Intuit setting up development center in Bangalore

Intuit Inc. is setting up a product development center in Bangalore, India, to take advantage of local programming talent and develop new product initiatives, the company announced Friday.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based financial software vendor didn't disclose the size of its investment in the center or the number of staffers it plans to hire there.

"We are still in the process of hiring, and we have not finalized plans," Ranga Shetty, director for product development at Intuit and the person responsible for the Bangalore development center, told reporters Friday.

Since Intuit is a product software company, the number of recruits at the center is likely to be a few hundred, he added. The center will occupy a 21,000-square-foot facility.

Intuit currently employs about 1,700 development staffers spread across 13 engineering centers in the U.S. and one in Canada, Shetty said. "We have come to India primarily to get access to a larger talent pool," he said. Another benefit is the lower cost of staff in India, he added.

A number of multinational software companies, including Microsoft Corp., Oracle Corp. and SAP AG, have large product development operations in India. Intuit is a relatively late entrant because until now its growth plans didn't require it to expand beyond its current engineering centers, Shetty said.

While software engineering skills and quality-control processes are available in India, specific knowledge about Intuit's applications will have to be created since they are currently focused mainly on the U.S. market and are compliant with U.S. financial rules and procedures, Shetty said.

Intuit is already outsourcing product development in India to Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp., a Teaneck, N.J.-based offshore outsourcing company that has operations in India. The arrangement will continue after the development center in Bangalore opens, said Nilesh Thakker, Intuit's country manager for India.

Intuit has no current plans to develop products for the Indian market, since accounting rules and procedures there are different, Thakker said.

Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.

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