US tech giant IBM is betting big on the India growth story and recently announced its plans to open more software development centres in the country as it looks to partner with the government in its digitisation journey, said its Chairman and CEO Arvind Krishna. Krishna met Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and Minister of State for IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar to discuss deeper collaboration, including skilling and workforce development.
The firm that originally designed the technology and system behind ATMs, barcodes and the US social security net is greatly enthused with the speed at which the Indian government is willing to make decisions and where it is moving.
“We feel good about our business in India. We have a good footprint in financial services, in telecom, in government (business) in the industrial sector, amongst many others. We are very pleased with the progress of our business here. With the world’s geopolitics, I would not name countries; I think India is a unique opportunity to leapfrog even more than it has in the past two decades. IBM has expanded dramatically in India. We have large centres in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune and a smaller one in Delhi on R&D (research and development). We have just announced that we will be opening centres near Ahmedabad and near Kochi. Those are just two of a few more that we have planned. I will not pre-announce the rest,” said Krishna.
The firm is globally targeting USD 35 billion of cash generation over the next three years for reinvestment into business expansion, including in India. IBM in India spends 100 per cent of its CSR money on workforce development and skilling. The discussions also focused on the ‘Gatishakti‘ using digitation in government platforms to allow more services to be much more quickly availed by the citizens.
Krishna, an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur (IIT-K), knows the country’s potential and has gone bullish on India, especially on R&D and innovation to create for the world.
In the last six months, IBM has expanded in India. Besides opening IBM Software Labs development centres in Kochi, Kerala, and Ahmedabad, Gujarat, IBM Client Innovation Center (CIC), specialising in design, software engineering and analytics were launched in Mysuru, and IBM Consulting Business Process Operations started a new centre in Hyderabad, Telangana. It will accelerate the building of skills and digital innovation, providing a strong foundation for the IT/ITeS sector in the states.
IBM will offer cybersecurity training to 5 lakh people in India over the next five years. It has registered over 6.2 lakh learners on SkillsBuild from India, a key milestone in its skilling commitment to the nation.