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Dave Olson, Published June 19 2012

Cargill, India-based IT company to partner

FARGO – A partnership between Cargill’s Global Business Services Center in Fargo and Mahindra Satyam, a global consulting and information technology services provider, will bring jobs to the area, but it also means some of Cargill’s 175 jobs in the area will likely be leaving.

Cargill’s center at 4340 18th Ave. S. in Fargo provides business and financial services support for more than 60 Cargill operations.

Cargill is modifying its center to allow India-based Mahindra Satyam to set up a service delivery center of its own in the same building. The latter will offer Cargill and other global clients help with business processes, infrastructure management and information services.

Al Johnson, vice president of global business services for Cargill, said under the new arrangement, requests from Cargill businesses for services at Cargill’s Fargo center will be evaluated to determine if they would be most effectively handled by Cargill workers, or by Mahindra Satyam, either at Mahindra’s Fargo center or one of the company’s other locations around the world.

Mahindra Satyam is part of Mahindra Group, which employs more than 144,000 people in more than 100 countries. Cargill has about 130,000 employees in about 60 countries.

Johnson said every job at Cargill’s Fargo center will be affected in some way by the change and positions will be added.

At the same time, he said, there will be negative impacts and some jobs may be eliminated.

He said it’s unknown at this time how many positions will fall into that category.

Lakshmanan Chidambaram, senior vice president of sales and operations for Mahindra Satyam, said the company is in the process of hiring for its Fargo center, which already has a major client, which he would only describe as a leading telecommunications company.

He did not state how many jobs the center will create but stated, “Fargo is going to be positioned as one of our key near-shore locations in North America.”

Chidambaram said “near shore” refers to situations where clients and workers providing service are in the same time zone.

A number of local business leaders met with Cargill and Mahindra Satyam officials Tuesday, including Craig Whitney, president and CEO of the Fargo Moorhead

West Fargo Chamber of Commerce.

Whitney said Mahindra Satyam officials didn’t talk job numbers in that meeting, but he said when officials from Tech Mahindra, a company that is merging with Mahindra Satyam, were in the area earlier, they talked of 250 jobs possibly coming to the area.

“I think this is a great partnership,” Whitney said. “I think it’s going to be good for our community and potentially could lead to a lot of jobs.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555

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