by Beth Bacheldor

Which Outsourcing Company Has More Indian Employees? TCS or IBM?

Aug 31, 2010
Enterprise Applications

TCS wins, but IBM may be catching up…

You all may recall all the scuttlebutt early in the year about IBM’s shift in how it reports its employee headcount. Instead of providing specifics on the number of employees it has in the United States, it is now only providing global headcounts (you can read that blog here).

Well, it could be that IBM has more employees in India than in the United States. That’s right: IBM has more employees in India than it does in the United States. It may even have more workers than Infosys or Wipro (but not as many as top Indian outsourcer Tata Consultancy Services).

Here’s an article in the Times of India that says (according to an inside source) IBM has more than 100,000 employees in India.In another article—this one a blog written by Rick Smith for, says that six-figure number may be larger than the number representing U.S. IBMers. Smith spoke with Alliance@IBM, the union seeking to represent IBM workers, which estimates IBM’s U.S. roster is somewhere around 102,000.

The Times of India says its IBM insider reports there are about 155,000 U.S.-based IBMers. (Both publications apparently attempted to get official numbers from IBM, as expected, IBM declined.) The last official headcount of Indian IBMers was 73,000, in 2007, the paper reports. reports 105,000 as the last officially-known U.S. workforce number, as acknowledged by a corporate executive last year.

The Times of India also reports that after talking with analysts and recruitment firms, some estimate that IBM’s India workforce (including that of its wholly-owned subsidiary IBM Daksh) might be as high as 130,000. Infosys reportedly has 114,000 (as of June 30). It goes on to say that IBM has been aggressively hiring in India, quoting an unnamed headhunter that says even during the throes of the recession IBM and Accenture “kept the lights on in the hiring market.”

I’m not trying to spread rumors. But this is all very interesting, in my opinion. I’d love to hear what you all think. Could it be true? Could the grand-daddy of U.S. tech companies be India-heavy?