Intuit setting up development center in Bangalore

Intuit Inc. is setting up a product development centre in Bangalore, India, to take advantage of local programming talent and develop new product initiatives, the company announced Friday.

The financial software vendor, based in Mountain View, California, did not disclose the size of its investment in the centre or the number of staff it plans to hire there.

“We are still in the process of hiring and we have not finalized plans,” Ranga Shetty, director for product development at Intuit and the person responsible for the Bangalore development centre, told reporters Friday.

As Intuit is a product software company, the number of recruits at the centre is likely to be a few hundred, he added. The centre will occupy a 21,000-square-foot facility.

Intuit currently employs about 1,700 development staff, spread across 13 engineering centres in the U.S. and one in Canada, Shetty said. ” We have come to India primarily to get access to a larger talent pool,” he said. Another benefit is the lower cost of staff in India, he added.

A number of multinational software companies, including Microsoft Corp., Oracle Corp. and SAP AG, have large product development operations in India. Intuit is a relatively late entrant because until now its growth plans did not require it to expand beyond its current engineering centres, Shetty said.

While software engineering skills and quality-control processes are available in India, specific knowledge about Intuit’s applications will have to be created since they are currently focused mainly on the U.S. market and are compliant with U.S. financial rules and procedures, Shetty said.

Intuit is already outsourcing product development in India to Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp., an offshore outsourcing company based in Teaneck, New Jersey, that has operations in India. The arrangement will continue after the development centre in Bangalore opens, said Nilesh Thakker, Intuit’s country manager for India.

Intuit has no current plans to develop products for the Indian market, since accounting rules and procedures there are different, Thakker said.