International Business & Economy SGX uses technologies from India-based HCL

SGX uses technologies from India-based HCL

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By: Forever Vagabond

It was earlier reported that SGX has changed its management team overseeing its IT operations and technology developments (https://theindependent.sg.sg/2-senior-tech-fts-left-sgx-end-of-last-year).

Starting this year, SGX IT Operations and Technology units are now placed under the charge of SGX president Muthukrishnan Ramaswami. Mr Ramaswami was hailed from India. He holds a Master’s Degree in Mathematics from Birla Institute of Technology and Sciences based in Hyderabad and a Post Graduate Diploma in Management Studies from the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad.

Another key IT person appointed to assist Mr Ramaswami is Ms Tinku Gupta. She took over the jobs from the former EVP Bob Caisley who left at the end of last year. Ms Gupta was previously SGX’s head of market data and access. She also came from India. According to her Linkedin information, she was a project manager with Tata Consultancy Services before moving to SGX some years ago.

Before taking over the technology operations from Mr Caisley, Ms Gupta was responsible for selling, marketing and development of SGX data feeds. She also used to manage trading access into SGX. She graduated from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, a university ranked in the 351st-400th bracket in the world by QS Quacquarelli Symonds.

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HCL Technologies

In 2010, SGX announced that it would be outsourcing its IT infrastructure to India-based HCL Technologies to manage. The deal was worth $110 million (http://investorrelations.sgx.com/releasedetail.cfm?releaseid=590600).

Under the agreement, HCL would provide SGX with infrastructure support and management services including SGX’s Reach initiative. The $250 million Reach initiative was supposed to “create the world’s fastest trading engine, establish a state-of-the-art data centre offering co-location facilities and seamlessly connect trading communities in global financial hubs to Singapore”.

At the time of the announcement, a HCL spokesperson said, “We are equally committed to ensuring superior performance year-on-year for SGX and its members, having been entrusted with the responsibility of managing its large and complex infrastructure.”

Still, in last few years, SGX’s system was problematic, resulting in the halting of trades and reprimands from MAS.

Steven Leung, executive director at UOB Kay Hian told Bloomberg, “Hong Kong may be better…I don’t remember when Hong Kong had such a suspension because of technical issues.”

HCL sued for displacing US workers, hiring Indians

HCL is currently being embroiled in a lawsuit which has become a hot political potato in the US.

In Jan this year, former employees of Walt Disney World sued Disney and two of its outsourcing companies, HCL Technologies and Cognizant, accusing the 3 companies of conspiring to replace American workers with cheaper foreigners (http://www.hindustantimes.com/business/disney-hcl-cognizant-sued-for-displacing-us-workers-hiring-indians/story-nBmqJT3nNw7o7hDSFxRCrI.html).

About 250 Disney employees were retrenched last year. Their positions were then filled with staff mostly from India, provided by HCL and Cognizant. The foreign guest workers were able to work in the US under the H-1B visa, which is the equivalent of the Employment Pass in Singapore.

Some of the displaced Disney employees got angry and filed class-action suits against the 3 companies. The former Disney employees said that they were fired after being forced to train their Indian replacements. The lawsuits asserted that the companies violated US laws that mandated them to ensure that when hiring foreign workers, the working conditions of “similarly situated employees would not be adversely affected”.

The lawsuits aim to “kick them (HCL and Cognizant) at their business model, to stop them from systemically abusing the immigration system”, the lawyer representing the employees told the American media.

The lawsuits have even galvanized US politicians in their Presidential election campaigns this year.

In an election rally in Mar, the Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump went on to hit out at the US H-1B program for allowing “temporary foreign workers, imported from abroad, for the explicit purpose of substituting for American workers at lower pay”.

Mr Trump highlighted the need to crack down on H-1B abuse, citing the Disney case which involved the 250 Disney IT workers being displaced by cheap foreign guest workers on H-1B visas (http://variety.com/2016/biz/news/donald-trump-disney-h-1b-1201723103).

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