Home / Industry / Infotech /  UAE’s Network International to set up captive centre in India

Bangalore: Network International Llc, a payment solutions provider based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is setting up a centre in India, making it one of the first companies from the Middle East to do so, a top company executive said.

The new entity, Network International Global Services India Pvt. Ltd, will be based in Manyata Embassy Business Park in Bangalore.

Network International is also looking to hire a head of operations for India with plans to begin operations as early as November, said Bhairav Trivedi, chief executive officer of Network International.

While the company did not disclose how much it will invest in its India operations, it said it will be a “significant investment". Network International has customers in 27 countries across the Middle East and Africa, and employs around 900 people.

“We will steadily build our presence in India and would eventually have up to 100 IT (information technology) professionals in the country in the next 6-12 months. We are also looking to hire people with operational skills in the financial services sector," said Trivedi.

Analysts say the move could pave the way for other Middle Eastern companies to look at India as a preferred offshore destination for technical operations. Companies in the Middle East have so far lagged the US and Europe in setting up captive centres, but rising competition and the need for talent in specialized areas are becoming the main drivers for these companies to look at India.

“Digital technology, mobility, cloud and analytics are becoming crucial, and globally companies are thinking how do we take advantage of this technology. India is playing a crucial role in this and leading the pack in all areas. Hence, these companies are looking at India to tap the talent pool available," said K.S. Viswanathan, vice-president of industry initiatives at lobby group Nasscom. Nasscom has already been approached by a few Middle East companies that have shown interest in setting up captive centres in India.

Over the years, India has emerged as a preferred offshoring destination for companies based in the US, Europe and Japan, mainly due to the availability of skilled personnel and high-quality services at low costs. India accounts for 45% of the total captive centres, or global in-house centres (GICs), in the world, making it the leading destination, according to Nasscom data. GICs are captive units of major multinational companies operating in India.

“Middle East is at the cusp of adopting this trend, the major drivers being the competitive pressure in terms of margin, the need... to sustain and deliver higher level of customer service, (and) the need to create products for the market much earlier than what they were doing before," said Viswanathan. Captive centres in India will be established by Middle Eastern companies working in sectors such as telecom, hospitality and travel which he says are facing intense global competition, he said.

“The bar has gone higher and much stronger brands are emerging from the Middle East that are looking for talent in the areas of mobility, analytics and cloud technology. These brands need higher end technical services that cannot be serviced by the local talent," said Lalit Ahuja, founder of start-up accelerator Kyron Management Services Pvt. Ltd.

Ahuja, who has built and managed technology centres for companies such as Target Corp. and News Corp., is also helping Network International set up its India operations. Ahuja says that he has been approached by other companies in the Middle East who are looking to set up captive centres in India. “The GIC business model is largely driven by success and peer pressure. If one company from the Middle East does well, others will definitely follow," says Ahuja.

To be sure, nearly 800 GICs are currently operating in India that employ about 500,000 people. GICs contribute about one-fifth, or about $17 billion of software exports revenue from India, according to Nasscom data. It is expected to touch $50 billion of the country’s $225 billion software exports revenue by 2020.

Subscribe to Mint Newsletters
* Enter a valid email
* Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter.

Never miss a story! Stay connected and informed with Mint. Download our App Now!!

Edit Profile
Get alerts on WhatsApp
My ReadsRedeem a Gift CardLogout