IBM plans to have 47 offices in India by 2013

The company expanded from three branches in 2000 to a network of 12 in India by 2010-end, covering 22 locations including Ahmedabad, Pune, Ludhiana, Lucknow, Kochi and Bhubaneshwar, with around 2,500 business partners.

"About 15-17 branches shall be added every year as we plan to expand to 47 offices in India by 2013," IBM India Vice-President (General Business) West of India Region Vivek Mehta told reporters here.

"We are preparing to open branch offices in cities such as Vadodara and Rajkot and also looking to expand in Saurasthra," he said.

The company aims to accelerate sales by opening more branch offices in Tier-II and Tier-III cities and leverage from the local market eco-system, Mehta said.

According to IBM, there are more than 5.6 million SMBs in India, 3.6 million small scale industry, providing direct employment to 20 million people.

They are contributing nearly 45-50 per cent of the Indian exports and 40 per cent to gross industrial value of the economy, it said.

"We have combined some of our products and services of few softwares to create integrated solution for the SMBs," Mehta said.

IBM's revenue stood at USD 99.90 billion in 2010, showing a 4 per cent Y-o-Y growth. The earning per share (EPS) was USD 11.52, which has tripled in the last one decade.

The company has generated USD 109-billion free cash flow, which is essential for company to fund future expansion and promote research and development. IBM has invested nearly USD 32 billion in acquiring 116 companies since 2000.

Bullish on Gujarat, IBM, which has close to 100 business partners in the state, has proposed to add another 100 soon. "We would be adding close to 100 business partners in Gujarat soon," Mehta said.

In order to build a skilled IT workforce, IBM has proposed to open another five centres of excellence (COEs) in Gujarat as part of its academic initiative programme.

"We shall be opening five more COEs in Gujarat in 2011," Mehta said, adding the idea is to provide IT training to 1,000 students through these centres.

"The educational institutions for opening COEs are yet to be identified," he said.
IBM runs six COEs - one each in universities like Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University, Nirma, Veer Narmad South Gujarat, Shrimad Rajdhara Institute of Management, besides a few other institutes of Gujarat, offering certified courses to students.

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