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NEW YORK CITY-”Offshoring is not just a buzzword, it’s a key strategy for global companies,” said Rohini Saluja, national manager, client solutions, Cushman & Wakefield India, during a C&W symposium dealing with offshoring trends and the Indian investment scenario. She noted that the newest trend is that service type of businesses are “moving up the value chain. Real estate and infrastructure are key in offshoring.” Approximately 43.2 million sf of development in IT parks is expected over the next few years.

While costs are the major driver for offshoring in India–a software developer in the US makes an average of $60,000 per year, while the same job function in India has a salary of $12,000–other reasons businesses are looking to India include improving a business focus, risk diversification and gaining access to intellectual capital. That sentiment was echoed by Arthur Mirante, president, global client development for Cushman & Wakefield. “Intellectual capital, world-class talent is the attribute, not cheap labor, that will drive the Indian market.”

On the investment side, it’s moving from a more fragmented market to an organized one. “A national property cycle is in the early growth stage,” said B Srinivas, national manager, capital markets, Cushman & Wakefield India. “Banks are seeing real estate as an asset class, not just for home loans. We hope to get the cash registers ringing.”He anticipates global retailers such as Walmart will break into the marketplace and that the REIT structure is “being talked about.” He also said recent developments such as GE Commercial Finance Real Estate investing in a fund targeted at acquiring and developing up to $500 million in assets over the next seven years will help move things along.

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