HCLT set up 3 SEZs, hire 35,000 professionals

By agencies   |   Monday, 21 August 2006, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: The buzz surrounding Special Economic Zones has caught on with the country’s fifth largest software exporter, with HCL Technologies announcing the setting up of three such zones in Noida, Chennai and Bangalore.

Shiv Nadar-led HCL will set up these zones at a cost of $113 million over the next two years, from its capital expenditure of about $181 million, and will hire about 35,000 software professionals to man them.

HCL, which presently has about 32,000 professionals working for it will initially hire around 700 people its frst SEZ at Noida, which will be operational by middle of next year. HCL’s Chief Financial Officer S L Narayanan also announced that while the Noida and Chennai centers will employ 15,000 professionals each, the Bangalore center would have a capacity of 5,000.

The company, its present reserves stand at $363 million, will now focus on strengthening its current acquisitions and execution of the contracts, rather than looking at any further acquisitions, said Narayanan.

HCL has so far merged nine of its subsidiaries with itself. The scheme of amalgamation for merging its wholly-owned subsidiaries -- DSL Software, Shipara Technologies, HCL Technologies BPO Services, HCL Technologies (Mumbai), Aquila Technologies and HCL Enterprise Solutions (India) Ltd -- with itself was earlier approved by the Delhi and Karnataka High Courts during the quarter ended December 31, 2005.

Industry association Nasscom is of the view that the current SEZ Act, with its minimum requirement of 25 acres for IT projects, may be suitable for manufacturing units but not for a sector like IT, since the industry is characterized by small start-ups which go on to become big guns. In effect, that means entry-level and mid-level companies often find it difficult to invest 25 acres of land. In spite of the body’s stance, many IT bigwigs like Infosys have joined the SEZ bandwagon of late.

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