Accenture on hiring spree in India

Within a year, the information technology consulting and services giant plans to double its work force in India, to a total of 10,000 employees.

Information technology consulting company Accenture on Wednesday announced that it would double its staff strength in India to 10,000.

Marty Cole, managing partner of outsourcing business, said the new additions would occur over the next 12 to 14 months. Based on current trends, the company expects it will have the 10,000 people on board by December 2004.

Accenture currently employs 4,300 in Bangalore and Mumbai, and it already more than tripled the size of its work force in India over the past two years.

The outsourcing business in India is booming with more and more American and European companies moving their backroom operations as well as software development centers to India, where they can tap the country's skilled but low-cost labor force.

The services that Accenture offers from India include developing and maintaining software; handling call centers; and carrying out various human resources, IT help desk, finance and administration functions.

"India brings together the right mix of people, skills, availability of talent pool and capabilities to provide Accenture clients with price-competitive and cost-effective solutions and services with consistently high quality and speed to market," Pankaj Vaish, a spokesperson for Accenture's BPO business in India, said in an interview.

Other companies broadening their work force in India include Oracle, which in July said it intends to double its staff at two research centers in India to 6,000. Storage maker EMC in November said it plans to invest $100 million in its development center in India over the next five years.