Oracle to double Indian development staff numbers

Oracle plans to increase the number of software development and customer service staff it has in India from 3,000 to more than...

Oracle plans to increase the number of software development and customer service staff it has in India from 3,000 to more than 6,000, according to company chairman Larry Ellison.

"We are continuing to invest in India not only in software development, but also in professional services," Ellison said. "It is not just us. A lot of other companies like General Electric and Microsoft are doing this as well."

While China is specialising in the area of outsourced manufacturing, India is ahead in services, Ellison said.

"There is software outsourcing to China but it is not really to the same extent as manufacturing, which seems to be increasingly becoming China's specialisation. Correspondingly, we see professional services, not just software services but a variety of services, including accounting services and telesales, moving to India."

English language skills in the country, and educational institutions such as the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) were important in developing the service sector in India, Ellison added.

Oracle set up software development operations in India in 1994, at centres in Hyderabad and Bangalore. Last year it began moving other services such as support to India.

The company's Global Support Centre, spread between Bangalore and Hyderabad, is one of four centres in the world which offer technical support on Oracle products. A Shared Services Centre in Bangalore provides back-office services to Oracle subsidiaries worldwide.

The move by many multinational companies to outsource services to India has provoked criticism in both the Europe and the US.

"This is not about moving jobs to India. We are creating new jobs in India," said Keith Budge, Oracle's regional managing director for South East Asia.

" As a global organisation, we have to be able to service our customers 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and that means we have to be in multiple locations, and operate across different time zones.

"The availability of skilled manpower in India is compelling enough for us to outsource to India," he added.

John Ribeiro writes for IDG News Service

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