London: India’s IT major Wipro plans to launch its first recruitment drive in university campuses in Britain, creating hundreds of jobs in the UK over the next year.
The software company, India’s third largest, has decided to recruit directly from higher education institutions such as Manchester and Warwick universities and Cranfield School of Management in an effort to find local talent that can better understand the cultural needs of its British clients, ‘The Sunday Telegraph´ reports said on 1April.
The firm’s participation in the annual university “milk round” will reinforce the growing prominence of the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector as an employer in Britain. In the next few weeks, Wipro is expected to announce details of a major new development centre serving key British clients. It will be located near Birmingham and eventually employ up to 500 people.
Alongside competitors such as Infosys Technologies and Tata Consultancy Services, both of which have significant operations on British soil, Wipro is among a breed of BPO companies that have collectively emerged as one of India’s most important industries.
Azim Premji, Wipro’s chairman, told the newspaper in Hong Kong that planning for the Midlands centre is well advanced, although negotiations with various regional bodies and internal discussions are yet to be completed.
Ireland is also under consideration as Wipro looks to add to existing facilities in Reading and London’s posh Canary Wharf.
As part of their training, Wipro’s employees in Britain will spend few weeks and a few months in India, with the duration of their stay determined by the technical complexity of their jobs.
According to Premji, the country’s IT services sector is expected to be worth $48 billion (Rs ) this year, accounting for more than 5% of India’s GDP, and $60 billion by 2010.
Britain’s Chancellor Gordon Brown visited Wipro’s Bangalore headquarters earlier this year and was briefed on its British expansion plans. Europe has been one of the company’s fastest growing markets with revenues during its last financial year up 48%, accounting for almost a third of Wipro’s global IT services revenues.
The company employs about 1,800 people in Britain- a figure growing by 30% annually and operates in more than 50 countries