Indian IT firms TCS, Infosys and Wipro are exploring IT offshoring
and back office projects in Belgium worth $6.5 billion from firms
like AXA, Dexia Bank, Belgacom, UCB (drug maker) and car insurer
Allianz, reports The Economic Times.
year, customers in Belgium will spend around $1.8 billion on
infrastructure management outsourcing, $2.6 billion on application
development and maintenance and about $2 billion on BPO, according
to an outsourcing advisory firm Quantum Step.
"We have recently started discussions with some Indian suppliers for
pure offshoring of our ERP maintenance it would be fair to assume
that until last year, we were not prepared for any such initiative,"
confirmed an official at one of the biggest Belgian enterprises.
As a number of Indian offshoring firms are looking to hire more
local European sales professionals and project consultants, it makes
out that now customers only want to deal with Indian offshore
experts. "Many outsourcing dialogues these days are being
spearheaded by Indian offshore delivery managers, unlike in the past
when some local expert would help us gain entry into an account, the
CIOs are specifically asking for Indian suppliers," said a top
executive at one of the Indian IT firms pursuing outsourcing
contracts in continental Europe.
TCS has informed that the company's early investments in the Belgian
market are now bringing dividends. "Belgium represents one of the
more mature markets for us within continental Europe. After 15 years
of operations in the country, we hold a significant share of the
market and are now a prime IT partner to some of the largest BEL20
companies," said AS Lakshminarayanan, Vice President and Head,
"Our strategy to invest in localised delivery centres in Europe,
particularly the ones in Eindhoven and Luxembourg, fuses well with
our global network delivery model," he added. The company has around
700 professionals working for Belgian customers with 200 working
onsite. InBev, AXA and Belgacom are TCS' top customers in Belgium.
"The key European markets opening up for offshoring include BeNeLux,
Nordics, Germany and France. Most of the European companies are more
or less first time outsourcers. Some big multinationals had
offshored previously such as ABN Amro, Ikea, Nokia and Philips.
However, this did not trickle down to regional customers as many of
them felt that there was cultural mismatch. Also, to a large extent,
Indian providers also did not focus on this market," said Sridhar
Vedala, Expert, outsourcing firm Quantum Step.
BASF AG, the world's biggest chemical company, Euroclear, Europe's
largest settlement firm, and Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's
biggest brewer are looking at offshore outsourcing for the first
time as they seek to lower their operational costs and cope more
effectively with a new fall in demand of their products and