Logica boosts its Indian capability

Logica has announced a boost to its offshore capability in India, with the addition of a new site on the outskirts of the southern city of Chennai. The facility will have room for 1,500 staff and is due to open in July this year. In addition, Logica has announced a new CEO of its operations in India, Abhay Gupte, formerly of EDS. The company is also creating the role of Global Innovation Director for GBS Bindra, who is based in India and will retain his current responsibilities as Logica's Global Director of Product Engineering.

Comment: these are welcome developments from Logica. For one thing, they reassure us that the company is not sitting on its hands while it awaits the results (due in May) of CEO's Andy Green's strategy review. It has been obvious to many observers, and to many within Logica, that the firm needed to expand its offshore capability to remain competitive. If filled, the new facility will grow the company's current Indian workforce by 50% (to about 4,500), which is a significant boost. Chennai, a well-established location for IT services players, is an obvious choice and helps to dilute Logica's current reliance on the especially hot skills and property market of Bangalore. The company has a useful and growing capability in the Philippines too.

The appointment of Abhay Gupte looks positive as well. He previously spent ten years at EDS, rising to be head of its Indian operations until EDS's MphasiS acquisition brought in new senior management. Incidentally, Gupte's predecessor as CEO of Logica India, Rahul Patwardhan, is moving to Europe to take on the substantial role of Global Director Application Services.

The creation of a Chief Innovation Officer is interesting too, although we feel the role probably merits a full-time appointment, as is the case at some of Logica's competitors. Logica has a long-standing reputation for technical innovation and delivery, but the market has moved on and customers tend to demand innovation focused on impacting their business, rather than their technology. We'd expect an emphasis on this aspect to be a major priority for Bindra as he takes on the role.

Meanwhile, the fact that an Indian employee has been charged with such a prominent and influential position in the organisation should not come as a surprise. We see IT vendors increasingly drawing on the burgeoning talent and experience in their offshore operations as they wisely start to look at skills and resourcing on a global basis. As we recently highlighted in our preview of key trends for 2008, the source of innovation and disruption in IT services is already shifting towards Asia.

Phil Codling, Principal Analyst