India now HQ of asia pacific business operations


India is the fastest growing market in the world for Sun Microsystems. After years of reporting into Singapore, headquarters for the Asia Pacific operations, India is being spun off. It will now report directly into the global headquarters at Santa Clara. It isn’t difficult to understand why.

While the company’s MD declines to talk numbers, analysts say Sun India generates roughly Rs. 1,400 crore in revenues and is growing in double digits. That is a little over 30% of its Asia Pacific revenues. So it doesn’t make much sense for the India operations to report into Singapore.

This is not a phenomenon exclusive to Sun. In fact, it almost seems like a trend that is gaining momentum even for other companies preferring India to Singapore.

Semiconductor major Cadence is another case in point. The Indian arm operates independently. The local semiconductor ecosystem has evolved over the years. Demand is exploding. And Cadence customers are setting up in India or expanding India operations. For Cadence, India has emerged as the second largest market in the Asia Pacific region after Japan.

For that matter, there is Cisco. Indian operation of the telecom infrastructure major is still part of the Asia pacific region on paper. But India has now been nominated as a key hub after Korea and China. President and Chief executive of Cisco has made two visits to the country and late last year announced additional investments of $ 1.1 billion into the country to expand its footprint over the next three years.

At Oracle, the shift is rather subtle. On the face of it, India continues to report into Singapore. But with the country emerging as the second fastest growing market in the region, Oracle was compelled to invest $2billion into the country. India is maturing as a market for adoption of the latest technology and applications, says MD of Oracle (India).

Arch rival SAP has gone one step ahead and have carved out an exclusive investment strategy for India. SAP spokesperson for the company said that they get the attention in India because theirs is the largest centre outside the US in terms of development. This is why, it is one of the eight strategic countries where SAP is investing and growing.

At Hewlett Packard, the company follows a dual strategy. The product teams report into Singapore while other arms like high-end R&D and global delivery reports into the US. A spokesperson for the company point out that while India continues to be a part of Asia Pacific, a separate BRIC strategy is in place for the country.

Interestingly, the focus on India is putting pressure on Singapore operations. The intangible part is that of controls. The gentlemen who used to be the boss yesterday is the peer today said a senior manager at a technology MNC based in Singapore.

The more tangible threat is investment. Traditionally, Singapore controlled investments into countries in Asia Pacific, including India. In the new order the investments are directly made in India a decision increasingly being taken by the global headquarters. In turn, the disquiet in Singapore is mounting. It is only a matter of time that India may replace Singapore as HQ of many international giants from U.S or other developed nations.