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Hero IT arm to ride on Aussie call centre giant

Hero ITES, the BPO arm of the Hero group, has entered into a partnership with Sales Force, Australia’s largest call centre. The two companies have already signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), which will bring the Indian firm over 70 Australian clients.

Even as the alliance takes shape, Hero ITES is in advanced stages of talks for acquiring a $75-m services company in the US.

It has already appointed a merchant banker, and is likely to complete the acquisition next month. Talking about the link-up with Sales Force, Rohit Chanana, business head of Hero ITES, told ET this was one of his most significant deals ever.

“The Australian BPO market does not have many players yet, and we will have an early-mover advantage,” he added.

Later, the deal might be expanded. “We do not rule out possibilities of a full-fledged joint venture with our Australian partner,” Mr Chanana said.

However, the company insists the US is still its priority market, where it even might go in for an acquisition. “We had initially identified four companies for a possible acquisition. Much headway has been made and we have zeroed in on one company. We expect a deal to materialise soon,” Mr Chanana said.

At this juncture, Hero ITES is one of the leading Indian business process outsourcing companies. It became a formidable player after getting into a JV with the American customer services company LiveBridge two years ago. Hero ITES is also learnt to have substantially increased its US client base, particularly in the finance and telecommunications sectors, after its JV partner LiveBridge sold off to Affiliated Computer Services (ACS), an American IT major, in June-July last year.

The company’s existing clientele spreads mainly across US, Europe and Australia, and includes a leading global credit card firm, a well-known financial institution and a leading telephony and internet service provider in
the United Kingdom.

The company has set a target of achieving a growth rate of 50-60% over the next five years. At the same time, it aims to increasing its manpower headcount by more than eight times.

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