Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Soon Pune gonna overtake B'lore

Soon Pune gonna overtake B'lore
24 Jul, 2007, 0340 hrs IST,P P Thimmaya & Thanuja B M, TNN




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BANGALORE: The biggest work campus of tech giants Infosys and Wipro will soon be outside Bangalore, their home turf. Pune is set to overtake Bangalore as the largest single unit campus (SUC) for Infosys by 2008-end, while in the case of Wipro, it is Pune, Chennai or Hyderabad that may eclipse the headquarters in the next 2-3 years. Already, 70% Wipro’s employee billings are outside of Bangalore.

The latest infrastructure data from Infosys shows that as of June 30, 2007, the company is looking at adding about 34,049 seats across a built-up area of 10.56 million sq ft in India and Mauritius in the near future. Out of this, 14,400 seats are based in Pune with a proposed built-up area of 2.7 million sq ft.

With current capacity in Pune being 9,181 seats in a built-up area of 1.4 million sq ft, total capacity in Pune by end of 2008 will be about 23,581 seats. While in Bangalore, the company has 20,715 seats currently, it plans to add another 2,330 seats in the same timeframe. This puts total seat capacity in Infy’s headquarters at 23,045 seats, marginally less than Pune.

Stating that the Pune centre will see expansion completed by end of this fiscal or latest by next, Infosys director-HRD T V Mohandas Pai said: “The procedural delays, especially in acquiring land, have forced us to look at other centres where the governments are more proactive like in Maharasthra and Rajasthan.’’

Wipro executive vice president-HR Pratik Kumar agrees, saying that the reason why Wipro is looking at other centres is ‘space constraint’. “We have got zero expansion capacity in Bangalore, what choices do we have,” he asks, adding “I believe the city still has the best talent but there is no space.”

Wipro employs between 15,000 and 17,000 people in India’s tech capital, which accounts for 21-24% of total employee strength of 71,137. But, according to Mr Kumar, “For the last five quarters, almost 70% of our billing growth has come from outside Bangalore.”

He said, “We will continue to expand wherever there is availability of infrastructure and land.” However, Bangalore will remain its biggest campus at least in the near term, he said, though the scenario will change in three years.

However, Karnataka IT secretary M N Vidyashankar said, “There is more demand for developed space in Bangalore which is available in plenty. However if the firm wants to build a single unit complex (SUC), then they need land in hundreds. If there is demand, then we can acquire land for them.”

Procedural delays in land acquisition has been a major grouse of the IT industry in Bangalore. And expansion into other cities has become passe but having another centre overtake its headquarters in terms of headcount and capacity is the surprise. Mr Pai adds, “The IT industry in Bangalore adds about a lakh jobs per year. Even with a bit of delay, the state tends to lose about 25,000 jobs in a quarter.’’


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