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ITC Info floats contact centre with US firm

Fakir Chand in Bangalore | September 10, 2003 18:57 IST
Last Updated: September 10, 2003 19:54 IST

ITC Infotech India Ltd, the wholly-owned subsidiary of ITC Ltd, has set up its first contact centre in Bangalore as a joint venture with the US-based ClientLogic for providing business process outsourcing services to the US and European customers of the latter.

The CLI3L Contact Center will be located at the 36-acre ITC Infotechpark at its FMCG facility in the heart of the city.

As a subsidiary of the $29-billion Onex group in the US, ClientLogic is investing $5 million in the 50:50 joint venture, with ITC Infotech bringing its investment in the form of real estate (facilities) and human resources.

With a present strength of 650 seats, the India centre will be a part of the $390-million ClientLogic's global operations, which are managed by its 33 other centres the world over. The centre will be expanded in a year to accommodate 1500 people.

Inaugurating the Infotechpark and the contact centre, ITC chairman Y C Deveshwar told the media on Wednesday that the joint venture would break even in the first year of its operations itself with a projected revenue of Rs 50 crore (Rs 500 million).

"We are providing ClientLogic the best facilities, location and knowledge-based talent to offer cost-effective services/solutions to its US and European clients in diverse vertical segments.

"As part of ITC's greater foray into the IT sector, we intend to develop domain expertise in horizontal technologies to emerge as one of the top BPO players in the country soon," Deveshwar stated.

Outlining the IT initiatives of the Rs 12,000-crore (Rs 120 billion) group, Deveshwar said ITC Infotech would expand its operations to create jobs for the thousands of young Indian graduates in engineering and other fields.

"In view of the rapid globalisation of services, India has the best advantage to show case its knowledge industry to attract a major part of the multi-billion dollar IT business. The demographic trend indicates that India will have more young people in the next 20 years.

"We intend to tap this huge human resources for capitalising on the huge opportunities unfolding with the globalisation of services and world economy," Deveshwar declared.

ClientLogic president and CEO Thomas O Harbison said the India centre would cater to its Fortune 100-200 customers that are evenly located in the US and Europe, especially in the UK.

"We will be providing the best offshore capability to add value to our customers. The bright talent and advanced communication technologies available in India will enable our customers to save 20-40 per cent of their IT costs by outsourcing their services to CLI3L Contact Center," Harbison affirmed.

Acknowledging the cost advantage of locating a centre in Bangalore, the IT capital of India, CLI3L managing director Walewien Lichtenauer said the joint venture has already started serving six of its global clients since the last three months with customer support, processing and management services.

"We propose to expand the client base in the coming months by increasing our seat strength and bringing our global expertise to India for providing multiple services to our clients in technology sector, telecommunications and Internet services," Lichtenauer said.

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