Tesco to increase IT staff in Bangalore

BANGALORE, DEC. 3. The U.K. headquartered discount store chain Tesco plans an over six-fold increase of information technology (IT) staff at its only offshore software centre here by February 2006, Philip A Greenwood, who heads the company's IT development and support team here, told The Hindu.

While Mr. Greenwood ruled out the possibility of staff in Bangalore taking over work such as processing sales to the increasing number of online customers, they would help the parent company drive sales and cut costs, he said.

Tesco had some 80 software professionals at its Hindustan Service Centre in Whitefield here, which would go to 500 by February 2005, Mr. Greenwood said.

In July this year, Tesco announced it would ship some 420 jobs to India. In August, it told CIOL, an online IT news portal run from here, that the total staff size would increase to 770 by December 2005.

Mr. Greenwood told this correspondent that IT staff alone would be doubled by February 2005 (the company follows a February-March financial year) and then increased to 500 through the following financial year, he said.

Tesco, which has also given projects to software services companies such as Infosys, would continue to do work with such companies, Mr. Greenwood said, despite setting up its own captive centre.

Mr. Greenwood would not say if IT budgets had also gone up in the U.K., where Tesco does more business than any other discount store chain, and if this had also contributed to offshoring to India.

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