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Saturday, Oct 26, 2002

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Accenture setting up 600-strong centre

Vishwanath Kulkarni


ACCENTURE, among the top four global IT consultancy firms, is setting up a development centre here with as many as 600 software engineers.

According to top State Government sources, Accenture has got the necessary approvals and expects to start operations by November-end. The company is said to have bought the SmithKline Beecham Pharma building on Cunningham Road, in the heart of the city to kick-start its operations, they said.

Accenture, operating out of India for last 15 years, has centres in Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai and was one of the first firms to take the advantage of labour arbitrage. While the exact investment figures are not available, the company is said to be investing several million dollars in the Bangalore development centre.

This move is seen as part of increasing efforts from global big-ticket consultants to rationalise costs as they compete at cheaper rates with other vendors to sustain growth in a depressed market. It can be noted that Electronic Data Systems, IBM Global Services, Cap Gemini, and Ernst and Young have significant exposure to India, as development costs are low compared to overseas markets.

Indian software engineers are paid close to one-sixth the salary of their US counterparts, even in high-end technology areas such as embedded systems.

Accenture has identified India as a hyper-growth market for its business. The company's solution centre in Mumbai, opened in October last year, addresses the technology issues faced by its clients globally and in India.

Apart from Accenture, other companies planning to set up their operations in Bangalore included SYKES and Convergys, sources said. SYKES is a leading provider of customer care management solutions for the technology, financial services and communications sector while Convergys is a provider of billing, employee care and customer care solutions.

The company recently invested $200 million in the Philippines in scaling up its operations and making it the hub of its operations in Asia-Pacific.

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