Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster today visited New Delhi-based HCL, one of the biggest business investors from India, in Northern Ireland.
The Minister discussed HCL’s experience in Northern Ireland and reaffirmed the commitment of the Executive to support any future development opportunities with Saurav Adhikari, HCL President of Corporate Strategy, at the technology company’s headquarters at Noida, near New Delhi.
The Minister also congratulated Shiv Nadar, founder and Chief Executive Officer of HCL who, last week, was named Businessman of the Year at the UKTI Business Awards in Mumbai.
Invest Northern Ireland Chief Executive, Alastair Hamilton, accompanied the Minister at the meeting, the first in a busy schedule of investment and trade promotional activities during her week-long visit to India.
Arlene Foster said: “HCL is one of the most successful and valued investors in Northern Ireland. I took the opportunity to discuss prospects for further investment in Northern Ireland especially in terms of value-added technology development for its leading edge business processing operations.
“The high level meeting gave me the opportunity to emphasise the many advantages that Northern Ireland’s highly skilled workforce and research focused universities offer HCL as it seeks to expand its global market position.
“The strength of the Indian economy, GDP growth is projected by the Indian government to exceed 7% in 2010, is encouraging the nation’s technology businesses to step up their investment activities in Europe and the US.
“Despite the current global downturn, the Indian economy is still the world’s second fastest growing. Private sector investment is also being stimulated by significant productivity growth. Northern Ireland is an ideal location for increasingly confident and ambitious companies seeking the right location in Europe for faster growth when the recovery gathers momentum.
“The visit also enables me to lend my support to marketing activities of companies on the Invest NI trade mission seeking to exploit the substantial business opportunities from the strength of the Indian economy,” the Minister added.
HCL-BPO Services has been based in Northern Ireland since 2002 and currently employs around 2,000 people at Belfast and Armagh on inbound and outbound call centre activities, back end office business processes and marketing campaign services.
The company was the first Indian business investor in Northern Ireland, serving customers in Northern Ireland, Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland.