Technology czars hog visitors list

New Delhi | Updated: Nov 17 2004, 05:30am hrs
International bigwigs in telecom and information technology (IT) sectors continue to look at India as a leading outsourcing hub. This is evident from the impressive list of honchos who have visited the country in the past six months or so. An official from a leading venture capital firm said that after China, India was a preferred destination for product development and outsourcing.

In the telecom sector, British Telecom chief executive officer (CEO) Ben Verwaayen, Motorola chief operating officer Mike Zafirvosky and Nokia Corp chairman and CEO Jorma Ollila were in the country recently.

In case of the IT industry, IBM chairman and CEO Samuel Palmisano visited Delhi and Bangalore last month. Meanwhile, Microsofts CEO Steve Ballmer is on a three-day visit ending Wednesday. Intel CEO Craig Barrett is scheduled to come on Thursday on a two-day visit.

Outsourcing remains a prime concern for these IT and telecom companies. Interest in India is very high among these companies. They are looking at expanding their base in the country both for domestic and international operations, Nasscom vice-president Sangeeta Gupta told FE.

BTs Mr Verwaayen met outsourcing partners like HCL and Xansa, apart from potential customers for its products and solutions. He (Mr Verwaayen) was here to strengthen relations with outsourcing partners and build new customers, a BT spokesperson said.

During his visit, Motorolas COO announced strengthening of research and development activities in India.

Mr Zafirvosky chalked out the growth areas in India as handsets, broadband and telematics, apart from a turnover target of $1 billion from Indian operations by 2006.

Jorma Ollila of Nokia who was here in March to address a Confederation of Indian Industry summit also met the companys customers here.

Mr Barrett will announce the launch of Intel learn programme in the country, in addition to launching initiatives with the government.

Most of the biggies, who were in India recently, met communications and information technology minister Dayanidhi Maran. Some like Mr Palmisano and Mr Ballmer met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as well. Mr Barrett is also scheduled to meet the PM.