HCL Infosystems may have to give up some deals

By SiliconIndia   |   Thursday, 29 October 2009, 02:15 Hrs
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New Delhi: After being emerged as the lowest bidder in all the four zones for state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam's (BSNL) $1 billion IT contract, the IT firm HCL Infosystems may have to give up two large IT contracts, jointly worth over 1,700 crore. This is because, as per the BSNL's tender norms, a single company cannot have more than 50 percent of the total contract.

As reported by the Economic Times, HCL Infosystems has now become L1 or the lowest bidder for managing BSNL's phone lines in the northern region, after emerging as L1 in East, West and South zones, said an executive with the BSNL. But considering the telco's tender conditions, the IT firm can be awarded only a maximum of two contracts, implying that it can provide solutions to BSNL in only two regions.

HCL Infosystems Chief Executive Ajai Chowdhry confirmed that company has emerged as the lowest bidder in all the four zones, adding that BSNL was yet to award the contract. Asked about HCL's preference for the zones, Chowdhry said, "It is for the telco to decide which regions will be allotted to us. We are well placed as far as positioning is concerned." As per the norm at BSNL, the financial bid by HCL Infosystems will be evaluated and it will go through the process of negotiations. The entire procedure will take some more time, after which the contract will be awarded, Chowdhry added.

HCL's mandated surrendering of two contracts will benefit other IT firms like TCS and Mahindra Satyam. For instance, TCS is the second-lowest bidder for South zone and Mahindra Satyam, along with Spanco, which is next to HCL in the East zone.

This IT outsourcing contract is part of BSNL's 93-million line GSM project, worth over $1 billion, for procuring network equipment, tower infrastructure and technology solutions and services. The project was further split into four zones to allow companies to bid separately for each zone.

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