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June 26, 1998


Oracle will sink $40 million in Indian soil

Email this story to a friend. Software giant Oracle Corporation will invest $40 million by 2000, to expand its India operations.

Loke Soon Choo, managing director, South Asia, has been reported as saying that a major chunk of the funds earmarked for 1997-2000 is being invested this year itself.
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Plans for the coming year include starting a new facility in Hyderabad. "Oracle is setting up a centre in the 'triple IT' (Indian Institute of Information Technology) being set up by the state government,'' said Shekhar Dasgupta, country manager, Oracle India.

The company already has offices in five cities - Delhi, Bombay, Bangalore, Madras and Calcutta.

Oracle is also gearing up to launch a new oil and gas solutions called 'Oracle energy downstream'. While the core for this solution has been acquired from UK-based British Petroleum, re-engineering work is taking place in Bangalore.

Dasgupta said "It will be very relevant to India because of the 'administrative price mechanism'. This solution takes care of marketing and distribution right from the refinery to the petrol pump, and can be very useful for the Indian petroleum companies, gearing up for a deregulated market.''

Also lined up for a launch in the coming fiscal year is Oracle 8.1, an upgraded version of Oracle 8, the relational database software, introduced last June.

Oracle 8.1 will be completely Web-enabled.

"Oracle 8.1 will be released worldwide in the second quarter of this fiscal year. It will be launched in India around January 1999,'' said Soon Choo. The Indian launch is being delayed, because unless there are enough customers using Oracle 8, there is no point introducing 8.1," added Dasgupta.

ERP is another focus area for the coming year. The firm is making new versions to take into account statutory requirements. The company, which has 45 live sites of Oracle customers in India, also plans to become more visible about this achievement.

Meanwhile, Oracle is upbeat about the performance of its Indian subsidiary. "It has held out very well in spite of the slowdown in the economy, elections and nuclear explosions,'' said Soon Choo.

In fact, while the company's sales in Asia pacific went down by 17 per cent, Oracle India has grown significantly.

Though he refused to divulge growth figures for individual countries, industry sources say that the Indian subsidiary has grown 50 per cent, which is more than the growth rate of Oracle Corporation as a whole.

In the fiscal year ended May 31, 1998, the company recorded a total revenue growth of 26 per cent (31 per cent in local currencies).

Although its mid-year results were below expectations, Oracle Corporation has bounced back to end the financial year with a total revenue of $7.1 billion, as compared to $5.7 billion last year. Of the total revenue generated, its database business contributed $5.3 billion - a growth of 17 per cent from last year.

- Compiled from the Indian media

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