Palmisano visit underscores India's importance for IBM

The visit to India this week by IBM Corp's chief executive officer, Sam Palmisano, underscores the country's importance for IBM, the company said.

The visit to India this week by Samuel Palmisano, IBM's chief executive officer and chairman of the board, underscores the importance of the country both as a market and as a base for delivering outsourced services, an IBM India spokeswoman said Friday.

During his visit to India, Palmisano met with government officials including the country's prime minister, Manmohan Singh, as well as customers and IBM employees. This is Palmisano's third visit to the country since 2003. As on earlier visits, Palmisano did not make a public appearance on this trip and did not meet with the media.

In a statement, IBM said Palmisano's visit to India is part of the company's focus on strategically important emerging markets, such as India, China, Russia and Brazil. The companies views these markets as important both as markets for its products and services as well as bases for its growing service-delivery business and research and development initiatives, the statement.

India has the largest number of IBM employees based outside the U.S., with around 23,000 employees working there, according to IBM India. It's also a fast-growing market for the company: In 2004, IBM's revenue in India rose 45 percent over the previous year, according to the spokeswoman.

IBM has a range of facilities in India, including a research and development center in Delhi. In October, the company opened an infrastructure services center in Bangalore which offers a variety of services, including on-demand computing and data-center services to IBM's customers around the world.

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