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Mahindra Satyam to double Mideast workforce in two years

Indian IT giant plans to expand in Middle East as part of global push

The Middle East is a growing market for Mahindra Satyam, said Gurnani.
The Middle East is a growing market for Mahindra Satyam, said Gurnani.

Mahindra Satyam, the IT arm of Indian conglomerate Mahindra & Mahindra, plans to double its Middle East workforce in the next two years as part of an AED87.8m global branding push.

The company, which last week signed a deal with Oman state-backed firm Omran to provide support for major projects, has more than 300 staff in the region, with operations in the UAE, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

"As part of the global expansion strategy for Mahindra, we obviously take into account business growth," CEO CP Gurnani told Arabian Business. "We clearly know that the GCC and MENA [regions] are growing in terms of business velocity and momentum."

Mahindra earlier this month inked a deal with US information systems giant Cisco, a key step in its bid to move beyond its domestic market India where it has a hand in everything from auto manufacturing to computers.

In the Middle East, the Satyam-Cisco team will largely be focusing on helping clients implement cloud computing, considered the new frontier in IT.

This region "is going to be one of the biggest areas with Cisco. We're talking about water, energy management, catering to the needs of a digital consumer," he said. "The Middle East will be big deal for us and Cisco as a market."

The company said in a statement that it aims to see $500-700m in profits over the next three to five years, on a global scale, as a result of the deal.

Ten percent of that figure will stem from deals in MENA.

Bobby Gupta, Satyam's MENA head, said that after a decade in the region, the company was seeing a boom in GCC states like the UAE and Qatar. It was one of the pacesetters for Indian expansion into the Gulf, an ever-growing but relatively new market.

The deal with Omran, the Omani government's tourism arm, looks to capitalize on that country's fledgling tourism industry. Its contract is in partnership with Bahwan IT, Satyam's local partner in Oman, which will to implement the Oracle ERP computing system.

"When you look at Oman tourism they really want to increase traffic," Gupta said. "This region is growing pretty fast for us... after 12 years, we know the local market."