Britain’s third largest bank, Barclays, has acquired a 50% stake in offshore business process outsourcing provider, Intelenet Global Services Ltd., as part of its strategy to shift an increasing amount of back office and software development work to India.
Under the terms of the deal, London-based Barclays will acquire the stake in Mumbai-based Intelenet for 19 million pounds ($34.6 million), in order to create a joint venture with India’s largest mortgage lender, Housing Development Finance Corp (HDFC).
Intelenet was originally formed as a BPO joint venture between HDFC and India’s largest software and services company Tata Consultancy Services. It had been reported that Mumbai-based TCS wanted to take a majority-stake in the venture, but then decided to sell it to HDFC after its offer was turned down. HDFC eventually bought out TCS’s stake in the venture in July 2004, and Barclays said that the price it paid for the stake was in line with the price that HDFC paid TCS.
Intelenet offers a range of BPO services around call center, helpdesk, accounting and administration processing, and its clients include Standard Life Health Care, Barclays, AT&T and the UK-based National Rail Enquiry Services. It has about 4,000 employees and six customer centers: two in Mumbai, and one each in Chennai, the US, Canada, and the UK.
The move follow Barclays announcement in June that it would outsource application development and management of its UK-based commercial and retail banking systems to Accenture over the next six years in a deal valued at 400 million pounds ($728 million). Barclays entered into consultation with its union, Unifi, long before it made its decision to outsource employees to Accenture, which has sent a reported 464 jobs to India. However, Barclays points out that the transfer of positions has not been to the detriment of staff in the UK, and has involved no compulsory redundancies.
Barclays currently uses Intelenet to provide helpdesk services for its online banking services. The company has some 200 dedicated seats available, however following the joint ownership it will now have access to some 4,000 employees and a third party customer base. In a statement, Barclays said: Owning a substantial stake in an existing supplier already used by Barclays delivers key benefits to the Barclays Group which include speed of set-up, direct control of service requirements and competitive pricing.