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Indian IT Giant to Set Up $17 Million Net Facility

In a major shuffling to become an e-corporation, India's infotech major NIIT Limited plans to set up a global Net facility for software development with an estimated investment of $17 million.

NIIT will be leveraging its expertise in software solutions and learning solutions to seize opportunities in the Internet economy. And, `e-NIIT' brand will be the newest driver for revenues.

The computer education and software firm would be using the proposed global facility, to be scattered over multiple locations in India and abroad, to exclusively develop Internet and other web-based technologies for both its education and training and services solutions business, Vijay Thandani, President and CEO.

Company officials said while a majority of the 750 people will be based in India, about 75 to 100 people would be based in China. NIIT currently has operations in 31 countries and employs 3768 people, said Thandani. NIIT plans to ad 100 new education centres every year to attain a significant presence on 50 countries.

Clearly, NIIT is at a point of discontinuity. The company would be moving from the present client server based focus to e-powered business. NIIT is working to transcend this continuity smoothly through further investments in Internet, technologies and creation of its own intellectual property rights (IPR).

Thandani said the shift will not affect its revenue growth and it would maintain revenue growth of 30 per cent a year till 2000-01.

"We will continue with investments in our own technology creation, global market development and Internet technologies so as to fully leverage NIIT's unique software-training synergy to emerge as an integrated e-commerce solutions provider." Thandani pointed out.

On the product delivery front, NIIT will create more products and components that will go into offering cost effective e-commerce solutions to global customers.

The investments made in building high-profile sales and marketing teams and building the e-NIIT' brand will contribute significantly to NIIT's significant growth, says company officials.

From Internet kiosks for marriage registrations to a citizen's payment system, NIIT's e-commerce products include a wide range of activities and they are all part of its new gameplan for the Net economy.

Meanwhile the company has recorded a 36 per cent surge in its global revenue (including subsidiaries) for the fiscal year 1998-99(Oct-Sep) to touch $220 million. There has been a 32 per cent increase in net profit to touch $35.7 million.

According to Thandani, during the fiscal, NIIT has become a debt-free company and retired all debts during the current fiscal. In the total turnover of NIIT, 52 per cent of business came from its international business- Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the US. The international business grew by 46 per cent; the US market witnessed the highest growth of 53 per cent.

Company sources said that NIIT was considering equity-based alliances with some firms in the US for the proposed e-business and had organized about $100 million for the same.



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