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Wipro opens more jobs to Western regions

Karl Flinders

Indian IT service provider Wipro is increasing the number of US and European workers it employs so its customers in the regions will not stop buying from itif protectionism increases.

President Sarkozy of France has given French car makers billions of dollars in exchange for promises not to shut French plants or sack French workers. The US president, meanwhile, has a "Buy American" clause in his $789bn economic stimulus package.

At the launch of an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG)in February, designed to improve trade between the UK and India, IT suppliers spoke about the dangers of protectionist economic policies.

Wipro, which employs 97,000, people, said it wanted to increase the number of employees outside India, and itis easier now because there are more available.

Currently, about 8% of its workers are from outside India.

Andy Gallagher, consultant at Compass Management Consulting, said Wipro is not alone in increasing the number of staff it has outside India.

He said certain roles are traditionally provided by staff local to the customer or by people from India.

"The offshore/onshore model, where you fly Indian staff over for a few months at a time,is losing its attractiveness. Clients are beginning to say they do not get continuity when people come over on 90-day visa. Also the cost difference between employing local people and flying people from India is reducing."

He said more and more Indian companies are increasing their localised workforce for roles such as account management and relationship management.

Kris Lakshmikanth, CEO at Indian recruitment firm Headhunters, said most Indian suppliers are increasing the number of European and US workers they have. "Indiacannot be beaten on price for development, but companies will employ staff local to regions they are in for front line operations."

He said by the end of next year,these companies will employ about 10% of their staff from outside the UK.


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