Microsoft to double headcount in Indian centres

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HYDERABAD (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp. plans to double its staff strength at its Indian centres in Hyderabad and Bangalore by March 2006, a top company official said late on Saturday.

"We aim to ramp up the strength at the India Development Centre (in Hyderabad) by another 1,000 professionals," Tess Field, Microsoft's head of human resources in India, told reporters on the sidelines of a management convention.

The Hyderabad campus in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh is the software maker's largest campus outside the United States and provides product development and support services.

The 28-acre campus, which opened last November, also houses a global delivery centre and is part of a three-year, US$400 million investment plan for India announced in 2002.

Microsoft also plans to double the headcount to around 1,000 staff members at its technology centre in India's premier software hub of Bangalore, Field said.

India's US$17.2-billion software services industry employs about 1 million people. Exports of software and business services are forecast to grow 30 to 32 percent in the year to March 2006, powered by the country's low-cost, IT-savvy and English-speaking workforce.
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