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Brigade Acquires Webhelp

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Hyderabad: Brigade Corporation, provider of customer relationship management and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services, has acquired Hyderabad-based Webhelp Global Services on December 1, 2004. Webhelp was part of the TWS Holdings, a merged entity of Webhelp with Tracmail of Mumbai.

The company has also announced to scale up its manpower from 1,500 to 3,000 in the next 12 to 18 months while setting up its own facilities in both Hyderabad as well as Chennai with an estimated investment of Rs.30crore.

Disclosing this at a press conference here on Thursday, Sri Dasari, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Brigade Corporation said: “It is a strategic acquisition and provides much needed scalability and cross-selling opportunities of each other’s products and services.”

“Webhelp brings in additional value through voice channel, where Brigade is just embarking upon, apart from adding additional capacity of over 400 seats at one go to enable the company to add more clients in a quicker period,” Mr. Dasari said.

While refusing to get into the cost of the acquisition, Mr. Dasari said: “It is an all in cash and the deal includes acquisition of the entire Webhelp assets including five clients, skillsets, products, infrastructure and other facilities in Hyderabad.”

To a specific question, he said: “It is at a market price and runs into few million dollars. The entire acquisition was done in my personal capacity similar to that of Brigade Corporation a few years ago.” Both Brigade and Webhelp are now fully owned by Mr. Dasari and are zero debt companies.

On the expansion plans, Mr. Dasari said: “We are expanding both our operations in Hyderabad and Chennai by setting up new facilities with an estimated investment of Rs.30crore in the next nine to 12months.

In Hyderabad, the company will be setting up a campus with an initial space of 150,000 sq.ft area in four acres of land at an investment of Ts.23 crore wile the new facility in Chennai, on the old Mahabalipuram Road, will come up in 50,000sqft area with an investment of Rs.7crore, Mr. Dasari pointed out.

We will be adding another 1,500 professionals, including 500 in the next few months, (before April) to take the total manpower capacity to 3,000 by fiscal 2006, he said.

Currently the company has over 350 employees in Chennai and 1,000 plus in Hyderabad including the acquisition of Webhelp.

The company, which has grown over 150% last year and expects to end the fiscal with $17 million revenues, is expecting $30 million revenues by fiscal 2006, Mr. Dasari said. The EBIT of the company is also good at 32% he added.

To a question he said that the company continues to grow both organically and inorganically to scale up its operations due to an encouraging business from the existing clients as well as new clients.

TWS Holdings looking at second site

TWS Holdings, which divested Webhelp from its holding to Brigade Corporation a few days ago, is looking at a second site on the Mumbai-Pune belt to bring its delivery centers close to each other. The company, which has a major Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) center at Vashi near Mumbai is looking at adding a new center close to Vashi on the Mumbai-Pune belt with an initial capacity of 200 seats to have efficient management and for cross-marketing each centre’s capabilities.

The company, which acquired the Hyderabad-based Webhelp a few months ago to become TWS holdings, a merged entity three companies Tracmail, Webhelp and Sphrenomics, had to sell the Hyderabad operations to Brigade (known as Webhelp) to have a single center focus, said Rakesh Kaul, Chief Executive Officer of TWS Holdings in an e-mail response to FE.

“We are continuously exploring ways to increase scale, enhance shareholder growth and add customer value. The divestment is a part of our strategic growth plan to enhance our voice-centric capabilities, “mr Kaul emphasizes.

“Our Hyderabad facility has been custom-built for tech support and suits Brigade Corporation well and it was a win win deal for both the companies. Mr. Kaul said further.