TCS buys out partner GE from all-women Saudi JV

Tata Consultancy Services, India’s largest IT and outsourcing company, said it will buy out partner General Electric from their all-women business process outsourcing company in Saudi Arabia.

GE expressed a desire to exit the venture, started in 2013, according to the Indian company.

The center has grown from 20 employees seven years ago to almost 1,000 women employees at present.

The joint venture was aimed at giving career opportunities for women in Saudi Arabia — a country where the female gender was not even allowed to drive till recently — while complying with gender segregation rules.

As such, the venture was never seen as a major profit center, as is reflected in the nominal purchase price of $12,471 or around Rs 10 lakh for the 24% stake.

With this, TCS Saudi Arabia will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of TCS through its subsidiary in Netherlands.

Over the past two years, the kingdom has passed new decrees allowing women to drive and travel internationally without permission from her male guardian.

Women are also now allowed to register as co-head of a household and live independently from their husband.

It is also likely that TCS is eyeing greater growth under the unit in coming years.

“On completion of required governance and business changes to effect this transition, TCS will assume full responsibility of the Women’s Center, securing its viability in the longer term and allowing it to continue to serve as a source of opportunity and skills development for women in the country,” the Indian outsourcing and IT services provider said.