Remember This Name: Tata

By Pedro Pereira  |  Print this article Print

Indian conglomerate Tata Group is making an aggressive IT and communications play through a series of acquisitions and strategic partnerships.

If you don't know anything about Tata Communications or Tata Consultancy Services, that is about to change. If you're in managed services, unified communications, network integration or content delivery, you may cross paths with either or both in the near future. And when you do, it will be either as a competitor or a partner.

Think of Tata Communications and Tata Consultancy as the Indian versions of EDS and Verizon, except that they are the same company. They are arms of a conglomerate based in Mumbai, India, one that has been aggressively expanding its IT and communications businesses through acquisitions and strategic partnerships.

The conglomerate is Tata Group, which, among other things, runs hotels, flies charter jets, roasts coffee and manufactures cars. Those Land Rovers and Jaguars you see pulling out of affluent neighborhoods? Once identified with British refinement and luxury, both brands are now owned by Tata.

The company has been on an epic purchasing spree that could put acquisitive technology companies such as Oracle and CA to shame.

Some of Tata's most significant acquisitions are in the communications and IT services sectors, and they leave no doubt that the company intends to be a dominant force in those areas.

Tata Consultancy revealed Oct. 8 it is acquiring the BPO (business process outsourcing) arm of Citigroup, which operates under the name Citigroup Global Services. Tata is sure to turn the acquisition into an aggressive outsourcing play, just as companies may start looking to outsource more of their IT functions to keep budgets under control.

In June, Tata Communications acquired a majority stake in South African carrier Neotel, which followed by days the announcement of a joint venture with CEC in China. Earlier in the decade, Tata acquired another Indian carrier, VSNL, and later picked up Tyco Global Network, which operates a network of undersea cables. The company also has acquired Canadian communications company Teleglobe.

With those acquisitions, Tata has established itself as one of the world's largest communications carriers, and its intentions are assuredly global.


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