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The Economic Times : HGS to set up VC arm to tap into startup pool

Hinduja Global Solutions BSE 4.20 %, the business process outsourcing arm of the Hinduja Group, is setting up a corporate venture capital arm as it looks to tap into the stream of innovative technologies being created by startups across the globe. BPO firms are increasingly looking at startups to drive innovation, following the route charted by the Indian IT industry.

Rival FirstSource Solutions has also said it will look to invest in analytics startups and has been evaluating a few.

"We understood that there are companies out there that have innovative technologies that need funding and access to markets and that we couldn't build all these solutions in house. So the corporate venture arm helps us achieve that," Partha DeSarkar, chief executive of Hinduja Global, told ET.

The company has set aside about $20-30 million and has created a team of 10 people who will spearhead the investments. It is looking at startups with solutions in analytics, healthcare and multi-channel customer care among others and geography is not a barrier.

"We will look where ever the innovation is — whether in Silicon Valley, Israel and even India. But we will only do second-stage investing, once the idea is proven," DeSarkar added.

"It is too early to say the effect this will have. But we have seen more BPO companies talk about partnering and investing in start-ups but we will have to see if these investments will move the needle," an analyst with a Mumbaibased brokerage told ET.