Friday, June 26, 2009

Etisalat enters India, sets up back office at Ambattur in North Chennai

CHENNAI: UAE based telecommunications service provider Emirates Telecommunications or Etisalat has quietly begun work on its entry into the Indian
market, by setting up a back office operations centre at the India Land Properties’ IT park – India Land Tech Park, at Ambattur in Chennai. This 500-seater technical centre with a 50,000 sq. ft. built up area will be the company’s first office set up in India.

“The company has invested Rs.1500 per sq. ft., that is Rs.7.5 crore, in setting up this centre in Chennai,” an official at the IT park said. This is apart from the real estate investment of Rs.28 per sq. ft. per month, on lease. “They have so far said that this will be a support centre for their operations in UAE.” The official said that the company has started operations at the Chennai centre since early June.

Top officials in Etisalat were not willing to comment on the Chennai Centre. But, sources in Etisalat confirmed it is part of the company’s preparations for its commercial launch in India this year. “The corporate office is yet to come up in Mumbai,” an Etisalat official said.

The telco announced in its 2008 annual report that it has entered the Indian telecom market and has scheduled its commercial launch for 2009. “Our investment in India complements the other regional investments in Pakistan (PTCL), Afghanistan, and Indonesia, representing one of the fastest-growing markets in the telecommunication world,” the report says.

Etisalat had picked up 45% stake in Swan Telecom in September 2008, and formed the joint venture Etisalat-Swan to operate in India. The JV has licenses to operate in 13 of the country’s 22 telecom circles.

The other occupant at the 1 million sq. ft IT park at Ambattur is the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) group, which has set up its BPO on a 5 lakh sq. ft built up office space, at an investment of Rs.2500 per sq. ft. It is learnt that two other banking and insurance companies have expressed interest in the IT park.

24 Jun 2009, 1949 hrs IST, Niranjana Ramesh & Hemamalini Venkataraman, ET Bureau

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