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Red Hat plans development centre in India

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April 07, 2004 09:32 IST

Premier Linux and open source software provider Red Hat is planning to set up a development centre in India.

The US-based company is in the process of raising $600 million through the issue of bonds, a part of which is expected to be invested in its Indian operations.

"Our global chairman, chief executive officer and president Matthew Szulik was in the country in January to study the Indian market and decide on Red Hat's investment plans for the region. Red Hat is bullish on India and has major expansion plans for its operations in the country. This may include setting up a development centre to harness the huge potential here," said Javed Tapia, director, Red Hat India.

Tapia added that the exact details of how much investment would be made and where the proposed centre will be set up have not yet been decided.

Red Hat has a presence in India through its joint venture with Clover Technologies, Red Hat India.

The Indian arm of the company runs five sales, marketing and support centres, situated in Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Bangalore and Bhopal and employs around 40 people.

Tapia confirms with the common perception that India hasn't been much of a contributor to the open sourcing wave and is still largely an economy of 'free loaders'. "We have been net takers and not net givers," said Tapia.

Most industry players are of the opinion that Indian engineers lack the necessary skill sets to work on the open source technology. Then where will Red Hat find the human resource for their planned centre in India?

As a first step towards cultivating the open sourcing culture, Red Hat has set up a scholarship programme, which will be jointly conducted with the IIT-Mumbai to encourage open source software developers.

The scholarship is open to students from engineering colleges across the country.
Parvathy Ullatil in Mumbai