Godrej Group Buys Call Centre In US For $6 M

Mumbai, Nov 14: | Updated: Nov 15 2003, 05:30am hrs
The Godrej group has entered the global market in the customer service segment with the acquisition of Upstream LLC, a US-based call centre company. Lawkim Upstream Contact Management, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Godrej group company Lawkim, has signed an agreement with Upstream LLC to acquire the latter for an all-cash deal. The cost of acquisition is greater than $6 million, according to sources at Lawkim. With this, Godrej becomes the first Indian firm to acquire and operate a major call centre in the US.

Announcing the deal, Godrej group chairman Adi Godrej said, "The deal will help us consolidate our activities and investments in the BPO space. Though we have for long been active through our companies in various parts of the world, this acquisition is a stepping stone in creating a global services organisation."

Upstream LLC, a leading provider of call centre and customer care services, operates three call centres in the US. With over 600 employees in the US, Upstream is the largest outsourced customer care company in the travel vertical. Upstream has considerable expertise in providing travel-related support ,including air, hotel and car reservations.

Lawkim managing director Vijay Krishna said that the deal marks a new phase in the interaction between the US and India. For the first time a company that is strongly positioned in the US and India will offer customers a full range of delivery capabilities. Mr Krishna added that Lawkims differentiating factor is an offer of both onsite and offshore services. Lawkim has set a target of being a $100 million BPO company over the next three to five years.

Speaking on the acquisition, Upstream chief operating officer Jerry Johnson said, "The investment will benefit our associates and clients and ultimately differentiate us in the outsourcing industry."