Nortels India Outsourcing Plan Back On Track

Mumbai: | Updated: Nov 17 2003, 05:30am hrs
Nortel Networks, the Canadian manufacturer of equipment that route voice and data traffic through networks, has put its software outsourcing programme to India back on track.

The programme had suffered a serious setback in the last two years due the global telecom meltdown.

The company, an important client for top Indian software services firms, has scaled up its operations to involve about 1000 engineers across four firms, explained Ashoka Valia, managing director of the Indian operations.

Nortel, which just returned to profitability, has undergone some aggressive restructuring in order to operate in a changed business environment. Its staff strength was reduced to a third from a peak of 96,000 employees.

There were cuts across the board and the Indian offshoring programme also felt the effects, noted John Giamatteo, president of the Asia Pacific region, Nortel Networks.

The firm outsources work to top firms like Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro, Infosys and Sasken Technologies. It plans to grow the outsourcing work based on its business requirements.

Company officials declined to peg the value of the business outsourced to Indian firms.

Nortel is exploring the possibility of shipping out some of its support functions such as technology assistance to India. It is currently working with Wipro in the area. It also undertakes some of the support work through its own centre and is evaluating the possibility of setting up a full-fledged facility in this area.

Global telecom equiment makers are seeing signs of revival after shrinking sales and huge losses in the last couple of years. US-based Cisco systems had issued an upbeat forecast for the year after its latest quarter results. Indian software firms have exposure to the segment and a recovery could spell an increased flow of business, experts say.