- Associated Press - Thursday, April 3, 2014

FARGO, N.D. (AP) - An India-based technology company is expanding operations in Fargo and a spokesman for the company said it is not worried about finding workers in the state with the lowest unemployment rate in the nation.

Tech Mahindra set up shop in North Dakota with 20 employees two years ago in a partnership with Cargill’s global business services center. It has expanded to 170 workers. It plans to add another 100 jobs in the next year.

“This is a great outsourcing area for North America,” said Lakshmanan Chidambaram, head of Tech Mahindra’s North America operations.

Chidambaram said the company has worked with North Dakota State University and other area colleges and tech schools to train workers and “grow a community of new talent.” About 25 percent of its workforce is made up recent college graduates. Most of the rest are “lateral hires,” he said.

About 90 percent of its employees are from the region, where Chidambaram said there’s a deep pool of people interested in tech jobs. The median salary for the new positions would be about $50,000 a year, he said.

“Information technology is exciting,” Chidambaram said. “What we are doing has transformed the way people live and work. So you always find people very excited to come and work in this space.”

Chidambaram said he’s more concerned about the cost of living going up in North Dakota.

“Someone was joking, either you buy an apartment in Manhattan or a trailer in North Dakota,” he said. “But as far as attracting talent, our people have the opportunity to work not just in Fargo. They have the opportunity to work around the world.”

Tech Mahindra is a $3 billion company that earns 48 percent of its revenue from North America. It has more than 87,000 employees in 51 countries.

The company provides services such as information technology purchasing and invoice processing. The Fargo operation is doing work for other businesses besides Cargill, which has 150 of its own employees at the shared center.

“We are happy that Fargo is working out for Tech Mahindra, with its news that it will expand jobs there,” said Cargill spokesman Mark Klein.



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