Citigroup to lift headcount in India

By siliconindia   |   Tuesday, 27 March 2007, 05:00 Hrs
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New Delhi: Citigroup plans to open more branches and increase its headcount in India, the chief executive of the U.S. bank Charles Prince said, amid media reports that the bank might cut thousands of jobs globally to save on costs. Prince declined to comment on newspaper reports that Citigroup was planning to shed some 15,000 jobs, or about 5 percent of its 327,000-strong work force, to improve profitability. Citigroup announced the cost-cutting review plan last year after coming under heavy criticism from investors because its expenses were growing faster than revenue, reported a business daily. He said that the plan would be made public "in a couple of weeks before our (quarterly) earnings announcement on 16 April." Prince, who is in New Delhi to review India operations, told reporters that his goal was to increase the share of international business in Citigroup’s total revenue to 60 percent from its current 45 percent share. Prince indicated that some back-office work would move to India, where Citigroup already operates large call centre facilities — a practice that most western companies have followed in recent years to cut costs. "We have tended to expand our back-office activities in India as a benefit to the rest of the world," he said. "I think you will see us continue to consolidate and simplify our back-offices around the world." Citigroup also plans to expand its operations in India, especially in such areas as microfinance. Prince said, “We have been increasing our headcount in India,” he said. Citigroup’s India head Sanjay Nayar said the bank has not set any target for headcount growth here and that it would be linked to the expansion of the bank’s Indian business. The bank added nearly 4,000 staff in India over the past year, raising its headcount to 22,000.

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