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Chennai, March 1

SYNTEL Inc, the $187-million US-based information technology firm, plans to spend around $20 million (Rs 90 crore) on capital expenditure in India during 2005.

It plans to recruit about 1,500 employees during the year for its development centres in Chennai, Mumbai and Pune, according to company's Chief Operating Officer, Mr Keshav R. Murugesh.

This spending, however, does not include the company's plan to build a campus outside Chennai, he told newspersons.

In the last six months, the Nasdaq-listed company spent $12 million (Rs 55 crore) on capex in India.

This includes construction of a campus in Pune in 40 acres.

The project cost of the campus is estimated to be $40 million (Rs 180 crore) and it will be built in three phases phase one is slated to be operational in August 2005. The entire campus could house about 9,000 people, he said. On the Chennai campus, Mr Murugesh said the company would like to commence the construction in the third or fourth quarter of the year.

The company acquired 27 acres of land from SIPCOT (State Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu) on the Old Mahabalipuram Road (the IT corridor) for about Rs 6 crore. The size of the Chennai campus would be equivalent to that in Pune, he said.

Syntel on Tuesday inaugurated its second development centre in Chennai that can house about 750 people.

The Chennai centre does work on projects in banking, finance and insurance, automobile and telecom, he said.

According to Mr Murugesh, Syntel recently formed a joint venture with a large US-based bank to offer business process outsourcing (BPO) services for the bank's investment reconciliation.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 2, 2005)
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