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Chennai, Jan. 21

iGATE Global Solutions, an integrated technology and operations company, has opened its second centre here. It plans to make the city centre as J2EE and .NET centre of excellence for manufacturing vertical, the company's Chief Executive Officer, Mr Phaneesh Murthy, said.

The company will soon plan a campus here, he said at the inaugural function of the new facility.

Mr Vivek Harinarain, Tamil Nadu Information Technology Secretary, inaugurated the 35,000 sq. ft. facility, which has come up in the annexe building of Southern Petrochemical Industries Corporation Ltd's premises. iGATE is investing around Rs 7.5 crore in the new facility bringing its total investment in the city to Rs 15 crore, according to a company press release.

Mr Murthy said that the company has turned around in the last four quarters, and its operating profit has increased to 6 per cent from an operating loss of 2 per cent.

Interacting with the media after the inauguration, Mr Murthy said that the company is still considering reducing the promoters' stake from 82 per cent. He said, "Currently, the promoters believe in the long-term value of the company and hence do not want to sell. We still have to figure out a way to bring down the percentage of their stake without their having to sell shares." Mr Murthy said the company had a debt of about $10 million and that he was comfortable with that. "The cost of servicing that debt is low. Further, the rupee has also been appreciating against the dollar and that helps," he said.

He had earlier set a target of bringing in at least eight clients from among the Fortune 1000 companies every quarter. iGate had met this target for the quarter ended December 2004. Mr Murthy said, "We need to repeat this act for at least four consecutive quarters."

iGATE's 65,000 sq. ft. existing facility in Chennai currently employs around 500 people. A subsidiary of the US-based iGATE Corporation, iGATE Global is headquartered in Bangalore and has development centres in the US, the UK, Canada, China and Malaysia.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 22, 2005)
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