General Electric Co. (GE) is stepping up its outsourcing of software development to India. It has contracted MindTree Consulting Pvt. Ltd. in Bangalore to set up a GE Global Development Center. The software development centre will be managed by MindTree, the companies said Wednesday.

MindTree, an IT consulting and software development company, will initially focus on the IT requirements of the equipment services division of GE in the areas of enterprise resource planning, data warehousing and Web-based development, according to Subroto Bagchi, chief operating officer of MindTree. “We expect business from other GE divisions as well,” Bagchi added.

GE, in Fairfield, Conn., already outsources software development to some companies in India, including Tata Consultancy Services Pvt. Ltd. in Mumbai. The dedicated center being set by MindTree for GE will have about 50 people to start with, Bagchi said. He would not put a figure on the eventual headcount at the center. Similar software development operations set up by Indian companies for GE typically have headcounts that go up to about 500 staff or more.

“GE has pioneered the global software development model in the 1990s,” said Alan Kocsi, chief information officer of GE’s equipment services division. “Today, we see the need to it take it to the next level. MindTree has the competence and the values in place to take us there.”

MindTree has set up six similar development centres for key customers, including AB Volvo in Sweden.