Cognizant building more facilities in India

Tuesday, 23 December 2003, 08:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporation, promoted by Indian entrepreneurs, has announced that it plans to build three software development facilities in Pune, Chennai and Bangalore for 6,500 employees.

The New Jersey-based company also said that its founder, chairman and CEO Kumar Mahadeva was retiring. The president of the company, Lakshmi Narayanan, has been named CEO and has also been elected to Cognizant's board of directors.

The 10-year-old firm expects to spend about $40 million over the next two years on building the new complexes that it estimates will have an annual operating expense savings of approximately $10 million, compared to expanded use of leased facilities. The facilities will be built over 600,000 square feet of space.

"Cognizant has grown faster than the competition this year and demand continues to be at a historically high level," Narayanan said.

"Clients are ramping up their large-scale offshore programmes, including application development and maintenance projects.

"An increasing number of large organisations are choosing Cognizant because of our industry leading fourth generation onsite/offshore model, which is focused on delivering not just technology but measurable business results," he said.

"Our anticipated high growth rate in revenue and headcount provides an opportunity for us to build and own additional facilities." The company has 9,000 employees and expects to employ about 6,000 more at its Indian facilities.

Cognizant delivers information technology solutions and provides applications management, development, integration, and re-engineering, infrastructure management, business process outsourcing, and a number of related services such as enterprise consulting, technology architecture, programme management and change management through its onsite/offshore outsourcing model.

The firm has development centres in India and Ireland and onsite client teams and was recently ranked No.1 in Forbes' "Hot Shots 200 Up & Comers" and ranked as the top IT company in BusinessWeek's "Hot Growth Companies".

A publicly traded company, Cognizant also announced other staff changes.

Francisco D'Souza, previously senior vice president of North American and European Operations and business development, has been promoted chief operating officer, a title previously held by Narayanan.

Gordon Coburn, who continues as CFO, has been promoted executive vice president and assumed the additional responsibilities of administration. John Klein, a board member since 1998, has been appointed non-executive chairman.

Mahadeva will remain with Cognizant through April 1, 2004, to help with the transition. "Since founding Cognizant 10 years ago, we have grown from a 50 person in-house development shop to a 9,000 person global IT leader," he said.

"I am proud to have led Cognizant's growth to this point and to leave Lakshmi with a strong platform for future growth.

"Over the last several years, we have built a world-class management team. As a member of this team, Lakshmi has already played an integral role in the company's success and I am confident in his ability to lead Cognizant's next phase of growth."

Narayanan, 50, has been instrumental in formulating Cognizant's strategy and building the company's delivery capabilities in India, where he will continue to be based.

He has over 25 years of experience in the IT industry, including 10 years managing divisions and business units in Europe, India, and the US. Before founding Cognizant in 1994, he was the regional head of Tata Consultancy Services in India.

Source: IANS
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