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IBM triples investment in India

IBM is set to triple its investment in India over the next three years to nearly US$6 billion — further cementing the south Asian country’s standing as an emerging powerhouse in the global IT market.

IBM is set to triple its investment in India over the next three years to nearly US$6 billion — further cementing the south Asian country’s standing as an emerging powerhouse in the global IT market.

“In the next three years, we will triple our investment in India — from US$2 billion over the last three years to nearly US$6 billion in the next three,” Samuel Palmisano, IBM chairman and CEO, told over 10,000 employees gathered in Bangalore during a visit to the country this month.

“That investment will ensure that we make the most of the opportunities to grow this marketplace, while it also enables IBM to fulfil its vision to become a globally integrated company,” Palmisano commented.

IBM already has the largest presence in the Indian market of any global IT company thanks to a rapid increase in its headcount over the last few years — it now employees 43,000 staff in 14 cities across the country compared to fewer than 5,000 in 2002.

India has been a focus of investment for many of IT’s global players due to the high quality of graduates and low wages, but this latest cash injection completely overshadows the combined US3.9 billion investment made by Microsoft, Intel and Cisco Systems last year.

“India and other emerging economies are an increasingly important part of IBM’s global success,” said Palmisano.

“If you are not here in India, making the right investments and finding and developing the best employees and business partners, then you won’t be able to combine the skills and expertise here with skills and expertise from around the world, in ways that can help our clients be successful,” he added.

As part of IBM’s planned expansion, Palmisano said the vendor was to establish new centres in Bangalore that would automate IT service delivery and focus on the company’s hardware infrastructure — providing a ‘one-stop shop’
for clients to learn about IBM solutions.

The CEO also said IBM would be establishing a tele- communications research centre and increasing resources and staff at its specialised software and services lab in the city.

As part of its academic initiative in India, IBM is to launch ‘The Great Mind Challenge’, in which mentors from the vendor will work with students at the country’s engineering schools to develop software that will then be available free of charge over the internet.

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