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Wednesday, May 07, 2003

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TCS acquires Swissair stake in BPO jt venture

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TATA Consultancy Services (TCS) on Tuesday announced the acquisition of Airline Financial Support Services India (Pvt) Ltd (AFS), a business process outsourcing outfit which is a joint venture between Swissair and TCS in which the latter already owns 24.9 per cent stake.

Swissair, which has in liquidation, is currently selling off its assets worldwide, which is the reason for its exiting AFS as well.

However, AFS is a "profitable company", TCS officials told newspersons.

The company has bought out Swissair's stake of 75.1 per cent stake in AFS for an undisclosed amount.

The actual acquisition has been made by a Tata Sons holding company of TCS, under whose name all TCS acquisitions are done, said Mr S. Ramadorai, CEO, TCS.

AFS would become the Centre of Excellence in the TCS BPO's offerings for the airline and hospitality industries.

Mr Ramadorai described the acquisition as a significant step for TCS in the BPO segment where it has traditionally been offering services to domestic clients.

"TCS will now be able to take advantage its global presence and market services to international airlines and the hospitality industry," he said.

AFS has a staff strength of 400, which will be ramped up to 2,000 within three years, he added.

The company was formed in 1992 and functioned as a captive BPO arm of Swissair to perform revenue accounting services.

Apart from Swissair, which at one time accounted for more than 50 per cent of AFS's revenues, clients include Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Tyrolean Airlines.

Customer acquisitions will now be driven by AFS's trained manpower, domain expertise and processes.

The company performs services such as traffic accounting, cargo revenue accounting, passenger airline billing, navigation support and frequent flyer programme administration.

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