Tata Consultancy Services’ first Global Delivery Center, the company’s first such operation outside India, was established in Budapest in August 2001. It was one of the IIndian companies supporting the India country focus section in Diplomacy & Trade.
“The most important consideration for companies like us when choosing a location is people, the skill availability and infrastructure,” Dinesh Parameswaran Thampi, Vice President and Head of the Delivery Center tells Diplomacy & Trade, adding that “the education system here is pretty good and most disciplines require two languages, which is beneficial for us in creating a pool of people to choose from. Infrastructure is also quite good here (networks and links). Another positive feature of the country is that it is a gateway to Europe, providing the ‘European handshake’ in a global operation like ours.”
The objective of this center that mainly focuses on banking, financial services, insurance, telecom and manufacturing is to provide near-shore services to its customers in Western (including the United Kingdom) and Eastern Europe and to customers with a global presence. The Center provides substantial benefits such as same time zone support, country-specific localization skills, enhanced mobility and convenience with respect to visa issues, ability to service projects that require access to sensitive data, reduced travel time and costs, etc. The Center works in close collaboration with TCS centers in India and other global delivery centers for providing 24/7 global support using local associates in various regions.
As the Vice President explains, “in TCS Hungary, we provide information technology, business process consulting, analytics and insight, and infrastructure services. In Europe (including the United Kingdom), the Center in Budapest is the only one having all these four streams running.”
Multi-lingual service capability
He is of the opinion that the main strength of TCS Hungary is the multi-lingual service capability. “We support 33 languages at the Center. Many of our customers, take advantage of this capability.” One example is a Financial services organization that uses TCS services in 31 languages. He adds that “for global customers, we usually provide support in English from India and provide European language(s) support from Budapest”.
TCS Hungary has close to 1000 associates at two locations in Budapest, Science Park and Office Garden, both in the 11th district. At both sites, the company pays a lot of attention to handling sensitive data and makes sure that all the information about their clients are properly secured.
Recently, the company has signed a strategic partnership cooperation agreement with the Hungarian government. As Dinesh P. Thampi says “this agreement mainly focuses on strategic initiatives such as research and development (R&D), supports investors to create and sustain business in Hungary, etc. Instead of R&D, we choose to focus more on our Academic Interface Program (AIP) that we do a lot here in Hungary.”
In the past calendar year, TCS Hungary did 110 events with several universities that involve activities like “a session on a functional or a domain specific topic for an hour or an hour and half. Additionally, we interacted with the Budapest College of Communication and Business (BKF), where one of our SAP consultants helped create a curriculum and delivered a course for six months”. Connected to this is Tata Group’s global university internship program in which “we select students who do internships with us, usually 2-3 months. For the global internship program, we select students in Hungary to be sent to India for three months.”
Helping the community
TCS Hungary’s ‘beyond-the-business’ activities also cover corporate social responsibility (CSR), like helping those in need, as well as community work and initiatives on health, safety and environment. “We encourage our business associates to participate in these activities,” the Vice President says.
An example of TSC Hungary’s CSR activity is the assistance they gave the victims of the 2010 red sludge disaster in association with the American Chamber of Commerce. “That was a one-time occasion but we normally participate in continuous activities such as supporting a camp for underprivileged children at Lake Balaton,”he points out.
In 2011, TCS Hungary won the first prize in the big company category as the ‘Greenest Office of Year’, awarded by the KÖVET Environmental Association that conducted a two-day assessment. “The same year, the 11th District municipality won the prize in their category and since both of our locations are in this district, we signed a cooperation agreement with the Mayor’s Office that go beyond our business activities. One thing we have continuously been doing for the last three years is Sas Hill volunteering. It is a natural habitat, normally, a restricted area. Our team goes there along with the officials from the 11th district and we clean that area and plant trees to sustain this area – along with enjoying locally made stew – every year, the Vice President says.”
From Kerala to Budapest
Dinesh P. Thampi has been heading the TCS Hungary Global Delivery Center since 2009. He has two children. His son is studying at a university in India while his daughter is going to the Britannica school here in Budapest. He is from the Kerala region in India where the most widely spoken language is Malayalam.
Tata Consultancy Services is part of the Tata Group, India’s largest conglomerate with a hundred companies in 80 countries and in seven business sectors, employing over half a million people worldwide. "The Tata group, which was carrying out its operations indigenously, decided to go overseas in 2001 and currently close to 60% of the Group’s revenues come from outside India” Dinesh P. Thampi concludes.