IBM denies Calcutta outsourcing claim

IBM described a report that it plans to recruit thousands of staff in the Indian city of Calcutta as "grossly exaggerated".

IBM described a report that it plans to recruit thousands of staff in the Indian city of Calcutta as "grossly exaggerated".

Fred McNeese, IBM's director of media relations for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said the company intended to expand its operations in India, but recruitment there will be "modest".

While the practice of moving manufacturing jobs to low-cost countries is commonplace, offshoring has only recently begun to affect the technology industry. IBM and, in particular its Global Services outsourcing arm, has been the focus of concern in the US that many skilled technology jobs are being moved overseas.

According to a report in the online edition of The Wall Street Journal on Friday, city authorities in Calcutta say IBM want increase staff numbers in the city to 4,000. IBM employs 1,800 people in Calcutta today, mostly in its Global Services division.

However, McNeese would not say how many employees the company has in Calcutta, or what he meant by modest plans. "We're not going to comment on specific numbers of employees in an area of the country or on plans to hire," he added.

Peter Sayer writes for IDG News Service

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