The purchase of Daksh eServices, one of India's biggest call-center firms, could give IBM an entry point to larger customers.
IBM says it plans to acquire an Indian business services firm that provides offshore customer care for Sprint, Amazon, Yahoo, and a number of other well-known U.S. companies.
Under the deal, terms of which weren't disclosed, IBM will take a full ownership stake in Daksh eServices, which operates customer-care centers in the Indian cities of New Delhi and Mumbai. It also recently opened a contact center in the Philippines.
Daksh has more than $30 million in annual revenue and employs about 5,000 customer-service representatives. In interviews, company executives have said they expect Daksh's sales to grow to about $100 million by next year and headcount to rise to 10,000.
The company, founded in 2000, chiefly provides voice, E-mail, and live chat customer-support services for multinational companies in a range of industries using, among other things, contact-management applications from Concerto Software. It also provides mortgage-processing services for Citigroup's mortgage unit.
Although Daksh is a relatively small player, some analysts believe it could provide IBM with an entry point to larger customers. "Daksh has some fairly big accounts into which IBM would like to sell a whole range of products and services," says Technology Business Research's Bob Sutherland.