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Indian Outsourcer Hopes To Raise $1 Billion With IPO

Tata Consultancy Services hopes to use the money to strengthen its core IT business.

Tata Consultancy Services, India's pioneering software-exporting firm that serves several major U.S. customers, is floating its initial public offering this week, hoping to attract more than $1 billion in the process.

The software and services firm parlayed routine data-entry work--including the building of the Detroit Police Department's criminal database--into a company that has become a leading Indian consulting firm.

"We can rightfully claim our position as creators of the IT industry in India and the largest IT services company in the country," CEO S. Ramadorai said in a statement about the IPO. Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata stated that a "crucial component" of the firm's overall strategy is to strengthen its core IT business.

Tata's biggest customer is General Electric Co., which accounts for more than 15% of its business. Other U.S. companies utilizing Tata's software operations include American Express, AT&T, Boeing, British Telecom, Compaq, Dell, General Motors, IBM, and Microsoft. In addition to the city of Detroit, additional government work performed by Tata includes contracts with the states of Montana and Pennsylvania.

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