Infosys expanding operations in SEZs

Wednesday, 27 August 2008, 07:00 Hrs
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Chennai: Bangalore-based software services major Infosys Technologies is expanding its operations in the country's special economic zones (SEZ) to take advantage of tax incentives, a top official said here Wednesday.

"All our incremental expansions are happening in SEZs as the tax incentives for units located in software technology parks is expected to go soon," Infosys chief executive and managing director S. Gopalakrishnan told reporters.

According to him, out of 11 billion ($255.8 million) budgeted for expansions, nearly 10 billion is being spent on setting up centres in SEZs in cities like Chennai, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Mangalore and Thiruvananthapuram.

In Chennai, Infosys is expanding its unit inside Mahindra World City SEZ.

"We have 129 acres and we can build facilities to have 35,000 seats in phases. The first phase will get over soon and will have 11,200 seats. In the second phase, we will add 5,000 more seats," company director T.V. Mohandas Pai said.

Referring to the slowdown in the IT sector, Gopalakrishnan said: "The opportunities are increasing. Though bulk of the business is from North America and Europe, the market is not saturated. The slowdown throws up new service opportunities."

Though the US accounts for 56 percent of the company's revenue, Infosys is not dependent on any single economy, said S.D. Shibulal, chief operating officer of Infosys.

"The industry risk is diversified," he added.

Riding on high growth, Infosys is planning to expand business in emerging economies like China, Eastern Europe and Mexico.

Pai said the company would hire 25,000 people this year.

"We have issued 2,800 offer letters to fresh graduates this fiscal and they will join next year. The offer acceptance rate is around 78 percent, which is in line with the industry norms," he said.

Asked about the company's hedging practice to meet the risk of currency fluctuation, Pai said:: "Currency fluctuation is a fact of life. Having said that, we do short term hedging and not long term. We do not speculate."
Source: IANS
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