Betting big on the India story, global IT giant IBM plans to scale up its BPO operations in the country and would hire about 5,000 people this year.

“We plan to focus more in the services sector by opening more BPO centres in India. We would recruit at least 5,000 people to support this expansion,” IBM Poland’s Senior Advisory Consultant Selby Mascarenhas told PTI here.

IBM is bullish on the growth prospect of the services sector in the domestic economy, which ranges from software-related services to looking after the HR aspects of some core manufacturing companies, Mr. Mascarenhas said.

The IT major has decided to scale up its outsourcing operations in India at a time when many global companies, hit by the financial turmoil, have downsized their outsourcing contracts.

At present, IBM has BPO facilities in major cities like Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Gurgaon and Kolkata. Rather than moving to smaller cities, IBM would prefer to expand its existing centres by opening new units, he said.

Owing to the challenging market conditions, IBM did not hire in India last year. But despite the adverse scenario, there were no lay offs either in India, Mr. Mascarenhas said.

“The hiring process has already started, but on a slow note. Last year we didn’t recruit or lay off anybody. In certain cases, some probationers were not confirmed,” he said.

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