Indian software firms eye region for expansion

Better IT consulting will bring down costs and increase productivity. (SUPPLIED)

Indian software consulting and service companies are looking at expanding their footprint in the Middle East region by establishing their direct presence and increasing headcount.

Two global software companies – HCL Technologies and Sonata Software – announced its expansion plans.

Three-decade old HCL is a $5 billion (Dh18.36bn) global organisation working with partners in the Middle East.

"We have been operating in India for seven years, then went to the US in 93, and in 97 to the UK. In 2000, our solutions made its entry into Germany. The Middle East is an extension of this strategy and we have already been dealing with customers in the region," said Kiran Bhagwanani, Senior Vice-President, India & Middle East, HCL Technologies.

"The Middle East has led the way in acquiring products and applications but beyond that they have to get the value of those implementations in today's scenario. They will now look at multiple technologies like business intelligence and unified communications," added Bhagwanani.

HCL has been working on the global model, which means conducting business through their business partners present in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

The company has at least 60 people working on IT projects. "There will be further expansion of people and offices which will be announced in March," said Bhagwanani.

Bangalore-based Sonata Software, worth $400 million announced the opening of its 100 per cent owned subsidiary at Dubai Internet City, the region's managed ICT cluster. The office will be a regional hub for its business in the Middle East and Africa. Sonata Software will use its Dubai Internet City free zone base to target regional market segments including the travel, tourism, hospitality and construction industries – some of the major sectors that make up the GDP in the Middle East, the company said.

Mahesh Shastry, General Manager, Middle East and Africa, along with Principal Consultant, AT Srinivasan together will be managing the Middle East market.

B Ramaswamy, President and Managing Director of Sonata Software Limited, said: "This is the right time to venture into the market as customers here are looking at optimising costs and bringing out maximum value out of their implementations. Our services like IT consulting, product engineering services and other application services will help customers in the region to bring down costs and increase productivity."

Ramaswamy also added that customers need case studies to be convinced in the region.