WNS to invest $35 mn in 2019 and create centres in Pune

The investment will include creating new centres in multiple places, including Pune and Vishakhapatnam domestically, and also in the Philippines.


Homegrown outsourcing company WNS Global Services will invest USD 35 million in fiscal year 2018-19 to create new centres in Pune and Vishakhapatnam, and also on technologies, a top official has said.

The NYSE-listed company is hoping to maintain its operating margins even after the investments.

"The expectation for capex will be in the region of USD 35 million, at least," its chief executive Keshav Murugesh told PTI.

The investment will include creating new centres in multiple places, including Pune and Vishakhapatnam domestically, and also in the Philippines, he said.

Some of the money will also be invested in creating platforms which can serve many clients from a single sector.

He declined to specify the jobs which will get added through this, but hinted that each of the centres can seat 1,500-2,000 associates each.

The company employs 36,000 people, including 22,000 within India, while the rest are in various other geographies including Philippines, Costa Rica and South Africa, he said.

At a time when the broader IT sector is worried about rising protectionist tendencies in its key markets, Murugesh appeared unfazed about it, saying his industry does not depend on the H1-B visas and creating jobs in the client markets like the US and the UK.

With many new geographies like Philippines posing a challenge to the country's dominance in the BPM space, Murugesh sought to downplay the concerns saying ultimately it is a company like WNS which is doing all the jobs.

He said despite threats like automation, the BPM industry alone created 1 lakh jobs in the country last year and the prospects for the sector continue to be good as its services are sought by clients across industries.

In FY18, the company posted a 25.8 per cent growth in its topline at USD 758 million, while the profit more than doubled to USD 86.4 million.

Murugesh said the operating profit margin was maintained at over 19 per cent, claiming it to be among highest in the industry, and added that despite the investments, it will be able to maintain the margins in "high teens" during the current fiscal.

WNS, which completed three acquisitions in the last two years, continues to be on the look out for more acquisitions, he said.

"We are very opportunistic in terms of M&A (mergers and acquisitions). The focus is on niche, tuck-in acquisitions that deliver capability to the company, not bulk. we still believe there is huge potential for this industry," he said.

When asked if the company is interested in any large deal, he reiterated the focus on capability-driven acquisitions but also added, "we see no reason why we should not be looking at things that are more transformational also".(PTI).

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