JB Group paves way for Indian BPOs in China

July 8th, 2008 - 10:45 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 8 (IANS) In a path-breaking move, Hong Kong-based globally diversified $3 billion JB Group is paving the way for Indian BPOs to set up shop in China to leverage the IT strengths of the two Asian giants and enable them to grab a larger share of the global pie. The move has the full backing of the Chinese government that has offered subsidies, the Hong Kong Productivity Council and the Hong Kong Software Outsourcing Association (HKSOA), the JB Group, which traces its root to the Indian diamond city of Surat in Gujarat, said.

Toward this end, the Indian arm of the JB Group has organised visits this week for delegates from Lifewood Data Technology Limited, a pioneering ‘Knowledge Factory’ BPO player, the productivity council and the software association to meet Indian BPO players in cities like Bangalore and Gurgaon to lay down the roadmap for the future.

“We truly believe India and China have many common corporate values,” said Vijay Shah, who heads JB Group India.

“We are very glad to invite delegates from Lifewood, the productivity council and the software association to make this Chindia implementation successful,” he added.

According to Shah, the Hong Kong government is sponsoring the promotion of outsourcing alliances with overseas players through its software association, whose activities are financed by the government.

“This apart, the Chinese government has provided incentives for the formation of BPO companies and we want the Indian companies to benefit from this and expand their businesses,” he contended.

“We were impressed with the Knowledge Factory of Lifewood when we visited China recently,” said Nikhil Bhuta, chief financial officer of the JB Group.

“This concept would be good for Indian tier three cities to adopt. India is the leader in BPO, ITO and now KPO. For every country in the world, India is the model for the outsourcing business,” added Lifewood chief executive officer Ronald Cheung.

“We have full confidence that in the coming years there will be more cooperation between our countries to take on the BPO globalization market,” he maintained.

According to Lifewood chief operating officer Srirajan Rajagopalan, “Our Knowledge Factory in China would be complimentary to Indian BPO players by extending their market reach to Japan, Korea, China and other ASEAN countries by the way of proximity and language capabilities as well as to Britain, Germany, France and European Union.

“Hong Kong is a small place but has large influence,” said Fritz Chiu, principal consultant of the Hong Kong Productivity Council and Secretary of the Hong Kong Software Outsourcing Association.

“We are eager to see Hong Kong being one of the freest economies in the world with excellent infrastructure that can provide a bridge for Chindia cooperation,” he added.

The JB Group is a multinational corporation founded in India in 1965 and now operates in markets spanning 13 countries. It has a broad and rapidly expanding portfolio of businesses in property and real estate, mining, oil, gas and alternative energy, international trade and consultancy, and diamonds and jewellery.

The first Indian-owned company to secure mining rights in China, JB Group has also announced plans to invest Rs.15 billion ($380 million) in similar activities as well as the hospitality sector in India during fiscal 2008-09.

“We’ve firmed up plans for investing between Rs.10 billion and Rs.15 billion in the mining and hospitality sectors and in promoting two-way trade between India and global markets,” group vice president for corporate affairs Jatin Chukte had told IANS late last year.

“We’re conducting due diligence for acquiring iron ore, bauxite and limestone mines in Karnataka, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa and will also set up a five-star hotel at Goa. At a later stage, we will look at Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh for mining operations,” Chutke said.

“We will also set up a greenfield steel plant in one of the southern states. A core team of 15 professionals is working on the roadmap for this,” he added.

The Shillong-born Hong Kong-based Chutke was here in December 2007 as part of a 20-member delegation that accompanied the territory’s finance secretary John Tsang Chun-Wah to India to explore two-way business opportunities between the former British colony and India.

“Essentially, we are looking at ramping up opportunities in the banking, finance, insurance and wealth management sectors,” Chutke had said of the mission.

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