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Novartis to shift 100 jobs to India

By Joe C Mathew in New Delhi
November 17, 2008 08:58 IST
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At a time when global pharmaceutical companies such as Merck and Pfizer are trimming their workforce to beat the economic blues, Novartis, the Swiss pharmaceutical major, has decided to shift 100 jobs to India.

The company plans to make Hyderabad as its back office hub for data management in clinical research and financial service segments. Though Novartis' global recruitments shows no increase in numbers, its Hyderabad office will see an addition of at least 100 people in the coming months, said Jurgen Brokatzky-Geiger, head (human resources), Novartis.

Speaking to Business Standard, Geiger said the cut in the workforce in the pharmaceutical companies have more to do with the business realities than with the current global crisis. Even Novartis had announced a cut of about 3,000 jobs last year, though the company has not made any similar move this year.

On the outsourcing plans of Novartis in India, Geiger said the Hyderabad office, started two years ago, will turn out to be the sourcing hub for several operations of Novartis.

"We have big centre in Hyderabad, which was started two years ago. We are creating new jobs there and shifting some operations from our headquarters in Basel (Switzerland) and from the US," he said.

Novartis is putting infrastructure to put all these people in one place and the centre is expected to turn operational next year. It will be the back office for Novartis' pharmaceutical operations and will find many PhDs and post-graduates working there, Geiger added.

Novartis had initially planned to turn its Hyderabad centre as an R&D hub.  The plan for the facility was announced in 2006 after Novartis signed a memorandum of understanding with the Andhra Pradesh government for allotment of land near Hyderabad.

However, the project did not take off. The company had blamed the Indian position on intellectual property rights protection as a reason for going slow on its R&D plans. Novartis has two domestic subsidiaries, of which Novartis India is listed on Indian stock exchanges.
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Joe C Mathew in New Delhi
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