Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Steve Ballmer in India

posted by ShyK at 14:28

Circa Jul/Aug 04 - The Seattle-based labor union, Washington Alliance of Technology Workers (WashTech), claims that it is in possession of internal company documents that shows Microsoft having 2000 employees in India instead of the 970 declared. The usual hue and cry (and jingoistic claims) follow.

Mircosoft denies the charge, claims that it does not outsource core development and announces a $1 billion cut in expenses for the fiscal year ending June, 2005 – all in almost the same breath.

Cut to Nov 2005 – Steve Ballmer plans a visit to India (after 9 years) – believed to be a result of Microsoft India chairman Ravi Venkatesan visit to Redmond in Sep 05 to present a new strategy roadmap to Steve Ballmer. Pre-visit predictions from officials suggest that this would be a low profile visit primarily for brainstorming on boosting PC sales, education and e-governance, checking piracy and broadband related policy issues – the only announcements being the expansion of the Hyderbad centre and a tie-up or two with the likes of Infosys.

Day 1 of the visit – and it seems to be going per the script. Except that the new center can now hold 1600 employees (twice the current India strength) and that tie-up with Infosys is worth $8 million. The official Microsoft stance is that they will recruit 200 employees (approx 20% of current strength) in the next year but the tie up with Infosys will presumably create far higher number of jobs in the market.

Even if Microsoft does not conduct fresh research/development out of these centers and a big chunk of these job profile turns out to be that of Cyber Coolies – that’s still good news for the Indian IT Professional…

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