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India's Wipro to Spend US$37 Million on Expansion

Wipro Net Limited, the wholly owned subsidiary of Indian Infotech major Wipro Corp., has chalked out an expansion plan that envisages investments to the tune of US$37.5 million over the next three years.

The company plans to enter the retail segment in several cities by the year-end. Wipro, at present, focuses on the corporate sector.

"We currently provide services to over 1000 corporate customers under our national ISP license," says Anand Talwai, CEO of Wipro Net. He said the company would enter the retail segment within the next three months. Wipro Net is present in eight cities but has chalked out an aggressive plan to expand its network to 20 cities within the next year.

The company is now in talks to provide Internet services through the network of cable operators.

The company has already signed a memorandum of understanding with global telecom major KPN (Royal Dutch Telecom), which holds 45 per cent stake in the company, to help it focus on the residential market.

"The Joint venture with KPN will bring in contemporary IP service knowledge, peering arrangements and Internet experience into Wipro Net," added Talwai. "The synergetic benefits of a global telecom service provider and a reputed IT company will accrue to Indian customers. With its established leadership in the business segment, Wipro Net is now well placed to achieve its goal of emerging as the leading ISP in India."

In three years, Wipro Net plans to launch an IPO. The company expects an earning worth $50 million during the first three years. It has has invested nearly $6.25 million in the current financial year and is targeting a turnover of around $ 4 million this year.

All services offered by Wipro Net will be branded under Wipro name. Wipro Net will be an exclusive vehicle for KPN and Wipro for IP based communication services in India and for multinational customers of KPN in India.

Wipro Net has recently launched 'corporate class' Internet services comprising mail, Internet access, Web hosting and virtual private networks.

The company is gearing to host private campuses (company-specific courses) as well as public campuses that will not be restricted to any particular company. It also launched its Virtual Education Network for which they have tied up with Lotus and Aptech, the training major. Lotus's "Learning Space" would be used for the purpose and Aptech would bring in its training skills in the system.

Another application service that Wipro Net is offering is ERP-on-the-Net, targeted at small- and medium-sized enterprises, for which it has tied up with Delhi-based ESS (Eastern Software and Services).

"We come from a very strong IT background compared to any other IT company in India." says Talwai. So naturally, the vision of Wipro Net is to be number one in the business segments, he added.