Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), India's largest software and systems integration company, will open a global development centre in Melbourne, the company said in a statement recently.
Although TCS has 20 development centres in India, and a further 15 in the US and Europe, this is its first in the Asia-Pacific region.
The centre will employ 200 software engineers and systems analysts to provide software development, strategy consulting and systems integration work to TCS customers in the region. The decision to locate the centre in Melbourne was partly due to the large available pool of IT talent there, TCS said in its statement.
Establishing the centre in Australia will directly help the company's business there, as specialists will be able to show potential customers exactly what the company offers, TCS said in the statement. TCS also expects the centre to help its business across the Asia-Pacific region.
Australia attracts a large number of US and European technology companies because of its cultural similarities, English-language skills, and highly educated workforce. But many other countries in the region are setting up government-sponsored high-technology zones to challenge for foreign technology investment and technology transfer.
Singapore has ambitions to be an Asia-Pacific technology hub, and offers several incentive schemes to foreign companies to get involved in programs such as the ILIUP (Infocomm Local Industry Upgrade Program). TCS has its regional headquarters in Singapore.
Malaysia has set up a high-technology electronic commerce hotbed known as the Multimedia SuperCorridor (MSC), which has attracted over 600 local and foreign companies.
Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam have set up dedicated software parks near their major cities, while Indonesia has chosen the tourist island of Bali to set up its BaliCamp high-technology zone.
But India remains the region's software powerhouse, and the only one whose companies are expanding worldwide. Exports of software and related services reached $US6.2 billion in 2000, and the country has over 400,000 IT professionals and a major high-technology industry centred on the city of Bangalore.
TCS, its largest software company, posted revenues of $689 million in 2001, and revenues have doubled each year for the past six years, according to TCS. It employs over 18,000 people.