Microsoft deepens India Commitment

Monday, 15 November 2004, 08:00 Hrs
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HYDERABAD: World's largest software maker Microsoft Corp is hiring more staff at its new India campus - its largest outside the US - near here, the company's chief executive Steve Ballmer said Monday.

"I am quite sure of hiring hundreds over the next 12 months," Ballmer said during his daylong visit to the city to inaugurate phase one of the Microsoft India Development Centre and lay the foundation stone for the next phase.

"The work we are doing here is not low level. It's very high level creative engineering," he told reporters, but added that the increase in staff strength in India did not mean loss of jobs in the US.

The first phase of the Microsoft centre is coming up on 18 acres of land out of some 45 acres adjacent to the Indian School of Business at Manikonda on the outskirts of the Andhra Pradesh capital.

Ballmer's schedule in the city, often called Cyberabad because of its vibrant IT industry, included a meeting with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy to discuss his company's e-governance initiative for the state.

He is also scheduled to visit New Delhi Tuesday and meet with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Information Technology and Communications Minister Dayanidhi Maran, before travelling to Mumbai to address top Indian chief executives.

Ballmer's itinerary in India's financial capital includes meetings with Tata group chairman Ratan Tata, Reliance group chairman Mukesh Ambani, Wipro chairman Azim Premji and Infosys chief executive Nandan Nilekani.

The Microsoft chief executive is the second high-profile business leader from the US to visit India in the last couple of months and announce plans to step up investments in India.

IBM chairman Samuel J. Palmisano had indicated similar interest during a meeting with Manmohan Singh in New Delhi last month.

Another high-profile visitor to India this week is Craig Barrett, chief executive and chairman-elect of Intel Corp, the world's largest computer-chip maker.

He is expected to announce an expansion of his company's design facility in Bangalore when he visits the city Nov 18-19. This facility currently employs some 2,000 people.

The Intel chief executive is also expected to meet with Manmohan Singh and Dayanidhi Maran in New Delhi, besides interacting with Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

Source: IANS
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