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|December 26, 1997||
Pentafour plans Rs 750 million expansionPentafour Software Exports Limited, part of the Rs 6-billion Pentafour Group, is investing around Rs 750 million in its effort to spread its development activities nationally.
Pentafour Software Chairman and Managing Director V Chandrasekaran has said that it is necessary that the company expand operations in the areas of entertainment, education and enterprise.
Detailing the plans, Chandrasekaran said that the company is building development centres in Delhi, Calcutta, Bangalore and Hyderabad. "We had a minimal presence in these cities through our marketing offices but now we want to have development happening there, both to cater to our exports and to tap the local market,'' he said.
All the centres would be operational by the first quarter of next year. "We have finalised about 15,000 square feet of space in Delhi and about 5,000 square feet each in other centres,'' said Chandrasekaran.
The company will also induct about 550-600 more people before the end of next year.
"The centres will focus on multimedia, educational software, Y2K and our banking and insurance products. The one in Delhi, which will come under the Software Technology Park of India scheme, will particularly concentrate on the television industry and the Department of Electronics,'' he said.
Pentafour makes computer-based tutorials for DoE's various levels of computer courses. "We are keenly looking for more government projects as it constitutes almost 50 per cent of the software market,'' he added.
The company has developed 24 CD-ROM titles on 'edutainment' and CBT and plans to develop and market 40 more titles by March 1998.
Revenue from education and training constituted about 4 per cent of the company's revenues for the first half of 1997-98.
Also, Pentafour, being an export-oriented company, has only 6 per cent of its revenues (Rs 1.26 billion for the first half) coming from the domestic market.
Pentafour already has a Rs 1.5-billion facility near Madras, equipped with Silicon Graphics systems for developing multimedia and film broadcast content, and a Rs 60-million facility in Bombay, to cater to the Bollywood market.
Incidentally, the company is doing the 3-D animation for a forthcoming movie Sindbad by Jan de Bont, the director of Speed.
Pentafour may also be one more Indian company after NIIT and HCL to get involved in the Malaysian Multimedia Super Corridor project.
It is planning to go along with a US company for setting up a software centre in Malaysia. But the current Asian currency crisis is holding back the talks as far as the US company is concerned, revealed Chandrasekaran.
"We are in the final stages of the talks and if this gets through we might be developing multimedia content and software for Smart School on an 80:20 basis,'' he claimed.
- Compiled from the Indian media
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