TCS sees opportunities amid downturn

TCS sees opportunities amid downturn

Toronto: Outsourcing leader, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), sees opportunity as corporate customers embrace new technology, although a poor economy means that overall spending in the United States (US) and Europe will stay weak.

TCS, whose clients include British Airways, ING, and game maker Electronic Arts, says companies have adjusted to a faltering economic recovery and are eyeing cautious investment for future growth.

“It’s a very sensitive time in the world. Every industry, every customer is being extremely careful with what they do and they are being very disciplined in terms of where to spend and where not to spend," chief executive officer (CEO) N. Chandrasekaran told the news agency in an interview on Wednesday.

Chandrasekaran said he was optimistic that TCS can take advantage as corporations use social media to improve workflow, migrate data to remote computers and allow access to corporate information on mobile devices such as Apple’s iPad.

“There’s a lot of business to be had as long as you are staying close to the customer. If you look industry by industry you can easily pick four or five trends the customer is spending money on," he said.

Officials from TCS’s two smaller rivals in India’s back-office services industry, Infosys and Wipro, last month also brushed off concerns about the impact of a possible recession in the US and Europe.

TCS added almost 70,000 jobs last year and now employs almost 200,000 information technology (IT) consultants, the bulk of them in India. It is the country’s top software exporter and it makes more than half its revenue from US companies.

Last year, the company increased wages between 12 and 14% and Chandrasekaran said wages will remain under upward pressure next year, given that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is struggling to tame inflation. Hiring rates remain on track.

Chandrasekaran declined to comment on reports that TCS was looking to buy the IT unit of German airline Lufthansa but said the company is on the lookout for strategic opportunities. He mentioned assets in US healthcare as particularly attractive.