L&T setting up software park in Bangalore

Friday, 20 August 2004, 07:00 Hrs
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BANGALORE: Larsen & Toubro Ltd (L&T), India's largest engineering and construction conglomerate, is setting up its own software development park at Whitefield on the outskirts of Bangalore.

The Rs 1.5-billion high-tech park, to come up in three phases, will house the company's wholly-owned subsidiary L&T Infotech Ltd, including its software division under one roof spread over an area of 4.87 hectares.

At a time when IT bellwethers like Wipro and Infosys are looking beyond Bangalore to expand their operations in the country due to infrastructure bottlenecks plaguing the city, L&T has decided to expand its Infotech operations in the IT capital of India.

"Though they (other IT firms) are looking out of Bangalore to expand their presence in the country, we are entering the Mecca of IT in a big way to capitalize on its global brand equity and rich talent pool. Since we do not have much IT presence here, it is time to move in when those who have been here for long are planning to go elsewhere," L&T Chairman and Managing Director A M Naik said here Thursday.

"Our foray into IT and engineering services is in tandem with our new strategy to leverage our domain expertise in core sectors with the emerging knowledge industry for expanding our business globally," he said.

As part of its expansion plans, L&T Infotech will be hiring about 1,800 technical personnel to increase its strength to 5,000 during the next 18 months from the present 3,200.

The first phase of the IT park, estimated to cost Rs 550 million, will come up by May 2005.

The three centres of Infotech, presently scattered at different places, will be relocated in the city. The remaining two phases of the software park will be completed in the next 24-30 months.

"When the entire project is developed, the L&T IT park will house about 2,000 people. The state-of-the-art facilities will rationalize and streamline the logistics, operational and administrative functions of the Infotech division," Naik said at the project site after the foundation stone-laying ceremony, attended, among others, by former L&T CEO U V Rao.

To be constructed by L&T's engineering construction and contracts division, the company has hired RSP Architects & Consultants, the international firm based in Singapore.

The three-year-old L&T Infotech offers end-to-end software solutions and services to a large client base, including several Fortune 500 firms. Its services encompass a broad technology spectrum, catering to major global firms.

"The Infotech revenues are projected at Rs 6.5-7 billion by the end of the current fiscal (2004-05) as against Rs 3.5 billion during fiscal 2003-04.

About 90 per cent of our revenues come from export business and the rest (10 per cent) from domestic operations, including captive work for L&T," Naik disclosed.

Besides catering to verticals across manufacturing, infrastructure, aerospace and core sectors, the Infotech subsidiary will soon foray into financial services sector.

"IT solutions in banking and financial services is a promising area with huge opportunities worldwide. We may look for strategic acquisitions of medium size IT firms to strengthen our competency and operations," Naik hinted.

Source: IANS
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