Microsoft to Invest $1.7 Billion in India

Microsoft Corp. plans to invest $1.7 billion in India over four years to deepen its presence in the fast-growing software powerhouse, Chairman Bill Gates said on Wednesday. The country’s $17-billion export-oriented software services industry, expected to grow by nearly a third in the year to March 2006, has been a magnet for multinationals lured by wages in India that are often a fifth of Western counterparts.

About half Microsoft’s investment will be spent on beefing up its existing research and development center, its global software delivery unit and expanding to 33 cities with 700 retail outlets. “We have about 4,000 people (in India); we would be growing that by 3,000 over the next several years,” Gates told reporters at a news conference. “The human resources here are really fantastic. Our employment growth here would be far more rapid than in the U.S.” Microsoft, the world’s largest software maker, joins a host of companies drawn to India, where economic growth is expected to top 7 percent this fiscal year.


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