Bill Gates was only expected to announce a $1 billion Microsoft investment in India during his visit this week, but it turned out to be $1.7 billion and 3,000 new jobs. Rajesh Mahapatra at the AP:
Microsoft Corp. plans to invest $1.7 billion in India and add 3,000 jobs in the country over the next four years, nearly doubling the world’s largest software company’s work force here, Chairman Bill Gates said Wednesday.
Microsoft Corp. has long viewed India, a country of 1 billion people with a robust economy, as a potentially huge market, and the investment would be one of the single largest by an information technology company in India.
Much of the money would go toward improving the software giant’s research and development capabilities, including the creation of a new facility in the southern city of Bangalore, India’s technology hub, Microsoft said in a statement.
It’s not clear exactly how the pot will be divided between offshoring, outsourcing, sales, and marketing. Besides the above article’s “much of the money” going to R&D, there were other opinions:
John Ribeiro at InfoWorld:
The funds will be spent on Microsoft’s development operations in India and other areas in line with the company’s strategic vision for India, Gates told reporters in Delhi.
Ribeiro in a separate article:
Microsoft currently has 4,000 staff in India, and plans to increase that figure to 7,000 over the next three to four years, Gates said. It is not, however, clear whether the staff will be all employed by Microsoft or will also include staff at outsourcing companies in India that do work for Microsoft.
Shailendra Bhatnagar at Reuters:
About half of the money would be spent on its existing research and development centre, its global software delivery unit and expanding to 33 more cities by opening retail outlets.
Chris Noon at Forbes riffs on Bill Gates’ rock star status in India and echoes the first Ribeiro article above:
Gates said the $1.7 billion investment “would be deployed across select focus areas over the next four years in line with Microsoft’s strategic vision for India”.
And the last is probably as clear as it is really going to get.