Branching out via Amsterdam

“We have branched out into the service chain,” explains Associate Vice President Hans Witsenboer. “In the past, we mainly did outsourcing work such as developing applications and systems maintenance. Now, we also take over critical business processes from our clients.

This requires mutual trust, and having local talent and brainpower at our disposal. Thanks to our presence here, we have also become active in other sectors where we see growth opportunities in Europe. For example, we’re testing the handsets for a local producer of navigation equipment before it goes on sale.”

Four out of five

Recent years have seen a large number of Indian companies opting for an office in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. Zuidas alone houses four out of the five largest IT companies in India: Infosys, Wipro Technologies, Tata Consultancy Services and Cognizant. Among the 30 other Indian companies nearby are wind energy producer Suzlon Energy and Tata Steel.

Yogen Singh, of the India desk of business services provider Pricewaterhouse Coopers, explains: “Indian companies want to expand, and the European market is attractive. But to be successful, you have to be here. In continental Europe, a branch in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area is an obvious choice. It is both internationally oriented and easily accessible.”

Jolanda van der Aart, the Asia Specialist of amsterdam inbusiness, adds: “As well as the obvious advantages, such as Amsterdam Schiphol Airport’s several daily flights to India, there is now a large Indian presence here. New developments are arising from that. Throughout the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, over 3,000 Indian knowledge workers already work for Indian and local companies. This is a direct result of the knowledge migrant ruling introduced several years ago. It makes it much easier to obtain a residence permit.”

One-stop shop

Hans Witsenboer agrees: “Since IN Amsterdam opened, it’s become a highly flexible procedure. You can use this one-stop shop for everything. Our people can get started as soon as they arrive.” He believes such factors will help increase the importance of Infosys’s Amsterdam branch, now that the group has embraced vertical, in place of geographical, organisation.

Infosys is well on the way to a permanent leading role in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area’s wide-ranging network of business service providers. But Hans Witsenboer thinks it is also important that the outside world now sees the company as a ‘stayer’. “Our brand is established now,” he says. “You see that in everything. We’re quicker to be shortlisted. We get open applications from European IT specialists. We’re increasingly invited for partnerships.” The Amsterdam move has really paid off.

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