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Sasken to set up SEZ in Bangalore

August 10, 2006 11:25 IST

Sasken Communications Technologies Ltd is likely to set up a special economic zone in Sarjapur Road on the outskirts of Bangalore spanning 25-50 acres. The investment for the project has been pegged at around Rs 350-400 crore (Rs 3.5-4 billion) over the next 2-3 years.

Neeta Revankar, chief financial officer, Sasken, told Business Standard that the company was in the process of identifying land. The location will be finanlised by January 2007, she added.

The company, which provides services across the telecom value chain to tier I network equipment manufacturers, semi conductor manufactures, terminal equipment manufacturers and operators, is looking at roping in a few of its clients for the SEZ project.

"Over the next two years we will have 6,500 staff across all locations," said Revankar.

Predominantly a services company with software products accounting for nine per cent of its Rs 309 crore (Rs 3.09 billion) revenues in 2005-06, the company had recently acquired Integrated Softech Solutions for $1 million in Chennai. It had acquired Botnia Hitech for Rs 209 crore (Rs 2.09 billion) in the last quarter.

The buyout will increase the company's service offerings besides helping create new development centres.

"The Botnia acquisition details will be finalised in the coming month as we have got shareholders approval to raise equity of $50 million from the market which we may exercise. Additionally, we also have funds of Rs 160 crore (Rs billion) won our balance sheet from our Initial Public offering in September which we could use," said Revankar.

"Currently, network equipment manufacturers accounts for 55 per cent of our revenues, semi conductor manufacturers account for 30 per cent, terminal equipment manufacturers account for 10 per cent and telecom operators account for 2 per cent of our overall revenues," said.

Sasken has 18 tier-1 customers, of which only two are in the operators space. "We are looking at increasing our offerings for telecom operators either through internal investments or through an acquisition," she added.

Currently the company employs over 3,000 people: 170 in Pune, 110 in Chennai, 40 in Mexico and 260 in Finland and the rest in Bangalore.

Speaking of the plans for the current year, Rajendra Datar, director Corporate, Sasken added, "Our Pune operations is a centre of excellence (COE) for multimedia: audio and video, we will add 70 people here to take it up to 250 people, in Chennai which is a COE for data communication we will add another 40, thus strengthening our team to 150 people, the Mexico centre was setup to be close to one our key clients and here too we will add 20-25 people, taking our tally up to 65 people. Besides we plan to start operations in China with 50 people by January 2007."

BS Regional Bureau in Mumbai/ Pune
Source: source