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Mumbai outsourcers maintain 'business as usual'

Mumbai outsourcers maintain 'business as usual'

Local service providers and offshore clients determined to maintain services

Outsourcers in Mumbai must prove that their business continuity plans are effective if they are to maintain the confidence of their clients following the terrorist attacks in the city, observers have said.

Many of UK clients, which include large financial firms, industry and the public sector, depend on Indian outsourcing firms to conduct business. Mumbai is the seat of India's burgeoning technology sector, where many multinational firms are located. But, as attacks rocked the Indian city this week, many outsourcing firms have been forced to move staff to safer locations to ensure their safety and keep the business running.

"It's important they demonstrate they are following their own formal back-up procedures; real business plans for these types of emergency," said Nigel Roxburgh, research director at the National Outsourcing Association, which represents IT service providers. Many outsourcing contracts contained guarantees over business continuity, he added.

While outsourcers are reacting quickly to the disaster, the attacks "could affect the confidence" of clients, Roxburgh said.

Nasscom, the trade body for Indian software firms and outsourcers, said its members were reacting well under the circumstances. It also expressed confidence in the response of the Indian government to the problem.

"As an industry that is international and services customers across the globe, we continue our operations, uninterrupted, from centres across India and even Mumbai.

"The industry has put in adequate disaster management and business continuity plans to ensure 24/7 operations. Our members are proactively communicating with customers and keeping them updated." Indian outsourcers had been "overwhelmed with the messages of support" from customers, it said.

Nasscom's international trade events will continue uninterrupted next week, it said.

Satyam, an IT services firm with operations in the city, said it had "effectively addressed similar unfortunate events in the past and will continue to do so". The company vowed not to let the problems affect its operations. Capita, another supplier with operations in Mumbai, said its offices "are all operational today and we will be focusing on running as full a service as possible while respecting the safety of our employees".

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