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Flextronics rechristened Aricent; $100 mln investment in 3 yrs

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Oct 26 (UNI) The former US-based software development and solutions business of Flextronics International Ltd, has now been rechristened Aricent Communications Software, which plans to pump in a primarily India-centric investment of nearly 100 million dollars in the next three years, besides expecting to grow at 35 per cent in the same period.

''The industry is growing at 33-35 per cent and we are expecting to grow at a better rate than that. We plan to invest 100 million dollars in the next three years on our operations worldwide, besides hiring 3,000 people by March, 2007, of which 2,100 people will be for our three development centres in Chennai, Bangalore and Gurgaon,'' Aricent President&COO Manoranjan Mahapatra told reporters here.

The company currently has an employee base of 6,700 people across 13 countries, and 14 R&D centres in 7 countries.

The newly independant company, which will focus on communications software pure play, was formed after the acquisition of 85 per cent of the Flextronics business on September 4, by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) and Sequoia Capital which now has a 10 per cent share.

Flextronics will have a 15 per cent equity in the venture, while 5 per cent will remain with the management.

''The new company will combine all our seven businesses under one brand name of Aricent, and we will be serving equipment and device manufacturers, besides service providers,'' company CEO Ashish Bhardwaj said.

He added that increasing competing forces in communications technologies prompted all segments of the communications ecosystem to demand a software specialist with superior skills, speed and scale. ''Aricent is that communications software pure-play,'' the CEO added.

Speaking on the R&D initiatives the new company will undertake, Mr Mahapatra said, ''Last year our global revenue was 213 million dollars. We have 700 people all over the world working in our R&D centres, of which 600 are equally distributed in all three centres in India,'' Mr Mahapatra said.

On setting up any more centres in India, besides the existing three, he said,'' we have enough capacity at our 3 R&D centres and are not looking at setting up any more.'' The company is targetting revenues of 300 million dollars for this fiscal ending March 7, of which it plans to spend around 6-8 per cent (18 million dollars) on R&D investment in India, which contributes less than five per cent of its total revenues.

IT major Hughes Software Systems established in 1991 became Flextronics Software Systems in 2004, when it and other assets were acquired by Flextronics. Frog Design, the strategic creative consulting firm, was acquired by Flextronics the same year. It will continue to operate as an independant division of Aricent.

UNI RA CS HS1756

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