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Apple closes Indian call centre

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8th Jun 2006
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Anyone who has had a bad experience with Apple’s Indian customer support service can take cheer: the iPod manufacturer is shutting its Bangalore call centre facility after only one month!

The call centre in India was originally intended to support customers worldwide. Initially staffed up by 1,500 people, the intention was that the headcount would double by the end of the year.

An Apple spokesman said: “We have re-evaluated our plans and have decided to put our planned support centre growth in other countries.” Employees will be given a two-month severance package and the company intends to settle all claims this week.

Apple is not the first technology firm to pull out of India. Dell quit the region in 2004 when its support centre was not delivering an appropriate level of service when the Indian operation failed to satisfactorily handle the volume of calls coming into the contact centre.

On the other hand, IBM said this week that it would triple its investment in the country to $6 billion over the next three years. Samuel Palmisano, chairman and chief executive of IBM, announced the commitment in front of the president of India, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, and 10,000 IBM employees gathered on the vast grounds of the imperial Bangalore Palace.

"If you are not in India making the right investments and finding and developing the best employees and business partners," Palmisano said, "then you won't be able to combine the skills and expertise here with the skills and expertise from around the world, in ways that can help our clients be successful."

IBM India already is the company's second-largest operation worldwide, having grown to 43,000 employees from 9,000 workers in 2004. IBM executives said the Indian operation already has a significant role in any large project handled by the company.

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