Tata CEO has more designs on China

Not just a red-hot market for IT services, China's talent pool can service the international market.

SINGAPORE--Tata Consultancy Services continues to find China attractive, according to Chief Executive S. Ramadorai.

Speaking at a media session Thursday, Ramadorai pointed out that the increased focus by the Chinese government on the digital arena and the Olympic Games in 2008 present opportunities in IT infrastructure and services. Another factor, he noted, is the country's high mobile subscriber base of 370 million, which offers opportunities in mobile content, animation, as well as the integration of voice and data.

Ramadorai, who is also the chairman of the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom), an industry trade body in India, said that with China's increasing English-speaking pool of talent, the country is able to address the requirements of Asian neighbors such as Korea, or even international markets.

In July, the company announced a joint venture with Microsoft and three Chinese partners to provide outsourcing services to the international market.

Ramadorai said that IT services companies benefit as companies flock to the Chinese market. These businesses, he explained, need systems and services to support their operations, paving the way for Indian outsourcers to get a slice of the pie, provided they work closely with local partners.

Ramadorai's words echo that of Infosys Chief Executive Nandan Nilekani. Earlier this week, Nilekani pointed out that China presented more of an opportunity than a threat.

Business makeover
Although the outlook for Indian companies is "positive", Ramadorai said it is important that they reposition for growth. He pointed out that for the companies to sustain growth in the long run, the industry needs to look into building up the competencies of IT professionals and embrace innovation.

Ramadorai also advised smaller players in the Indian software industry to offer niche services and not to plant their resources into too many areas. He added that to be successful, smaller companies "need to differentiate their services".

Looking for opportunities in new industries is also a priority for Ramadorai. He noted that TCS is looking into the engineering field relating to design and manufacturing, as well as process consulting in niche areas such as lean manufacturing and Six Sigma. The life sciences, healthcare, asset-based financial services, automotive, and overseas governments are also areas of interest for the company, he added.

The Mumbai, India-based company is also expanding in other parts of the Asia-Pacific region.

Girija Pande, TCS' head and regional director for Asia-Pacific, told ZDNet Asia that TCS will set up a subsidiary in Indonesia next month, pending approval from the authorities. The firm will be targeting sectors such as banking and financial services, telecommunications and government.

In the region, TCS has recruited 170 employees in the last 18 months through its Asia-Pacific headquarters located in Singapore.

Separately, TCS and Mercury announced in a joint release Thursday a partnership in India. Under the agreement, TCS will become a seller of Mercury's business technology optimization software.