Tesco offshores 400 IT jobs to India

'Transitioned out of the UK'

UK supermarket chain Tesco is to move hundreds of IT support jobs to India. The UK retailer has set up a subsidiary company to provide service and support, which already employs 190 people. Tesco says that by the end of 2005 its Indian operation will have 770 employees in total.

The Times of India reports that 400 of the new jobs will be for software professionals. It also quotes Philip Clarke, director of IT and international operations at the company, as saying that these jobs will be "transitioned out of the UK".

Clarke explained that the offshoring of so many staff is part of an overall program to consolidate services. He explained that two years ago the company began to standardise its IT platforms across its 2,400 stores worldwide. The result, dubbed Tesco-in-a-box, is a combination of off the shelf apps, custom-built software and a range of integration services.

Tesco first announced plans to move offshore in July last year. The company says that it does not expect too much criticism for the move because it has also created many UK jobs in the last three years.

The new facility will be part of developing and rolling out the products to the parent company. It will offer other services too, such as financial processing, which is why Tesco opted to set up a subsidiary company, rather than simply outsource the work.

According to newswire reports, Tesco also has longer-term plans to move some customer facing operations to the site. The company did not reveal how much it had invested in the new facility. ®

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