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Infosys entry buzz in Bengal

Calcutta, Nov. 8: Azim Premji set the ball rolling, B. Ramalinga Raju of Satyam recently volleyed his Calcutta plans further and now .R. Narayana Murthy is going for goal — Bengal’s IT dream is turning real.

Infosys Technologies, which earned over Rs 3,622 crore in the last financial year and employs over 19,000 people globally, is eyeing Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s Bengal for its next development centre. Though the official line from the company was, “we do not have any plans at this point of time”, the software industry here is abuzz with talk of the IT bellwether’s business plans for Bengal.

The discussion kicked off with Infosys taking the recruitment route. “A Mumbai-based head-hunter got in touch with me last week and said it was roped in by Infosys to scout for manpower for its forthcoming development centre in Calcutta,” said a techhie, working with a Salt Lake Electronics Complex (Saltlec)-based IT company.

The middle-management executive added: “I was told that my services will be required in two months if I am selected.”

Besides a global presence, the Bangalore-headquartered company has centres in Chennai, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Mumbai and Bhubaneswar.

Problems at the Bhubaneswar centre — with a workforce of around 800 — will work to Calcutta’s advantage, feel industry insiders. “High attrition rate, which can even be compared with that of southern states, in Bhubaneswar is one of their major concerns. Besides, the centre hasn’t quite taken off following the devastating cyclone. While the company will carry on with its Orissa operations, it will focus more on Calcutta to make it the main centre in eastern India,” said a source in Saltlec.

That Infosys could soon unveil big plans for Bengal is also confirmed by state IT minister Manab Mukherjee. Led by Mukherjee, representatives from the government — along with consultants McKinsey — had made several trips to Bangalore.

“Narayana Murthy has always shown interest in the state and during our last meeting, he told us the company will decide on its next development centre in December this year. The company’s recent performance has been great and maybe they have taken the decision ahead of schedule,” said Mukherjee.

He, however, added that the government didn’t receive any communication from Infosys confirming its Calcutta plans.

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