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McAfee to invest $80 m in Bangalore centre

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Credits India operations for rise in stock price, revenues, profitability margins

BEWARE MOBILE THREATS: Mr George Samenuk, CEO and Chairman, McaAfee, at a press conference in Bangalore on Wednesday. - G. R. N. Somashekar
BEWARE MOBILE THREATS: Mr George Samenuk, CEO and Chairman, McaAfee, at a press conference in Bangalore on Wednesday. - G. R. N. Somashekar

Our Bureau

Bangalore, March 29

Security firm McAfee Inc plans to invest $80 million in its Bangalore centre over the next four years.

The $1.2-billion company will add 400 people to its team in Bangalore by 2008-end. "The benefits of our India location are talent and expertise which will help global operations," said Mr George Samenuk, CEO and Chairman, McAfee.

He credited the India centre for the rise in the stock price from $4 to $25 and increase in its profitability margin from 13 per cent to 25 per cent in 2005. The firm's revenue grew by 22 per cent in 2005, with a profit growth of 109 per cent, said Mr Samenuk. The security software market was $30 million in 2004-05. It will grow to $120 million by 2010, said Mr Kartik Shahani, Sales Director (India), McAfee Singapore.

Six products

The 600-strong Bangalore centre has ownership of six products, including the mail server protection software, said Mr Shahani. It also played a big role in the enterprise anti-spyware software development. Mr Samenuk said the product brought in $50 million to the company.

The company is "scouring the globe" for cash acquisitions to add to its product range. Mr Samenuk said the acquisition would be for technology and not market access. The firm is looking at "small" Israel and US security product firms.

Mobile threats will hit India severely this year, warns McAfee. Speaking to

Business Line

, Mr Shahani said, "Attacks used to occur every two months, this is now every month." Currently, the threat is small - icons change, browsers misbehave or the IMEI number disappears. Cases of the entire address book disappearing have also been noted.

Mr Shahani said China, South East Asia and India, with their exploding mobile populations, would need to safeguard themselves. Sony Ericsson's latest phones, the P990i smartphone and M600i, are secured by McAfee. Operators in India are still evaluating Cleanpipes, the firm's mobile security platform for cellular service providers, he said.

Related Stories:
New McAfee solution
McAfee in talks with ISPs for security software

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 30, 2006)
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