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Top UK retailer Tesco in big IT, BPO plan
S Kalyana Ramanathan in Chennai | April 06, 2004 08:24 IST
Last Updated: April 06, 2004 08:58 IST
Britain's largest retail chain and Fortune 500 company, Tesco, is planning a 600,000 sq ft IT development/business process outsourcing centre in Bangalore. For now the company has acquired 15.06 acres in Whitefield near Bangalore.
To start with 200,000 sq ft of built-up area is being readied for occupation by November this year. Tesco officials in India said the initial plan is to move 350 jobs to India. Market information is that an estimated 1000 people will be accommodated in this facility when the first phase is completed.
Tesco, which has an office in Bangalore, has already started recruitment for this new facility. Tesco officials confirmed the project plans but were ambiguous on the nature of service that will be delivered from the new facility.
Initially, a Tesco official said the Banglore facility will be delivering payroll and bill processing related work. He later added that the company is also considering IT development at this new facility. Reacting to queries from Business Standard on this development, Meena Ganesh, CEO of Tesco's Indian operations said, "We do not want to react at this stage." The Tesco officials, however, did not deny the development of the new facility in Bangalore.
While Ganesh did not deny the acquisition of 200,000 sq ft in Wakefield, all she was willing to discuss was the first year plan. "We will be moving 350 jobs to India. Beyond that it is a matter of speculation," she said. The two focus areas of this venture would be IT services and back office processing, she added.
Tesco is UK's largest retail chain. Tesco operates 2,291 stores around the world and employs 296,000 people. Close to 2000 of its stores are located in UK, 230 in rest of Europe and 79 stores in Asia. The chain, over the years, has grown from a domestic retailer, to an international group with four major business units - the core UK business (stores), non-food, retailing services and international business.
The planning and construction part of the project is being handled by Banglaore-based Chaithanya Properties Pvt Ltd. Ravi Iyer, who heads Tesco project in Chaithanya Properties said that the total project cost is around Rs 30 crore (Rs 300 million).
"The plans for the first phase of 200,000 sq ft is ready at this stage and construction work has already begun. Based on the success of this project, Tesco, would look at the second and third phase of 200,000 sq ft each," he confirmed.
The first phase will also accommodate common infrastructure like canteen and other recreation facilities. Hence, if and when the second and third phase happens it will directly add to the head count in the BPO operations.