India’s IT-giant Infosys is ramping up to its activities in Israel. The company wants to tap into Israel’s start-up ecosystem, aiming to hire talent and acquire cutting-edge innovations.
Infosys has recently assigned its Vice-President for Corporate Development Jake Klein, to look into acquisitions and investments in the Start-Up Nation, reported India’s leading business daily Economic Times. Klein served a senior vice-president for SAP before moving to Infosys.
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The revelation comes less than a week after Indian billionaire-businessman Mukesh Ambani’s, owner of Reliance Industries, country’s leading business house hosted representatives of several Israeli start-ups and technology-based companies to present their technology expertise. The list of participants from Israel included SimilarWeb, Perion and Celltick.
Infosys, India’s second-largest software exporter, has reportedly set aside a sizable amount of its $500-million Tech-Fund for investments in Israel. The company has been increasingly looking offshore to acquire disruptive technologies that would give it an edge over its rivals in IT and consulting business, as the company serves global clients like Toyota, Deimler AG, PepsiCo and Bank of America.
Infosys founded in 1981, is a NYSE-listed consulting and IT company. The company reported a revenue of $8.7 billion in 2014-15 financial year. Last month, company announced plans to acquire US mobile commerce company Kallidus Inc., for $120 million – shortly after acquiring Israel-based start-up Panaya for $200 million in February 2015.
Indian multinationals have discovered Israel as a destination for technology and innovation, making large investments in Israel’s innovation and start-up ecosystem. India’s Tata Group has made a substantial long-term investment in Tel Aviv University’s innovation fund – connecting academic research to the market. Last month India’s Tech-Mahindra had announced its plan to set up a R&D centre in Israel.
These private sector investments come in the backdrop of improving Israel-India bilateral relations ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office in New Delhi 10 months ago.
[Vijeta Uniyal is an Indian journalist based in Europe and Contributing Editor for Jewish Business News]