected, the Fed decided to reduce the pace of monthly asset purchases to $65 billion, from January’s $75 billion. The Fed will purchase mortgage-backed securities at a pace of $30 billion per month and add to its holdings of Treasurys at a pace of $35 billion per month beginning in February.

The Fed also signaled that it is likely to keep reducing its purchases in the coming months, citing a pickup in economic activity and improvement in the labor market.

In addition to proceeding with plans to scale back its bond buying, the Fed made no changes to its other main policy plank: its pledge to keep interest rates low for some time to come. It has pledged to hold rates steady “well past” the point that the unemployment rate falls below 6.5% as long as inflation remains low.


Nigeria’s fast developing IT sector

January 30th, 2014

‘I hope that in about five years, we will be listed on the floor of the stock exchange.’

Tell us a bit about your company and what business it is into for those that are not too familiar with Right Click?

Thank you very much; right click is an e-business solutions provider. We have been in the market for about eleven years now, and basically we serve mostly in the financial sector, we are into mobile applications development, web development, business intelligence and other business information type systems.

We basically try to help our clients have easier processes using information technology, as a yardstick for meeting their objectives.

You are not the only player of this kind in the country, so what separates you from your competition, what is the right click edge?

Basically we leverage on the people we have to be as professional as we possibly can be, serving our clients whole heartedly, also cutting edge innovations, things that haven’t been done before and making sure that we speak the same language with our customers so that we can move their businesses forward.

You say your solutions greatly enhance the effectiveness of a business owner to make informed decisions in real time. Can you give us an example of what that means in concrete terms to a potential client?

One of the solutions we proffer is business intelligence, and what that means basically is we deploy solutions that help you make informed decisions on business growth. We do market analysis, data analysis and you look at all that and then you can make informed decisions. So bringing that home, we help you look at what you are doing, what your competitors are doing, what data you have and then we can process and forecast and then on the go, you can make informed decisions which in itself should enhance the positive development of your business.

Is that tied to a website, or does that go over the cloud to the customer through his website of mobile device?

Business intelligence comes in different forms, it is not only about building a website, but it is also about a solution that ties into your core processes, it looks at all you do, it is a service that you can say is hosted in the cloud, but it goes into your entire processes in your system, and it shows you a picture of what you had and what you are likely to have so you can make informed decisions.

Can you give us an insight into right clicks growth trajectory over the past years, since it was founded in 2002, and your most recent revenue numbers?

We have been around for a while but we majorly broke out big in 2008, where we started serving major financial institutions in Nigeria. Since then, I think we have only gone from strength to strength, by having more financial type institutions among our clientele.

Right click, has grown and right now I can say we didn’t do badly in 2013, we had a turnover of about N100 million and we are looking at doing a lot better this year.

How has that growth process been funded since Nigerian start-ups usually have a hard time getting funding

The good thing about right click is that it has been an organic company where people in here are 100 percent responsible for the growth and we retained some of our earnings and re-invested in the business.

Your clients seem limited to financial services, is it that the e-commerce is taken up by small Nigerian businesses or you are pricing your services out of the reach of Nigerian startups and smaller businesses?

No, our prices are very competitive, but it is safe to say that financial type institutions take Information Technology seriously, however that is not the only market we serve, we are in oil and gas, Government, retail and confectionary, but it is safe to say that financial services predominate, because of the security hazards and the kind of businesses they do, they take IT more seriously.

Perhaps the Nigerian environment probably needs to wake-up to the fact that IT has come to stay and there is a lot that we can leverage on it to make things a lot better.

Tell us about your mobile strategy and mobile web based applications, because mobile internet is the fastest growing part of telecoms right now because everyone has a smart-phone or aspires to own one and needs data services.

Recent statistics show that Nigeria has become one of the fastest growing countries in terms of internet usage, and most people have a smart-phone now, and it is just safe to say that the next platform to exploit is the mobile platform, where we have things like mobile applications, and websites tailored to the mobile experience and other solutions, tailored to serve the mobile market, so it is the next big thing, everybody is going towards having smaller screens, note books and so on.

Most of our solutions in right click, in terms of web development are all mobile friendly, where you have a web version and a mobile solution, because as it were, it is not about us alone, but about what the market is ready for and wants.

What role if any does cloud computing play in either disrupting or enhancing your business?

Cloud computing is a solution that has been well embraced for certain reasons one of them being that it reduces your overhead cost, you can just push many thing you could have done in your environment to the cloud, and makes business faster. However a limitation might be the bandwidth that we don’t totally enjoy in this part of the world, but it is a system that we have embraced that is an enhancer to our business and I think it has come to stay.

Nigeria’s IT infrastructure has grown tremendously since 2003, however gaps still remain. How do you see the new broadband initiative of the FG, and what would you say are your biggest challenges in running your business in this environment?

The new broadband policy is a welcome development, like I said we can only grow from strength to strength. The new broadband initiative when it does fully kick off, and spreads to every corner of the country, I think it is something that would help even small and medium sized organisations, grow faster and they can leverage off information from the internet, and also it is an opportunity for everybody out there to have instant and very cheap internet access.

This means information becomes easily accessible and then we can reach them easily and they can also reach us. So I think it is something that is very laudable, and we can only hope that it gets to spring up as fast as possible.

On your question about our challenges, just like every developing country we can only believe and hope that things would move forward as fast as possible, however with what is being done right now, it looks like there is a bright future ahead, considering where we are coming from.

You have an insight into the industry, and you can tell what trends are affecting the Nigerian IT industry. Looking at the IT sector, it seems like we have not been able to grow our IT firms into big companies, such as Infosys of India, or to have a big outsourcing industry like they do. What do you think are the limitations to growing our IT industry, beyond telecoms and into software, apps development and so on?

It is a factor that comprise of many things, one of the challenges that I have seen in this industry is that the very good hands like in almost all other industries do want to go abroad and look for greener pastures, and are not taking the pains to sit at home and build whatever it is that we can.

Also being up to date or being at par with our competitors abroad, like we have done in India, but I also believe that things are beginning to happen here, we have in Nigeria a couple of freelance hubs where outsourcing is actually being done as we speak, so I think things are gradually picking up, it is a lot better than what it used to be and I am sure by the time things begin to really play out, people who have gone abroad will probably come back and the younger ones coming after them will be encouraged to stay.

Do you have any African expansion plans beyond Nigeria?

That is in the works, as I currently speak right click serves in a couple of West African countries, we have deployed solutions to Ghana, Liberia, Ivory Coast, and to Sierra Leone, and we can only hope to even grow bigger in the coming years.

What was your reaction when you were appointed in your new role as CEO of right click and what do you intend to bring to the table?

Because of the delicacy of the position, it was not a shock. The appointment came with a lot of responsibility to take the organisation to the next level.

From where I came from, I had served in the web development department, and had grown to be the head of the department, and some of the challenges I faced as a developer were some of the things I thought that right click can do a lot better in, being in the core application team and then now from a holistic point of view being able to proffer solutions, and we felt it would help move the organisation forward.

I hope to build an organisation where creativity thrives, very competitive and very work friendly environment to work in that fulfills customers and client needs.

How do you intend to maintain the momentum of Right click?

One of the first thing we have identified is that we need to increase our customer satisfaction index, also be more innovative to serve our clients better and also to develop solutions that would be very difficult to push away, basically to keep adding value to our products.

We currently have some strategic partnerships, locally and internationally, and we are currently in the works with other global partners, who will collectively push the interest of right click not only in Nigeria but also abroad.

What drives us and our board is the corporate objectives of the company which becomes my own key performance index.

I hope to penetrate into green areas, places we haven’t been able to enter as of this year, and play in those areas, in terms of solutions and locations, for example, power, transportation and more Government or public sector business.

Twitter, Face book, LinkedIn, these companies all went from a fast growth trajectory to later having IPOs and cashed out to create brand new billionaires. Do you see yourself (right click) going that route in 5 – 10 years time and perhaps listing on the NSE?

Oh yes, I think it is the objective of every organisation to at some point hit the brakes and then become a global brand. One of the things we have identified in this part of the world is that IT industry or firms have not been able to really grow to become world names, it is something that we hope that very soon, rather than later we would be able to achieve. Like I said we have been around for eleven years and we have only gone from strength to strength and I hope that in five years, we will be listed on the floor of the stock exchange.

You are obviously a role model to our young people of today that want to play in the IT sector. What message would you leave for them on how to succeed in the Nigerian IT sector or any sector for that matter?

I would say hard work, hard work and hard work. I have had people who have played in this market, and no matter how hard it seemed they have broken through. So not being able to break through is not an excuse.

We are in a time where information is everywhere; if you need something you can leverage off the internet and get information. So get as much information as you can, stay focused and work hard.


Concentrix looks at next wave BPO cities to support client demand

January 30th, 2014

The global business process services company, is looking at expanding in second tier cities in the Philippines to meet the growing demand from clients, especially after its parent firm acquired IBM’s customer care unit.

 “Right now, we have more clients requesting for ramp up and so we’re making sure we have enough space for this and our organic growth of our clients,” Concentrix vice president and general manager Junar Amador told reporters in a briefing in Makati City.
“They need more people, they need more cost effective operations, they need specific language that can be delivered in specific regions and we see Philippines as a major source for this expansion,” he added.
Last September, California-based SYNNEX Corp., the parent of Concentrix, bought IBM’s worldwide customer care services business for $1.2 billion.
SYNNEX will fold the IBM unit under Concentrix starting February 1, expanding Concentrix to about 45,000 employees servicing over 300 clients in more than 40 languages through over 50 delivery centers in six continents.
Before acquiring IBM, Concentrix has over 5,000 employees in the Philippines, or half of its 10,000 seats worldwide.
Amador said expanding to new areas and growing the number of workforce is a natural progression to grow a business.
“So we’re looking at new wave cities on how we can leverage their capabilities and what they can offer so that we can also meet the requirements of our clients,” he said.
With that, Concentrix is setting up a group called Strategic Initiative for Emerging Delivery Centers to look at second wave cities not only in the Philippines but also in other countries.
“Here in the Philippines, there’s a lot of new wave cities being promoted by IBPAP (Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines) and we’re looking at all those places,” Amador said.
Concentrix currently has offices in Metro Manila, Cagayan de Oro and Davao, while IBM has offices in Metro Manila, Davao, Cebu, Pampanga, Laguna and Naga.
Manila ranked the second most important place for business process outsourcing, and next wave cities outside Metro Manila improved in the Tholons Top 100 Outsourcing Destinations for 2014 released last week.
In May 2013, the Department of Science and Technology and IBPAP named 10 more next wave citiesfor BPO including Baguio City, Davao City, Dumaguete City, Iloilo City, Lipa City, Metro Bulacan, Metro Cavite, Metro Laguna, Metro Naga and Metro Rizal.
In 2012, the list included Davao, Bacolod, Sta. Rosa City, Iloilo City, Metro Cavite, Lipa City, Cagayan de Oro, Malolos City, Baguio City and Dumaguete City.
“We don’t have a specific location at this point but I think Naga is one area that we can expand because it is already existing and the human capital pool is really very good,” Amador said.
In the first quarter, Concentrix is opening a new site in Quezon City.
“We are also in the process of setting up another delivery location in (Metro) Manila and that will be announced probably in the end of the first quarter and this is within the Quezon City area,” Amador said, noting this will raise the total seats by 3,000.

Indian IT companies still cautiously watching US Immigration Bill

January 30th, 2014

Although President Barack Obama did not touch on discriminatory clauses in the US’s Immigration Bill during his State of the Union address on Tuesday, Indian IT service companies remain cautious.

In a statement, industry body Nasscom said the US President’s address did not refer to the outsourcing industry or any particular country and added that the focus on Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education will open up opportunities for Indian IT.

Despite this, the industry is still watching the signals given out by lawmakers in the US. The country contributes over 60 per cent of the industry’s $100 billion revenue.

“As an industry, we are concerned,” said Subroto Bagchi, Chairman of Mindtree, adding that the Bill, yet to be passed by the US House of Representatives, might take a more ‘realistic’ view of the contentious clauses.

Ramesh Loganathan, Vice-President of the IT Industry Association of Andhra Pradesh, feels that there is nothing that explicitly impacts outsourcing.”

“It seems his emphasis is on creating more jobs. In a capitalist economy, it is not possible to prevent outsourcing,” he said.

As the US economy continues to struggle with sustained unemployment, lawmakers are trying to fix its immigration system. In line with this, the US Senate approved H1B and L1 Visa Reform Act of 2013 in late June.

The passage of this Bill ensures that an H1-B application filed by an employer that employs 50 or more US workers will not be accepted unless the employer attests that less than 50 per cent of the employer’s workforce comprises H1B and L visa holders. This affects Indian technology companies that send their workforce to client sites to design, implement and maintain software.

“It is not going to have any impact as our industry is moving up the value chain. The Indian IT ecosystem has evolved over the last few years and not depended on any single country,” said Murali Bukkapatnam, President of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE-Hyderabad). “We are now going much beyond services and taking care of strategies of companies. It is not possible for any country to put clamps,” he said.

Immigration experts, however, say that the US President cannot take this approach. “Ultimately, it is the House, controlled by Republicans, that will have a say and the President has to act within the framework of the US constitution,” said Rajkamal Rao, Managing Director of Rao Advisors. He has written a book on immigration issues.

Nasscom last year said that it had received assurances from key US representatives that the House Bill would not contain discriminatory clauses. Companies are also taking measures such as hiring locals in American cities, opening development centres and partnering with academia.


Infosys BPO collaborates with Costa Rica to train students

January 30th, 2014

Infosys BPO, the business process outsourcing subsidiary of IT major Infosys, on Wednesday announced that it was collaborating with the Government of Costa Rica and the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE) to train students on technical and business process skills.

The programme will play an important role in strengthening the existing talent pool in the country and provide an enriching international exposure to the selected students, the company in a release said.

The agreement was signed in the presence of Vice President of Costa Rica Luis Lieberman, it added.

Infosys said, “The 10-week intensive training programme will see 64 students acquire skills on SAP and Cloud technologies based on Microsoft and JAVA platforms at the Infosys campus in Mysore, India.” The first programme is slated to complete by March 2014.


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