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Saturday, January 13, 2001

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iSoft launches Chennai centre

Our Bureau

CHENNAI, Jan. 12

THE UK-based iSoft Group, suppliers of healthcare information systems, has launched its product development centre in Chennai.

The initial investment in the centre is around $1 million, which will be increased to $28.5 million in three years.

The company's Chief Executive, Mr Patrick Cryne, said that to invest in the Chennai centre, and also to acquire a UK-based company, iSoft raised around 20 million pounds from the public in July 2000.

The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange, TechMARK, and currently has a market capitalisation of around $380 million, he added.

Mr Cryne said that the company plans to divert most of its R&D work to Chennai from Manchester, UK.

The company currently invests around 12 per cent of its revenue on R&D, while in future, around 10 per cent would be for the Chennai centre alone, he said.

In 2000, the company reported a net profit of $9 million on a turnover of $53 million.

The company's Operations Manager, Mr Steve Graham, said that the investment will be mainly used on manpower and infrastructure.

The company plans to recruit around 50 people in the first year, 90 in the second, and 160 in the third year, he added.

The Chennai centre is an extension of the company's global R&D headquarters in Manchester.

It will enable the company to speed up the production of its applications for the customers, and do so more cost effectively than ever before, according to him.

Mr Cryne said that the Chennai centre will start producing software, mainly for the overseas markets, by March.

The company is one of the leading suppliers of Microsoft-based application systems in the healthcare market, and will continue to do so, he said.

In the UK, the company's applications are used in 621 hospitals. And, in Australia, out of the 1,190 hospitals, 261 use iSoft applications, he said.

Mr Ravan Boddu, Chief Executive (R&D), iSoft, India, said that the Chennai centre would maintain an innovative lead in the company's application systems in healtcare.

``Chennai will be established as the main centre for the company's product development activities.''

Mr Cryne said that the company also has plans to introduce call centres in India to provide support services for its customers across the world.

It will also explore the possibility of moving the entire support centre to India.

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