PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is setting up a
service delivery centre in Kolkata, western Indian, which will
provide outsourcing services to clients and back office support to
PwC member firms.

PwC said the centre is the first of its kind
and a joint venture between PwC firms in India, Australia, Canada,
the UK and the US.

The company, PricewaterhouseCoopers Service
Delivery Centre, will be run by a five member board from the
participating countries led by PwC Australia partner Sumanth

The operation currently has 650 employees and
is predicted to grow to 2,000 within two years.

The joint venture also indicates PwC India is
ceding control of its business process outsourcing (BPO)

Speculation in the Indian press alleged the
joint venture was due to PwC India’s inability to support growth of
the BPO unit on its own, but PwC global communications director
Mike Davies told World Accounting Intelligence this is

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“It is more of a case that there are
opportunities in a country like India where there is a lot of
talent and a lot of skill,” Davies said.

“Obviously, there are certain benefits from
bringing together back office functions and doing them
collectively, so that is the reason for looking at it. It isn’t
really to do with India and its own BPO unit.”