HCL secures $500m Merck contract
Indian outsourcing provider HCL Technologies has announced a massive five-year deal with pharma leviathan Merck & Co (Merck Sharp & Dohme in territories outside the United States and Canada) worth $500 million. The deal, which will see HCL Technologies providing BPO, KPO and engineering services to Merck, represents a significant injection of both capital and good news into the Indian outsourcing sector following one of the most turbulent periods in the industry’s history as many buy-side firms slashed discretionary spending and put transformation plans on the shelf following the financial crisis.
Although HCL already provides certain services to Merck as part of a relationship that began in 2004, the deal announced last week takes that relationship to a new plane and was described as a “landmark win for HCL” according to Shami Khorana, President of HCL Americas.
“As we continue to leverage global delivery services to meet our business imperatives, we have chosen HCL as our strategic partner for its depth of technology and pharmaceutical domain experience, coupled with its flexibility to engage and a commitment to deliver,” Richard G Branton, VP of application services for Merck Sharp & Dohme, told the press.
HCL Technologies will be providing services from 20 locations worldwide as well as expanding its US operations, including growing headcount at its North Carolina base. As well as catering for the requirements of the new contract, the increased scope of its US footprint will help the company penetrate further into the huge US pharmaceutical and healthcare outsourcing space.
Prem Kumar, HCL’s President, BFSI & Healthcare, explained that “consolidation in the pharmaceutical space, along with the challenges they face on the patents front, coupled with a push from Healthcare reforms in the US, presents an exciting opportunity for Indian IT service providers.”