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India's TCS on a hiring spree

Tata Consultancy Services' headcount to grow nearly 30 percent, signaling the emerging strength of Indian tech services firms.

The outsourcing boom has created a hiring spree at India's Tata Consultancy Services.

TCS, the largest Indian technology services company, will hire 13,500 employees during the current fiscal year, which ends in March 2006, executives said Tuesday. In March 2005, 45,714 people worked at TCS, so the additions will mean a 29.5 percent rise in the number of employees. (In December, the number of employee had risen to 43,681.)

In 2004, the company hired 10,000 people.

Most of the new employees will be hired directly out of schools in India, although about 2,000 will come from Eastern Europe, the United States and other western regions.

TCS, Infosys, Wipro and other Indian services companies have been rapidly growing revenue and employees for the last five years. Wipro, for instance, has experienced a 45 percent annual growth rate in revenue for five years and has seen its employee headcount rise from 8,000 to 42,000.

These companies manage customer help desks and write server applications for businesses in other countries that have laid off many of the employees who used to perform such functions.

Increasingly, Indian companies are moving into consulting and other higher-end service fields. Mumbai, India-based TCS has set a goal of becoming a top 10 technology services company worldwide by 2010, said Nagaraj Ijari, the delivery center head for TCS' Bangalore offices. Currently, the company ranks around No. 13.

Although double-digit annual salary increases remain common in India's tech world, the average employee working for these companies earns less than his or her counterpart in Europe and the United States. Incoming college graduates at TCS this year will start at between 250,000 to 350,000 rupees a year, which comes to between $5,735 and $8,030.