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Report From India: Wipro's U.S. Hiring Plans

Here's an update to Wipro's U.S. hiring plans, which we first reported last August when the Indian IT services company was acquiring U.S.-based data center operator Infocrossing. It has at least two new U.S. operations open and two on the drawing boards that, while far from a hiring flood, suggest a subtle strategic difference from other Indian IT services companies.
Here's an update to Wipro's U.S. hiring plans, which we first reported last August when the Indian IT services company was acquiring U.S.-based data center operator Infocrossing. It has at least two new U.S. operations open and two on the drawing boards that, while far from a hiring flood, suggest a subtle strategic difference from other Indian IT services companies.I'll share more from my visit to Wipro's Bangalore visit in another post, but here are some details and thinking behind its U.S. hiring plan. Wipro has opened an Atlanta development center and it's looking to hire around 500 people in its first class, for which it's now on college campuses recruiting. Wipro plans two more centers in to-be-announced cities, and they could hire another 250 to 500 each. Plus, it has quietly opened an operations center in a major U.S. city, in partnership with one customer, that will have all local hires, and which it hopes can draw in other customers' work.

Other Indian IT services companies have permanent U.S. employees, but Wipro's been more aggressive than most. It's acquired a number of outsourcing companies in the United States and other developed markets, small companies to bulk up industry knowledge. It's hired people out of industry, as other outsourcers have. But most distinct is Wipro's bulk hiring of U.S. graduates, who it will train as it does its India new hires. If it opens the two other East Coast centers, that's as many 1,500 U.S. college grads. It chose Atlanta, and is eyeing the two other sites, based on having solid tech universities and being communities where Wipro thinks it can best retain people.

Wipro looks a few years down the road and believes it will need more people close to the customer to work on innovation efforts like process change and new product rollouts. "In three years time, given the right exposure, they'll form a tremendous amount of our front-end teams, which is an alternate supply chain from just making lateral hires," says N.S. Bala, senior VP of manufacturing solutions.

Wipro's still an India-centric company. Even as it talks of hiring 500 to 1,500 grads in the U.S., it's adding a building here in Bangalore that'll add about 3,000 employees, bringing the total just on this sprawling campus to around 20,00. But it contends the U.S. hiring will be part of how it differentiates itself. "Globalization of our delivery model is something we're doing at a very aggressive pace," says Bala. "And I think that'll be a big difference in how we deliver our services going forward."

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