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Lehman snaps deal with Wipro

Our Corporate Bureau  |  Bangalore/New Delhi 

Lehman Brothers Holdings has stopped outsourcing internal computer helpdesk work to Wipro Spectramind on the ground that it is not happy with the quality of services offered.
The New York-based financial services firm had last year hired Tata Consultancy Services and Wipro to manage some of its information-technology operations, including handling employee reports of computer problems.
The financial impact of the development could not be assessed. Wipro Spectramind is the largest Indian IT-enabled services company. Owned 100 per cent by Wipro, it employs close to 8,500 people. A Wipro spokesman, on being contacted, said, "We do not comment on specific customer relations matters."
Added a TCS spokesperson, "TCS continues to do work with Lehman Brothers and the decision by Lehman Brothers, as reported in the media, does not impact the TCS-Lehman engagement in any manner."
Wipro Spectramind, one of the county's leading BPO operations that has been ramping up rapidly, has had problems with the Lehman Brothers deal for some time. As a result this business has not seen the sort of ramping up that was initially envisaged.
Unlike the cancellation of a $15 million contract with TCS by the Indiana government last month, Nasscom as well as the Indian government has distanced itself from this development. Nasscom president Kiran Karnik told Business Standard: "It is a company specific issue and this has happened in isolation. According to Nasscom, this will not have an impact on the ITES sector."
Added an IT ministry official: "One company pulling out is not an issue. But the most important issue for the Indian is to keep themselves aware of the needs of the customers and train their manpower accordingly. We have also been asking to maintain a high level of quality levels and train the manpower to meet the needs of the customers."
'Relationship with Wipro to grow'
Lehman Managing Director for Information Technology Charlie Cortese denied that there was any setback in the company's relationship with Wipro. The relationship was likely to "continue and grow", Cortese told Business Standard.
The IT helpdesk, which was a small call centre and constituted only 5 per cent of the total offshoring by Lehman, was being ended. This particular part of the project did not do well, but Cortese emphasised that Lehman had no problems of quality with Wipro.
BPO backlash
  • Dell moves some call centre work from India to the US on account of low customer satisfaction
  • Indiana government cancels $15 million contract to TCS
  • Lehman Brothers stops offshoring to Wipro Spectramind over quality issues

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First Published: Wed, December 17 2003. 00:00 IST