Tesco India is moving up the value chain and doing work in areas such as mobile apps and other e-commerce engagements for Tesco globally.

Tesco Hindustan Service Centre (HSC), the Indian arm of UK-based retailer Tesco, which started out by providing backend work such as accounting and customer support, has now rolled out mobile apps for iPads, Windows phone, BlackBerry and Android-based phones and tablets.

This was done out of the Indian lab that was started last year.

e-commerce platform

Apart from mobile apps, Tesco HSC has designed a new e-commerce platform for Tesco ‘Direct’, which allows customers to place an order through phone or Net and pick it up from a physical store.

The HSC has also designed and launched an online marketplace, similar to eBay or Alibaba.com.

Talking to Business Line, Mr Sandeep Dhar, CEO, Tesco HSC, said: “Now, we are doing larger projects and the scale of projects undertaken has been extended to other countries in addition to the UK.” According to data from Tesco, so far 3 lakh users have downloaded on Android devices and two lakh on their iPads or iPhones.

The company has worked on projects such as voice-based and barcode-based search, which were designed from scratch out of the Indian centre. Voice-based search is a voice-activated way of searching for merchandise and barcode-based search enables in scanning barcodes of desired items and add it to the online shopping cart.

Barcode search

“Barcode-based search helps in buying items whose names are unfamiliar and it can be bought instantly,” said Mr Dhar. The HSC support Tesco’s operations in Czech Republic and Poland.

Currently, HSC employs about 6,300 people in roles like customer support, financial accounting to app developers. Increasingly, according to analysts, companies like Tesco are moving up the value chain as low-end work is either moving to alternative destinations (like the Philippines) or technology is making some jobs redundant.

venkatesh.ganesh@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on June 26, 2012)
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