Microsoft is considering setting up a new campus in Bengaluru with a investment of $1 billion. The Redmond-based software firm may create as many as 7,000 jobs with its new campus, details of which are still undisclosed, a close source on the matter told the Times of India.
Microsoft apparently zeroed in on Bengaluru for its new campus after reportedly exploring all the possibilities around the world. The new campus is expected to merge many of its India operations and serve as a base for further expansion.
On the sidelines of these reports, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella held a secretive meeting with Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah Sept. 29, 2014, which was seen by some as almost sealing the deal on opening the new campus. The meeting lasted about 30 minutes and Microsoft had stressed upon keeping the matter of the discussion tightly wrapped.
"The meeting was kept a top secret, so much so that the item was not marked on Nadella's calendar and nor were the minutes of the meeting recorded. They didn't want to leave any trail behind. Rightly so because the stakes were very high, given that the proposed investment opportunity was $1 billion and with the potential to create 5,000-7,000 jobs," the TOI quoted a source close to the matter as saying.
Microsoft's plan for a billion-dollar campus investment was said to develop over five years. Even after a year since the so-called meeting between Nadella and Siddaramaiah, there is no official word on the matter. Karnataka IT secretary V Manjula declined to have any knowledge about the matter.
At the time of the meeting, Nadella was seven months into his new role as the CEO of Microsoft and was carving out a turnaround strategy for the company that involved job-cuts, writing-down Nokia handset unit and focus on cloud-related services. In 2014, Microsoft announced its biggest lay-off of 18,000 employees, which was nearly half of the entire Nokia division's workforce. Last year, the software titan announced 7,800 job cuts across the board, which led to the shutdown of its Salo operations.
Microsoft's presence in India is spread across 10 cities, employing about 7,000 people, and the largest base of its operations is in Hyderabad. Microsoft has a 54-acre campus in Hyderabad for R&D, IT and global services. In Bengaluru, the software tech giant has a Microsoft research facility, a development centre, a global technical support centre and Microsoft Ventures.