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Snapple Deal to Outsource May Add Jobs In America

Heather Timmons|The New York Times
Wednesday, 1 Jul 2009 | 11:20 AM ET

Even Snapple, an American iced tea maker with a homespun image, is outsourcing work to an Indian company. But in a twist, the deal may increase jobs in the United States.

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AP
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The Dr Pepper Snapple Group said on Tuesday that it had signed a five-year contract with HCL Technologies, a major information technology and outsourcing company in Noida, India. HCL will manage Snapple’s computer networks — but may be hiring in the United States to do it.

HCL said that Dr Pepper Snapple would be its “anchor service desk customer” in an operation in Raleigh, N.C., that would eventually employ 500. With the new deal, HCL is continuing to “bring on new staff at our new facility in North Carolina,” Shami Khorana, president of HCL America, said in a statement.

Indian Informational technology and outsourcing companies have been increasing their use of so-called onshoring, or putting jobs in a client’s home market, as political pressures build to increase jobs in countries hard hit by the slowdown.

The practice is being directly promoted in some markets. The Australia Computer Society, a trade group, said this month that it was trying to help its members win back work that had gone overseas.

HCL said in last August that it would invest $3.2 million to open a North Carolina facility. At that time the company employed 3,000 workers in the United States and also had operations in China, Ireland and Poland. HCL employs more than 60,000 worldwide, most of them in India.

Other information technology companies, like Tata Consultancy Services, have set up overseas operations. TCS, as it is known, now employs about 12,000 foreigners, according to the company’s latest annual report.

Terms of the HCL and Dr Pepper Snapple deal were not announced. HCL beat out I.B.M. for the contract.

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