One of India's largest IT companies is pushing harder into the Emirates as it tries to establish itself as a major player in the Middle East.
HCL Technologies (HCL), which is a US$5.7 billion (Dh20.93bn) company that was founded 35 years ago as one of India's original IT garage start-ups, says it plans to open an office in Abu Dhabi.
Last year, the company opened its regional headquarters for the Middle East in Dubai.
"Because of strong growth in the GCC, particularly the UAE and Saudi Arabia, we've done very well quickly," said Manish Mishra, the company's head of Middle East operations.
HCL has also signed an agreement with the regional telecommunications operator Etisalat to jointly explore opportunities for offering information communications technologies and services to business customers.
One of their areas of focus will include cloud computing, which allows companies to store and access data off-site via the internet. Cloud computing is estimated to be a $40.7bn market globally, according to the market firm Forrester Research, and has blossomed since the recession because the service allows companies to reduce data costs and move content around more easily.
The partnership is just one of many HCL has struck up in the region. Since it started operations in the Emirates two years ago, HCL has brought on more than 450 consultants to serve this market. Many of these employees have been focused on helping government organisations, as well as financial services firms and energy companies, to manage their IT operations.
The company's employees in the Middle East make up only a small fraction of its 70,000 workers globally and the regional operation struggled at first to find its bearings. "Initially when we entered into the market it was tough," said Mr Mishra.
"We realised quickly that we need to retain customers over a long time. The only way to do it was to have a consistent delivery, delivering solutions on time, and so we concentrated on delivering [that]."
While the company's global revenues have increased 33.5 per cent over last year, it has seen more significant growth from the Middle East. Revenues from the region combined with Asia and Africa have increased more than 80 per cent over the same period, and contributed more than $500 million during HCL's latest quarterly earnings.